Council, city staff develop mission statement

By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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Lincoln City Council and city staff members developed a mission statement and identified strategic goals by consensus at a special meeting Jan. 29.

Mayor Stan Nader and council members Spencer Short, Gabriel Hydrick, Paul Joiner and Peter Gilbert participated in the strategic planning meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Catta Verdera Country Club along with Lincoln City Manager Jim Estep, city clerk Pat Avila, Interim Police Chief Paul Shelgren, Interim Fire Chief Mike Davis, development services director Rod Campbell and public services director Mark Miller.

The News Messenger sat in on the session from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

Nine public members also attended during those hours and Phil Rodriguez of Lewis Planned Communities, who represents the landowner in the future Village 7 housing development, spoke. Rodriguez gave an update on where Village 7 is in the planning process. Rodriguez said he “couldn’t promise” construction would begin this year.

Village 7 consists of 515 acres of land, which would result in the building of 3,285 residences, 12 acres of commercial space and 281 acres of open space, according to previous News Messenger reports.

“We are glad to see the housing market taking off and steadily increasing,” Rodriguez said. “That makes us feel good about this project.”

Rodriguez said the city and county are working on a tax-sharing agreement, which is a precursor to the annexation process.

“We’d like to get our project in place so when spring rolls around, we can get a grading permit,” Rodriguez said.

By 11 a.m., council members and city staff agreed on a mission statement, which said, “The mission of the city of Lincoln is to provide high quality, cost effective and efficient municipal services to enhance the quality of life for our current and future residents, businesses and visitors.”

Before drafting a mission statement, professional facilitator Marilyn Snider helped the group list strengths, weaknesses, external factors and trends affecting the city and threats to the city.

Snider, who has worked with cities including Citrus Heights since its incorporation 16 years ago, made a list for each category.

Included in the strengths category were “buildable land, the renegotiation of employee contracts, the opening of the Highway 65 bypass, a balanced General Fund budget, Lincoln’s regional airport, the lowest crime rate in Placer County, police and fire departments doing a great job despite being understaffed, great parks, several thousand acres of open space, strong downtown and being a

full-service city.”

On the weaknesses list, participants listed “lack of revenue, lack of staffing, division on the council, city staff members wearing too many hats, an increase in the demand for services while having limited resources, undue influence from special interest groups, retail leakage, competing priorities brought up at City Council meetings by City Council members, lack of staff training, and city employees feeling unappreciated and not receiving significant recognition.”

External factors or trends listed included “an improving economy, access to a good water supply, improved cash flow from higher property values, the proximity to Sacramento, the Highway 65 Bypass opening up land for development, improved access to Lincoln’s regional airport, downtown merchants development of a marketing plan, improved cooperation with Placer County, empty storefronts available for retail, and opportunity for tourism access to 15 boutique wineries in the area.”

Participants listed as threats to the city “diminishing cash flow, increasing state and federal regulation, the possibility for railroad derailments, Union Pacific not communicating its maintenance plans properly with the city, hazardous materials carried on train cars, conflicts with the Western Placer School District over the building of new schools, a democratic supermajority in the state legislature, and state and national economies.”

The participants agreed upon strategic goals for the city, which were financial stability, infrastructure maintenance and improvements, improve staffing and council unity, according to Short, who said the city’s strategic plan will be on the city council’s next meeting agenda for presentation to the council Feb. 12.