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Local

Aldermen approve Geneva's strategic plan for 2025

Input from 600 residents guided the plan's priorities

GENEVA – Geneva aldermen unanimously recommended approval of a new Strategic Plan for 2025 at the Committee of the Whole on Oct. 8.

The 23-page plan is a collaborative effort of the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee to identify the city’s strengths and areas that require improvement. Work on the plan began in November 2016; it was updated in July and involved input from the public, chairwoman Elizabeth Clements said.

Input included an interactive session with about 30 people who attended Sept. 20 at the public works facility.

“We answered questions, clarified things, got their feedback,” Clements said. “We had a wall set up that said, ‘In 2025, Geneva is …’ and as people left the meeting, we asked them to fill out on the Post-it to complete the sentence.”

Some examples: “In 2025, Geneva is a vibrant, diverse community that constantly attracts new residents and businesses,” “the friendliest, most welcoming city in Illinois,” “a diverse, accepting community,” and “a great place to visit and to live.”

The combination of feedback from focus groups and surveys and public forums, “all together, the document that sits before you represents well more than 600 individuals from this community who contributed their thoughts and ideas for the plan,” Clements said.

The five areas of the strategic plan are economic vitality, strong governance, environmental stewardship, excellent municipal service and quality of life.

Each section includes the vision, the outcome, objectives, action items and performance measures, she said.

For example, under strong governance, the city should develop a biannual community survey to benchmark satisfaction and develop a “Citizens Academy” to promote an informed public and connect with residents interested in public service.

Fifth Ward Alderman Craig Maladra said this was the first update to the city’s strategic plan since the Great Recession.

“I really do think this is a well-done plan,” Maladra said. “This is one of the cornerstones of the framework we use – along with the comprehensive land use plan – to set policy and make decisions. This does a very good job of updating that framework and putting something in place to guide us.”

The draft plan is available on the city’s website, www.geneva.il.us. The City Council will take final action.

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