On Friday, February 18, the Napa City Council hosted its annual strategic plan workshop to discuss the importance of effective governance and establish the City’s priorities for the coming fiscal year.
To kick off the workshop, the Council reviewed its own governance processes and discussed ways to improve their effectiveness as individual Councilmembers and as a team. These include being clear on roles and responsibilities, holding themselves accountable, conducting productive Council meetings, and reviewing best practices of effective governance.
City staff also reviewed accomplishments and challenges of the last year, and provided a brief overview of the City’s financial outlook. After considerable deliberation on the many challenges and opportunities the City faces, the Council reached consensus on the following priorities (in no particular order) for FY 2022-23. Considerable work is already underway or planned for each of the focus areas in the upcoming fiscal year.
Recruitment and Workforce Stability:
Employees are at the heart of the services we provide to the community every day and there is a direct correlation between staffing levels and the amount of work that gets accomplished. As part of the hiring and workforce stability initiatives, the City has launched a recruitment campaign and hiring incentives for key positions to bring new talent to the City. Coupled with the new onboarding program roll-out, these recruitment strategies will produce even better-equipped local government operations to ensure that all community needs can be effectively served by the City of Napa.
The General Plan and Housing Element:
The Napa General Plan serves as the long-term vision for the City, taking into account Napa’s cherished past and vibrant present to build an even more livable, sustainable and inclusive future. Over the next year, substantial work will continue to coordinate public participation and review to ensure that the General Plan, Housing Element, and Downtown Specific Plan all reflect residents' interests. The adoption process is planned to be completed in calendar year 2022. Following adoption, the City will work to implement the goals outlined in the plan related to land use, housing, transportation, climate change, community facilities, parks and recreation, historic resources, health and safety, economic development and more.
Economic Development and Recovery:
The City has already taken strides to facilitate economic recovery and development, particularly following years of unexpected adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Achieving organizational financial stability is crucial to City of Napa operations; with this priority comes the continued exploration of revenue enhancing opportunities and implementation of more efficient systems, including greater use of technology, several updates to record keeping, contracting and claims processes. The City also plans to find and perpetuate ongoing opportunities to support Napa businesses, from establishing a long-term policy for parklets to administering a Small Business Support Program to implementing the ‘Make it in Napa’ action plan that encourages makers and artists to work in Napa.
The availability of housing at all levels, but especially affordable and workforce housing, remains a critical part of creating a livable community. Working hand in hand with the General Plan and Housing Element, the Council’s broad focus on housing will address an array of policy concerns and administrative updates and ensure the completion of City funded housing projects and other key developments. The City will continue to implement affordable housing projects and various housing assistance programs, from rental rehabilitation to accessory dwelling unit financing.
The impacts of climate change are affecting all of us, and the City of Napa is committed to helping to address these issues. Beyond managing the City’s response to water issues and leveraging organics recycling to create new biofuels, the City will develop and implement a Climate Action Plan as part of the Climate Change and Sustainability Element in the General Plan, as well as look for other opportunities to ensure a sustainable and enduring future.
While the focus of the City Council strategic planning workshop was largely structured around these five priorities that affect all areas of life in Napa, the Council recognizes there are additional important issues facing Napa residents, businesses, and community members at-large. The City of Napa is committed to addressing community concerns and areas of interest in the broad work plan for the fiscal year.
Community members can learn more about the established priorities, key milestones planned for FY 22-23, and other important public policy areas in the work plan outline: www.cityofnapa.org/CouncilPriorities.
Following the Council workshop, City staff have begun further development of the work plan and alignment of next year’s budget to accomplish these priorities and address other community issues. Residents can be on the lookout for additional information on the progress of the work plan and budget in upcoming months at www.CityOfNapa.org.