Chester County has undergone major growth and rapid change over the last decade. This growth led to a decision by the Commissioners to review the government's priorities for the future. It also contributes to the Commissioners' goals to increase accountability, transparency, and performance in Chester County government.
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A strategic plan helps an organization to focus its energy, to ensure employees are working towards the same goals and enables an organization to effectively manage its resources. A strategic plan ensures a consistent focus for decision-making and performance (of individuals and departments).
Strategic planning offers the opportunity to:
Managing for Results is a comprehensive and integrated management system that focuses on achieving results for the customer which makes it possible for departments to demonstrate accountability to the taxpayers.
Chester County had grown and changed rapidly over the prior ten years. The Board of Commissioners decided that a new set of priorities and goals should be established through a strategic plan that would meet the needs of citizens today and for the future.
Chester County’s strategic plan makes clear what the County does, how well it does it, what it costs, and the value Chester County citizens receive. It helps the Commissioners, and all County departments, to prioritize their efforts, maximizing the services provided, at the most efficient cost.
From start to finish, the initial strategic planning process took two years.
Managing for Results is the underlying message of Chester County’s strategic plan. That means that department business plans are written – and subsequently implemented – to achieve measurable results.
As a result of the strategic planning effort and use of Managing for Results, the County is able to offer more accountability and address three critical issues:
The goals adopted by the County Commissioners are currently divided into seven priority areas.
The current goals adopted by the Commissioners were developed based on responses from the two county-wide citizen surveys conducted in 2009 and 2013, consultation with County department heads, key staff, and subject matter experts, and suggestions offered by over 150 community leaders who participated in facilitated discussion groups held throughout 2013.
Some goals will be met with direct input from County departments, while others will be met through indirect initiatives by the County.
For instance, one of the goals is that by 2019, 30 percent of the acreage in Chester County will be preserved for open space, consistent with the goals of the county’s Landscapes 2 planning guide. To attain that goal, the Department of Open Space Preservation will work to distribute the funds the County has budgeted for open space preservation. Chester County’s Planning Commission staff will work with individual municipalities to help them achieve open space efforts.
Another one of the Commissioners’ goals – that of keeping the crime rate low – will be achieved through indirect initiatives. In this instance, the County provides support, training, and forensic services to our local law enforcement partners.