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Goals to set 2012 priorities

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At their Nov. 21 meeting, Village Council members held an initial discussion regarding Council’s principles and goals for 2012, a topic generally addressed prior to approving the budget as a way to set Council priorities. Council will revisit the goals discussion at its Dec. 5 meeting and will vote on the 2012 budget near the beginning of the new year.

This Council has maintained its six overarching principles for the past several years, with the more specific goals changing yearly, depending on progress made. At the Nov. 21 meeting, Council members identified completed goals to remove from the list as well as new goals to add.

The following is a preliminary draft of 2012 goals suggested by Council members, which have not yet been approved by Council.

Principle #1: Deepen democratic decision-making processes with active citizen participation and effective representative governance.

Ongoing goals:

• Support Cable Access Panel’s efforts to provide Web access of meeting videos.

• Complete/update Council rules and procedures.

• Hold an annual Council retreat to discuss effective governance, process and procedures.

• Meet annually, or as necessary, with Miami Township Trustees and Yellow Springs school board.

• Review size, quorums, etc. of all commissions with commission members to increase effectiveness.

• Develop procedure/policy to process requests from local organizations seeking funding.

Principle #2: Be an excellent employer and provider of services within a responsible fiscal framework.

Ongoing goals:

• Assist in whatever ways are feasible in the hiring, training and orientation of key new staff and understand the limitations that may be encountered as a result of new staff.

• Discuss upgrade of maintenance/employee co-ed facilities at Sutton Farm.

Goals completed in 2011:

• Complete plan for sidewalk repairs ensuring accessibility.

• Hold sewer rate discussion.

• Negotiate RFP/contract for solid waste removal and recycling.

• Discuss rate adjustment related to gardening water use.

• Establish a fair and consistent process for staff evaluations and compensation.

New goals for 2012:

• Hold discussion on use of surveillance cameras, review current placement of cameras and consider surveillance camera policies.

• Hold discussion on community policing and community values regarding policing, in context of police chief search.

• Review policing policy considerations.

Principle #3: Be a welcoming community of opportunity for people of diverse races, ages, sexual orientations, belief systems, cultures, abilities and incomes.

Ongoing goals:

• Explore partnerships for the construction or rehabilitation of housing that is permanently affordable for families with low to moderate income.

• Determine appropriate methods for gathering information on current housing stock, both renter and owner occupied, and compare with regional housing quality, cost and design. Use this information to develop policies regarding future housing development.

• Descriptive materials about the Village by the Village, including Web site and outreach materials, will reference the historic role of the African-American community in Yellow Springs.

Goals completed in 2011:

• Explore inclusionary zoning legislation to allow higher density building and streamlining of procedures (zoning code update underway).

• Implement “Swimming for All” program.

Principle #4: Pursue a strong economy that provides diverse employment, a stable tax base and supports the values of the community.

Ongoing goals:

• Include regional economic development and employment resources on Village economic development Web site.

• Approve the Economic Sustainability Plan and set a process in motion that will actively support retaining existing businesses, enable business growth and help in new business development.

• Establish a set of incentives for business growth that is focused on retaining/adding jobs and increasing the income tax base in meaningful and measurable ways.

• Update marketing materials to highlight Antioch College, Antioch University Midwest and village schools.

• Develop an inventory of properties for business including existing buildings and available vacant land.

• Facilitate infrastructure completion and development of the CBE.

• Consider policies regarding Village purchasing, hiring and contracting practices which remove barriers to local, minority and women-owned enterprises and others underrepresented in the workforce.

• Establish benchmarks for economic sustainability, with the assistance of the Economic Sustainability Commission, that incorporate visioning results and input from other relevant sources.

• Investigate how to leverage our Enterprise Funds as a development incentive, as a funding source for development incentives as well as incentives for energy efficiency projects.

• Engage in a discussion with downtown business and property owners regarding cleanliness, maintenance and safety issues downtown, including replacement of trash cans.

• Coordinate institutions and individuals working on economic development, including incubation, mentoring, funding and infrastructure.

• Review and re-work the revolving loan fund.

Principle #5: Seek, in all our decisions and actions, to reduce the carbon footprint of the community and encourage sound ecological practices throughout.

Ongoing goals:

• Develop an energy conservation plan which reduces Village government and -village-wide energy use by 3 percent (Energy Board).

• Fund continued efficiencies of Village facilities at $50,000 per year (Energy Board).

• Seek advice from Energy Board regarding ways to increase workplace energy efficiency of Village facilities.

• Continue to work with AMP to seek green energy sources.

• Follow through with Melink/SolarVision with local solar energy project.

Principle #6: Provide careful, creative and cooperative stewardship of land resources.

Ongoing goals:

• Continue discussions regarding use of Village-owned land to meet the needs of the community.

• Update zoning code. Include inclusionary zoning, smart growth principles identified in the visioning process; review zoning recommendations in the OSU Sustainable Yellow Springs document.

• Explore a plan for Xenia Avenue streetscape improvements that will include a facade program and improved amenities like lights and trash cans; include cost estimates;

• Commit estate tax monies (through 2011) to Green Space Fund per Council policy.

• Discuss future funding of Green Space Fund when estate taxes lapse.

• Continue work on Cemetery Street affordable housing project.

• Continue process to achieve funding for Safe Routes to Schools.

• Continue process to achieve funding for Northern Gateway.

Completed goals:

• Discussion of community gardens on public land.

In additional Nov. 21 Council business:

• Council approved the first reading of the annexation of a Dayton-Yellow Springs Road right of way as part of the Center for Business and Education, or CBE, ongoing development.

According to a memo from Village Manager Mark Cundiff, the annexation of this 1.177 acres of land is necessary so that Village corporation limits can be extended westward to the western property line of the Yellow Springs schools property, allowing for the extension of the 35-mile speed limit westward.

• Council approved awarding a contract for an Infill and Infiltration Study of the Village wastewater treatment plant to LJB Engineering. Council had in July authorized Cundiff to apply for and enter into a Water Pollution Control Loan Fund loan agreement for $50,000 for the study, which is necessary to improve the plant’s effectiveness.

• Council’s next regular meeting is 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5, at Council chambers.

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