City manager: Award standards help city focus on improvement

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— The drive for the city’s new mission, values and vision statement is due, in part, to an attempt by staff to raise the city’s performance level up to par with winners of the national Baldrige Award.

The award is normally given to private businesses and nonprofit organizations that show exceptional services to clients and high quality control; in the past at least one city — Coral Springs, Fla. — has won the award.

“This is not about going out for the award. It is really all about improvement. And that is why we use the Baldrige Award,” City Manager Nabiel Shawa said.

Last fall, the city hired a Baldrige Award consultant to review the city’s performance level in several areas.

Leadership, strategic planning, customer focus and engagement, knowledge management, information management, workforce focus, engagement and performance, operation focus and several other areas were ranked on a scale to 100.

The results were that the city scored around 24 over all.

Shawa noted that most Baldrige Award winners score in the 60-70 range. He added that in one area the city got close with a score of 55 for governance and societal responsibilities.

One of the key criticism’s in the consultant report was that the city lacked an overall strategic plan and the process for developing one.

Shawa said before the city can develop a strategic plan, a new mission, values and vision statement is needed to guide in its development.

“Some things that threw us off, right off the track that you can’t respond to, is you need a strategic plan. And we don’t have one,” Shawa said.

The goal is to develop the strategic plan next year, after the mission, values and vision statement has been adopted this year.

A copy of the Baldridge report can be viewed online at union-bulletin.com.

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