JCC supervisors approve strategic planning goals

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James City County residents read about the strategic planning process during an open house March 30. (Staff photo by Kirsten Petersen)
James City County residents read about the strategic planning process during a March 30 open house. (Staff photo by Kirsten Petersen)

The James City County Board of Supervisors gave its approval Tuesday to a list of seven goals proposed for the county’s strategic plan.

The county began developing its first-ever strategic plan last summer as a way to identify community priorities and devise a plan to achieve its goals.

The goals were generated after a series of meetings with the county board supervisors and two advisory groups — the Strategic Planning Advisory Group, which consists of community leaders, and the Technical Advisory Group, which includes county staff.

Input also was sought from residents who attended two open houses on the strategic planning process on March 30.

Following those meetings, community goals were prioritized as follows:

  1. Sustainable long-term water supply
  2. Modern infrastructure, facilities and technology systems
  3. Expanded and diversifed economy
  4. Protected community character and enhanced built environment
  5. Exceptional public services
  6. High-quality education
  7. Fiscally efficient government

Open house attendees indicated their support for all the goals except the sixth, which originally was called “exemplary lifelong learning opportunities.”

Residents don’t see education as the primary role of county government, said Leigh Anne King, a principal and planner with Clarion Associates, the firm guiding the county through its strategic-planning process.

In response, Clarion Associates reworked the goal to focus on the county’s role as a funder of the Williamsburg-James City County School Division.

“What we’re really trying to focus on here is this idea of a true joint planning effort with the schools,” King said, adding that the county could commit to collaborating on facility improvements and other opportunities as they arise.

Vice chairman John McGlennon (Roberts) discouraged fellow county board supervisors from thinking “too narrowly” about the value of lifelong learning, noting that the county allocates “significant” funding to organizations like the Williamsburg Regional Library that provide lifelong learning opportunities.

The supervisors verbally affirmed the list of goals at the end of Tuesday’s meeting. Next the board and the advisory groups will evaluate actions and strategies that can be used to achieve the strategic planning goals.

Tuesday’s meeting concluded the second of five phases the county will go through in developing its strategic plan.

For more information about the strategic planning process, visit http://jccstrategy2035.org/.

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