Read the report: Joliet council, staff weigh city's strengths and weaknesses

5/13/2014, 9:36 p.m.
This is the first report as the Joliet City Council and city staff work on creating a new road map ...

This is the initial report in the Joliet City Council's effort to create a strategic plan for the future. Council members and staff were asked to determine Joliet's strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities. Later this week, Times Weekly columnist Wayne Horn will weigh with his thoughts on what the survey says and if the thinks the results are accurate.

Executive Summary

The City of Joliet engaged in a strategic planning process over three separate sessions facilitated by Craig Rapp, with the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University. The Mayor and Council met the evenings of February 11-12, 2014, followed by a meeting of senior staff on March 17. The three meetings yielded a draft strategic plan for the three-year period 2014-2016.

The strategic plan consists of a set of five strategic priorities, which are the highest priority issues for the next three years; a series of key outcome indicators, which describe desired outcomes and success measures; and a list of strategic initiatives, which define the actions that will be taken to ensure successful effort.

At the initial planning meeting on February 11, the Council discussed their operating environment. This included a discussion regarding the organization’s culture and value proposition. Following that discussion, the group conducted a review of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (a SWOT analysis), which uncovered the major challenges facing the City, ultimately leading to the adoption of a set of five strategic priorities.

On February 12, the group met to consider the five strategic priorities. They clarified the definitions of each to create a common understanding of the priority. This was followed by the development of a set of desired outcomes in each priority area. The outcomes were expressed in the form of key outcome indicators-which provide a measureable target for the outcomes.

On March 17, the senior management team developed a set of strategic initiatives for each priority that detailed the projects and programs that would be undertaken to reach the outcomes identified.

The strategic priorities, key outcome indicators and strategic initiatives are summarized on the following page:

City of Joliet- Strategic Plan Summary 2014-16

Strategic Priority

Key Outcome Indicator (KOI)



Strategic Initiatives

Fiscal Sustainability


Operating funds

Reserve balances

60-day oper reserve-all funds

a) Achieve minimum staffing

b) Implement financial system software

c) Complete implementation of payroll system software

d) Develop multi-year financial plan

General Fund

Operating costs

Economic Development


New Development

Construction value

10%- 2014

20%- 2015

30% -2016

a) Downtown incentive strategy

b) Downtown development strategy

c) Improve economic development administration


High quality jobs

100 jobs =/> Median income by 12/31/16

Commercial growth

Corporate offices

Regional/corporate HQ open by 12/31/16




Capital assets

Funded replacement

Plan and funding strategy all systems-adopted by 12/31/16

a) Infrastructure mapping-all capital assets

b) Conduct analysis-city owned facilities

c) Build system to analyze fleet

d) Develop downtown city facility fiber plan

City funded facilities


Sustainability plan & funding strategy-all facilities- in place by 12/31/16