SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - From cities like Seattle and Dallas, to Santa Ana, California and Durham, North Carolina - establishing and implementing a strategic plan is becoming a more popular way for local government to focus on resources and set goals.
The city of Savannah is looking to join the trend, thanks to City Manager Rob Hernandez.
WTOC recently spoke to Savannah's strategic initiatives manager about the move and what it will mean for the city.
Hernandez knew if he was coming to Savannah, that he wanted to build a strategic plan. He also wanted someone to be the driving force behind that plan once it was established.
That's where Elizabeth Taschereau comes in.
"Mr. Hernandez hired me to take that plan and implement it, so we're going to have goals, action plans, performance measures, timelines, deadlines...and that's my job," Taschereau said.
The city has already begun the national search for a consulting firm to help them create the strategic plan. According to the job post, the firm will be working closely with city leaders and staff, getting their feedback as well as feedback from the public in upcoming meetings.
"It's a living document, and so we need someone that's going to keep moving forward with the plan, and obviously, that plan in a number of years will need to be updated. Many, many cities that I researched update their plan," Taschereau said.
The strategic plan will be a roadmap for Savannah City bureaus, and will help align the budget with things like public safety goals, as well as economic and capital improvement projects.
"We can't come in and change everything and do everything all at one time. Obviously, we had a budget deficit, so we need to figure out, how do we provide the core services in the best way for our residents and businesses. So I think really, that's what it comes down to, our community, serving our community," Taschereau said.
Tashcherau says she hopes the consultant search gets national attention. She also added that the post has already attracted some interest from firms. The cost for the service has yet to be determined, and the funds will come out of the city manager's budget.