PLACERVILLE, Calif. — The Marshall Building at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds was buzzing with activity as some 80 people gathered for a recent workshop to discuss updates to the county's strategic plan.
In attendance were members of the Board of Supervisors, county staff and department heads along with representatives from fire, safety and water agencies, the grand jury, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and office of education, in addition to members of the general public.
Offered as a starting point, county staff noted that as a result of previous discussions with other officials, five themes had been identified as being most important when discussing strategic planning goals.
Those themes were good governance, public safety, healthy communities, infrastructure and economic development. Included under each theme was a list of priorities.
For example, good governance, which was pictured as being the hub of the wheel, included such objectives as establishing benchmarks in order to be able to compare El Dorado County to other counties, evidence-based business strategies, improved system-wide processes and departmental collaboration, community engagement, staff engagement and labor relations.
To process this information, those present were divided up among all the tables in the room. They were asked to discuss the five themes and whether other objectives needed to be added or the existing ones deleted.
Those suggestions were then written on big sheets of paper posted on the walls and everyone was then given colored dots to prioritize which objectives were most important.
Under good governance, some of the top priorities added to the list were to intelligently streamline the bureaucracy, use evidence-based strategies and improve system-wide processes and departmental collaboration.
Under infrastructure, some of the top priorities were to improve road maintenance and traffic circulation, add broadband/technological connectivity and improve county facilities/parks and trails.
Under economic development, some of the top priorities included improving tourism and business, broadband development, attainable housing, responsible growth, increasing the tax base and adding more recreational opportunities.
Under healthy communities, some of the top priorities included addressing the issue of homelessness, improving child and youth outcomes, providing attainable housing, planning for demographic change in the county, such as the increase in older adults and providing a balance of jobs and housing.
Under public safety, some of the top priorities were emergency services, interagency communication, fire district sustainability, addressing the lack of coordination among county agencies, educational organizations and non-profits regarding public safety concerns, more focus on innovative funding options and public safety concerns, better forest management, mental health services and prevention/proactive services.
At the conclusion of the workshop, Chief Administrative Officer Don Ashton told the group that all the information would be summarized and then reported to the Board of Supervisors at an upcoming meeting.