Chester County Commissioners approve revised strategic plan priorities and goals

Seal of Chester County, Pennsylvania

WEST CHESTER _ The Chester County Commissioners approved Thursday night the County’s revised strategic priorities and goals for the next five years.

The Commissioners announced a formal review process for the strategic plan earlier this year, noting the need to revisit the priorities and goals originally implemented in 2009.

“This review has been very thorough and helpful, not only in confirming the successful achievement of our existing goals, but also in taking a wider view on what we need to achieve for the next five years,” said Commissioner Chair Ryan Costello.

“We’ve seen impressive results from our strategic plan,” said Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “It’s no small task implementing new programs and activities to achieve our goals, as well as establishing methods to track the progress. County employees are to be commended for their work in attaining 97 percent of our original goals overall, and I’m confident that this review and these new goals will continue to keep Chester County focused on what our citizens want and need.”

The revised goals have been set following a series of meetings with priority focus groups earlier this year. More than 150 participants representing county employees and officials, county agencies, industry, and private and charitable organizations took part, reviewing the current and future needs of citizens before recommending revised goals to the Commissioners. In addition, the County undertook a citizens’ survey with more than 1,100 people responding.

The goals were approved during the Commissioners’ meeting in East Whiteland last night. The full report is available on the County’s website, www.chesco.org/mfr.

Commissioner Terence Farrell thanked all the participants of the review process, including the citizens who responded to the survey. He said the gathering of the information is “not only useful in helping us to prioritize County programs and services, but also important work, especially as we finalize our budget each year.”.

Chester County Chief Operating Officer Mark Rupsis said, “Five years of implementation and measured results of the strategic plan confirms our intention to be a county government that is open and transparent, inclusive and effective.”

The Commissioners gave credit to the staff members taking part in the strategic plan, citing a recent article in top financial publication Government Finance Review, written by Stephanie Phillips, Chester County’s Managing for Results Project Manager. “The article,” said the commissioners, “reflects favorably on the County.”

Phillips presented the revised priorities and goals during the Commissioners’ Sunshine meeting on Wednesday. Commenting on the results of the current strategic plan, Phillips reported that by the end of June, 97 percent of County’s performance results had met or exceeded expectations.

The revised Strategic Plan priorities and a summary of the revised goals include:

Under Health, Human Services & Environment, the County has set goals of improving community health, maintaining healthiest county status, promoting physical health and additional health and human services outreach. Also, the County will support the system of care, manage stormwater and flooding, improve water quality, preserve soil quality and have air quality outreach.

Under Public Safety, the County will maintain rapid 911 responses, ensure a safe community, advance technology use, and enhance capability of public safety professionals.

Under Economy, the County will support business financing, generate employment, promote tourism and grow agriculture.

Under Transportation, the County will improve the transportation infrastructure, address traffic congestion and create transportation choices.

Under Growth, the County will protect open space, support growth, revitalization and workforce housing opportunities and enhance community facilities.

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