The city rescheduled its strategic planning, initially scheduled for this month, to April 24 in order to allow for more time to promote the meeting to residents. Rather than host a second City Council meeting in April, the council and city staff will assemble at 7 p.m. in Freedom High School, 1050 Neroly Road, for a community workshop to discuss the future of the city.
“We look forward to the public participating in this year’s strategic planning session,” said Mayor Kevin Romick. “We will use this input to effectively meet the future needs of our community in a number of arenas including budgeting, economic development, downtown revitalization, public safety, parks and much more.”
Since incorporation, the city has held an annual strategic planning meeting to develop a two-year specific plan to carry out the city’s vision and mission. The meetings have been sparsely attended by the public in the past, but the strategic plan typically generates positive change for the city. The 2010-12 strategic plan cycle’s accomplishments include the installation of a traffic signal at O’Hara Avenue and Cypress Road, road improvements on Empire Avenue and Laurel Road, the building and opening of the new fire station and the addition of canine officer Oleg to the Oakley Police Department.
During the April 24 meeting, attendees will break into small groups to discuss issues of importance and concern they’d like the city to focus on during the 2012-14 cycle. City staff members will facilitate discussions and gather feedback, which will be compiled into a report to be presented to the council this summer. The city hopes to gain feedback regarding recreation opportunities, planned quality growth and community outreach.
Last month, the city sent out surveys to 500 residents. Of the 128 who responded, 15 percent said they were dissatisfied with the city’s community outreach, so the strategic planning meeting is the city’s first big step to invite more community involvement.
“This decision (to reschedule the meeting) demonstrates the city’s commitment to do more outreach and encourage public input and participation,” said Nancy Marquez, assistant to the city manager.
The survey also provided city staff with an idea of how the public feels about the city in general. More than half of the survey’s respondents believe Oakley is headed in the right direction. According to the survey, residents consider Oakley an attractive place to live because it’s a small, quiet community with reasonable home prices and an agreeable climate. Twenty-seven percent of respondents believe Oakley is an “excellent” place to live while 53 percent said Oakley is a “good” city to live in.
For more information about the strategic planning meeting, call Marquez at 925-625-7007.