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Mayor: Work Continues on Strategic Plan for Pensacola

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson and the City Council are out with a draft of the City's strategic plan, hammered out during a six-hour workshop last week.

The document comes as Robinson finishes his first six months in office.

“I think working toward a mission statement and some values, I thought we did a good job with the Council and citizens to begin that process,” said Robinson during his weekly news conference Monday. He added that the numbers contained in the plan now, may not be the same ones which could emerge later.

“This is a baseline; we’re going to need to continue to do some surveying as we move forward,” said Robinson. “This is a process that begins us moving in that direction toward making what I think we want to see – a better quality place to work. And we’re excited about that.”

The next step for the plan is to send the results out to city employees – about 75 % of whom responded to a survey by the Robinson administration about what they would like to see.

“If they want to make comments and look it back, I think we can pull it all back, get their comments, look at what’s indicated, and then go forward from there,” the Mayor said. “I think we’ll probably will have to meet again; I think we’ve made a lot of progress on values and mission. I think we’ve moved in a good direction on those.”

Besides a mission statement and values, the plan lists criteria for prioritizing issues, such as the Mayoral Transition Report's four categories – Crime and Safety, Neighborhoods, Economic Development, and the Environment.

“I think it’s naturally time to move away from the strategic to the specific,” said Robinson. “I do understand that there was some concern that people thought they might not have seen the specifics of what they wanted to see. But we’re trying to get us pulling in a direction where we go and then we’ll apply the specifics to it.”

The City Council’s strategic items are: maintaining a safe community; improved neighborhood infrastructure such as sidewalks and better lighting, complete streets, and a neighborhood-focused approach or structure.

While the Mayor was hoping to focus on the findings of the transition team, he said some changes caused them to call an audible, and then tie the data from the panel back to the strategic plan.

“I think we’re headed in the right direction on everything that we’re doing; but there’s no doubt, I think it just highlights some of the challenges of working together,” said Mayor Grover Robinson. “I think the importance of starting this process – this is the first time we’ve done this and so, I don’t expect us to be perfect. It’s not my goal for us to be perfect, there’s just for us to be better.”

A draft PFD version of the strategic plan is available at www.cityofpensacola.com. It’s there for citizen and employee input and is expected to go back to the City Council for approval at their meeting on June 13.

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.