Vail Daily column: Moving toward our vision, goals in 2016
Happy new year, Eagle County! We hope your holiday season was filled with friends, family and the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful place we call home.
Looking back at 2015, we have so much to celebrate. From the success of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, to the groundbreaking of the Castle Peak Senior Care Community, to the grand opening of the Gypsum-to-Dotsero portion of the Eagle Valley Trail, it was a banner year for our communities. Now, as we turn our attention to 2016, we’re eager to continue progress toward our mission: “Creating a better Eagle County for all,” and we want your help.
The foundation for our work is a newly adopted strategic plan, which provides a road map as we allocate resources, gauge our performance and ensure we are delivering quality services to you, our constituents. The plan in its entirety can be found at http://www.eagle county.us/strategicplan. For those who prefer the CliffsNotes version, please read on!
At the core of the strategic plan is a new vision:
Eagle County is made up of thriving communities for families and is home to a vibrant workforce, with personal health and wellness achievable for all. Our natural beauty is preserved through purposeful environmental stewardship. We are an international year-round resort destination with a diverse, resilient economy.
We’ve identified five goals to help us realize this vision and guide our decision-making and our budget for years to come:
• Eagle County is financially sound.
• Eagle County is a great place to live for all.
• Eagle County protects the natural environment.
• Eagle County promotes a diverse and resilient economy.
• Eagle County is a high-performing organization.
Goals without specifics are just nice-sounding phrases. To make our goals a reality, we have laid out objectives for each goal through 2020. We will review these annually to develop our policy and management agendas for the year. In the short term, we have developed action plans in all five areas. For example, in 2016 we will engage partners to increase the number of affordable housing units, advocate at the state and federal level for lower health care premiums, create affordable early childhood care and educational opportunities, complete design of the Eagle Valley Trail, engage residents in developing a climate action plan, support the establishment of more flights into the county, and revise and implement a robust economic development plan.
Internally, we will continue to grow our culture of continuous quality improvement, take a look at our service levels and assure they are based on community demands and available resources, and complete a multi-year capital improvement plan. This is just a small sample of action items for the year. As we track our results quarterly, we’ll make adjustments to ensure we are moving in the right direction.
Our plan will help ensure that we are being careful stewards of public resources. A large measure of our success depends upon input and engagement from residents. We invite you to help further shape these goals by joining us as we discuss issues critical to our future. We’re hosting a series of community conversations, beginning this winter, on three of our primary topics: affordable housing, climate change and early childhood development. The first conversations are on housing and are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Eagle County Paramedics Building in Edwards, and 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the El Jebel Community Center in El Jebel. Please watch for details at http://www.eaglecounty.us/commissioners.
In addition, we hope you’ll join us for the State of the County presentation at 11 a.m. Feb. 16 at our main campus in Eagle. Or, you can watch it live or on demand later at http://www.ecotv18.com. This annual event allows us to reflect on and share highlights from the previous year while setting the stage for the months ahead.
We wish you all the best in 2016 and look forward to working with you to make it a wonderful year.
The Eagle County Board of Commissioners is Jeanne McQueeney, Kathy Chandler-Henry and Jill Ryan.