2021 a year to begin anew

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The mayor and city council continue to work to advance the vision for the city as an organization and our community.

Our team began a new strategic planning process back in late 2017. The process was overseen by Northern Illinois University and included multiple community engagement meetings with residents, business owners and employers, along with two meetings with the mayor, city council and department heads. 

From these meetings, the council identified five priorities for staff to focus on. These included economic & business development, financial management & stability, community inclusivity & engagement, infrastructure effectiveness & improvement and finally, core service delivery.

From these key priority areas, they developed several long-term and short-term goals which became the foundation for all work in each department. Some of these included the creation of a 20-year CIP; improving/creating more intergovernmental partnerships; addressing community blight; promote, enhance, and retain small business development; and explore and develop strategies for industrial growth.

I’ve been involved in local government for over 18 years and have worked on numerous strategic plans. The plan approved in 2018 is the one I am most proud of.

The current plan was formulated with extensive input from the community and our elected officials and each initiative (especially during the pandemic) our staff pursued was tied back to the five core areas of focus.

Fast forward to 2021, we have a new mayor, two new council members, new leadership within our team and we are coming out of a pandemic. The time has come to update the current plan based on our past successes and disappointments as an organization. 

The new plan will offer even more opportunity for community input with three community focus groups. The mayor and city council members will conduct personal interviews with key NIU staff along with two planning workshops.  

I am very excited for this new process to begin and am humbled to be part of a new plan that will continue moving our great community forward.  If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me at City Hall at 561-2000 or via email at jfiegenschuh@rochelleil.us.

“Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth it.”-Bob Marley

Jeffrey A. Fiegenschuh, ICMA-CM, MPA, is the city manager of Rochelle.