City continues to build on its mission

Published 8:58 am Monday, October 3, 2011

Column: Chad Adams, Positively Albert Lea

In a time where attention to government has included debt crises, shutdowns and uncertainty on funding sources to support local services, it may be hard to imagine that local governments are able to prepare and position their communities for a brighter future.

The city of Albert Lea is fortunate to have strong mission, vision and value statements that serve as a foundation to build upon within the organization and the community.

The city’s mission statement is to: “deliver exceptional services that enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.”

Chad Adams

The city’s vision is to: “create a community that we are proud to call home and others can’t wait to visit.”

The city’s values include statements in the areas of respect, integrity, pride, innovation, appreciation, collaboration and planning.

The mayor, City Council and department heads recently conducted a goal-setting session at a retreat in August that resulted in goals being established for the next 18 months.

The defined goals emulated the city’s mission, vision and value statements.

One primary goal is to ensure that the city provides high-quality customer service, which reflects the city’s respect for our citizens. Another goal involves strengthening our internal policies and processes, which will create more clarity, efficiency and accountability, but also an expectation of integrity in our work.

In addition to creating new goals for the future, we must also take pride and appreciation in the accomplishments of the past.

In 2004 the community completed the Albert Lea Listens strategic planning process. Some examples of strategic actions implemented include the creation of the Historic Preservation Commission, an expansion of the public library, lengthening the airport runway and Collaborations between the city and Freeborn County on service delivery such as information technology and law enforcement.

Recognizing the need to build on the positive achievements from Albert Lea Listens, city leaders established a goal to begin the planning and revisiting of the strategic plan, which includes updating community actions for the next seven to eight years.

The Farmland Foods site will once again be a conversation point in strategic planning, and the city is including the community in the decision process of developing a common vision for the site. There have been a number of creative concepts prepared for the site in the past through Albert Lea Listens, the city’s comprehensive plan and the Minnesota Design Team. However, it will require the city and community to be innovative in not only visioning, but also implementing a plan for the site.

The city also desires to build on the positive momentum already created by revitalizing Albert Lea’s historic downtown and by further advancing the Blue Zones/Vitality Project.

The downtown initiative, Vitality Project and strategic plan will all require community participation and action in the next 18 months to both preserve and improve Albert Lea’s high quality of life.

We look forward to working with the community on these goals and thank you for all of your past community involvement and achievements!

Chad Adams is the city manager of Albert Lea.