It’s part of the process of developing a ‘comprehensive vision’ for the city of Frederick.
Frederick, Md (KM). After a six-month examination of city government, the Strategic Opportunities Advisory Team has released its recommendations. Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor discussed those reports Monday morning during a public information briefing at city hall.
The Strategic Opportunities Advisory Team was established shortly after Mayor O’Connor took the oath of office. The Team was divided into five work groups covering such issues an City Operations and Organization; Civic Engagement; Communications and 21st Century Technology; Economic Resilience; and Expanding Opportunity.
“While I provided a broad charge to the groups, I did not specify any format or approach. And each final report reflects the working style of its members; and without trying, naturally support and enhance one another,” O’Connor said. “I’m grateful for the insight they’ve gained and shared and the groundwork these reports provide toward development of a more comprehensive vision for the city of Frederick.”
Some of the recommendations include improving coordination and collaboration among city departments; implementing a “robust diversity and inclusion agenda” to hiring, recruitment, employee training and purchasing; develop methods to connect with residents, particularly those who are underserved and vulnerable; making a goal to connect 30,000 residents to the internet; branding; improving the city’s website; exploiting the city’s perceived strengths and minimizing its perceived weaknesses.
“There are recommendations that represent quick fixes, and others that would take time to fully implement,” the Mayor says. “Some are inexpensive.Others are quite costly.”
But he praised the work groups for using their imaginations in coming up with recommendations. “I appreciate the lack of restraint shown by the work groups because it gives us the best opportunity to fully explore the possibilities,” the Mayor says. “Budgets are a real thing. But let’s focus on our ideals first. Reality will always find its way into the process.”
However, O’Connor said this is not the end of the process. “Well, this is just the end of the beginning. We will take time to review the recommendations before acting. And I want to hear from the community. To develop a vision and a plan for the city requires community buy-in, and I’m committed to a process that invites public participation,” the Mayor says.
The reports from the five work groups and their recommendations are on the city’s website, www.cityofrederick.com//soat. O’Connor says residents are invited to read the reports, and offer their feedback.
By Kevin McManus