Lexington City Council Embraces the Momentous Value of Citizen Involvement
Accepted by City Council October 14, 2013, completion of the 2020 strategic planning process marks the third citizen-led strategic planning effort in Lexington, embodying the sentiment of "creating an intentional future." The first strategic plan was developed between 1988 and 1991, proving to be the most successful citizen-led, long range planning effort in the history of the City with over 100 citizens involved and 22 recommendations; of which 19 were accomplished. Challenge 2000, compiled by a committee of 27 dedicated members, resulted in an extensive update of recommendations and has served as the City's blueprint for strategic progress over the last decade with passionate focus on education, economic development and quality of life issues.
Unlike previous strategic plans for Lexington, the 2020 RENAISSANCE plan is not a continuation; nor is it built on the work of previous strategic plans. Instead, new Census data released from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011 created the focal point for analysis. In anticipation of significant population and demographic changes from the 2000 Census data, City Management envisioned the importance of a fresh strategic planning process to better understand citizen needs for the community and to identify the “new face of Lexington;” and thus, create an empowered citizen link to help craft the design and future workplan for meeting the needs of the community.
The second primary objective for City Management with the third strategic plan was to solicit feedback from the citizens regarding satisfaction with City Government services. A goliath effort ensued to gather close to 500 participants in a citizen survey, which was deemed integral to fully assess the perceptions of City service levels. With these two key components as the research framework, the strategic planning process would analyze and ultimately identify key focus areas for government and partner agencies to rebuild a greater future for Lexington.
Lexington Strategic Planning Committee Deserving of the Highest Commendation
In February 2011, former Mayor John T. Walser, Jr. announced the names of the citizens appointed to lead Lexington’s third strategic planning effort. City Council established the Lexington Strategic Planning Committee (LSPC) and collaborated with the Mayor to appoint the Committee members. With extensive involvement required over the past two and a half years, the following dedicated citizens deserve tremendous credit for serving diligently on the committee: Al Armstrong, Alan Bailey, Robin Bivens, Dan Briggs, Keith Curry, Eric Henderson, Chad Hodges, Ann Hoffman, Michael Holshouser, Antionette Kerr, Rick Kriesky, Robert Mack, Amy McNeill, Charlotte Roberts, Elizabeth Shive, Reynolds Shoaf, Ted Smith, Greg Turlington, Mike Turlington and Jane Whitehurst.; with current Mayor Newell Clark serving as an ex-officio member and Director of Business and Community Development Tammy Absher serving as a key staff liaison. Tompkins Consulting and Seyfried & Associates facilitated the strategic planning process, which is dedicated to former City Manager John L. Gray.
The Lexington Strategic Planning Committee appointees were sought to represent a diverse cross section of the community. Professionals from banking, insurance, real estate, non-profits, tourism, housing, criminal justice, manufacturing, accounting, consumer services, communications and the faith community were appointed to the Committee. Displaying tremendous leadership, Mike Turlington generously agreed to Chair the committee. Mr. Turlington owns and operates Turlington and Company, a CPA firm with a history in Lexington since 1945. Mr. Turlington has served as a member and chaired a number of local non-profit organizations: Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce, Uptown Lexington, Inc., United Way of Davidson County and the Davidson County Airport Authority.
Naming Convention and the Recommendations of the Strategic Plan
In September 2011, two suggested names were reviewed by the LSPC members. The LSPC energetically discussed the pros and cons of the recommendations and indicated being pleased with the idea of Lexington having a “renaissance” or intellectual, artistic and formative transition period of revival. The LSPC voted unanimously to name the strategic plan 2020 Renaissance – A Strategic Plan for a Greater Lexington.
2020 Renaissance - A Strategic Plan for a Greater Lexington includes recommendations in the following eleven focus areas:
- Business/Job Development
- Public Relations/Branding/Marketing
- Depot District
- Hispanic Population
- Neighborhood Stabilization/Community Design
- Population Growth
- Recreation/Community Centers
Visit the following links to access a summary of the recommendations, the complete detailed report regarding the results of the Lexington Strategic Plan Committee or what has been accomplished to date:
Overview of Recommendations contains a concise summary of information addressing each of the eleven recommended focus areas.
2020 Renaissance - A Strategic Plan for a Greater Lexington is the entire plan including 2010 census data and citizen survey results.
Accomplishments to Date is a review of what has been accomplished so far.