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Commissioners, Staff Identify Focus Areas for Strategic Planning

The Board of Commissioners and County department heads have completed their next round of discussions on Buncombe County’s Future Strategic Plan. On Sept. 17, the Board reviewed the results of the July Strategic Planning Session and moved forward by establishing four focus areas for the plan:

  • Environmental stewardship
  • Educated and capable community
  • Vibrant economy
  • Resident well-being

For each of these focus areas, Commissioners and Department Heads discussed the vision and key goals. To support these discussions, everyone was asked to consider: “If every other area of our operation remained at its current level of performance, what is the one area where change would have the greatest impact?”

While the goals have not been finalized at this time, the discussions showed commonality amongst Commissioners and staff. Below are a few of the ideas that were brainstormed during the session: (Note, this is just a sneak peek, and additional input will be gathered from the public and employees before these goals are finalized.)

  • Environmental stewardship: reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Educated and capable community: Increase access for the elderly to community programs and services.
  • Vibrant economy: increase median income from current levels.
  • Resident well-being: decrease incidences of chronic conditions.

Additionally, the plan identifies a set of foundational components that are necessities for County operations. These foundational components are:

  • Strong Infrastructure (information technology, facilities, risk management, evaluation, and administration) committed to best-in-class performance to support Commissioners and their strategic focus areas
  • Resources: the funding, talent, and partnerships that enable high quality delivery of services.

What’s next?

Through the end of 2019, Commissioners will continue to work with staff to further define the strategic plan. This process will include eight public engagement sessions beginning in late October. These sessions will be structured around the four focus areas and include representatives from the County’s more than 35 boards and commissions, as well as the public at-large.

Additionally, employee engagement sessions will be hosted beginning in late November with the goal of adopting Buncombe County’s Five-Year Strategic Plan at a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners in January. Stay tuned to County Central for more information on the upcoming schedule for public and employee engagement sessions.

The end result will be an ambitious plan that meets the dynamic needs of our community and that all employees can see themselves in. We look forward to working with all of you as we continue our mission to improve the lives of Buncombe County residents.