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APPROVED MINUTES OF THE
CITY COMMISSION RETREAT

January 23, 2016
GVSU Seidman College of Business
9:00 A.M.
 
 
Present:  Commissioners:  Mayor Pro-Tem Michael Brown, Robert Coughlin, Jerry DeMaagd, Erwin Haas, Steve Redmond and Mayor Stephen Kepley.  Also present:  Kentwood Library Manager Cheryl Cammenga, Finance Director Tom Chase, IT Consultant Bob Coe, Human Resources Director Gail Dewey, Public Works Director John Gorney, Police Chief Tom Hillen, City Assessor Andy Johnson, Judge William Kelley, Fire Chief Brent Looman, Assistant Finance Director Lorna Nenciarini, Deputy Administrator Mark Rambo, Parks and Recreation Director Val Romeo, Deputy City Clerk Becky Schultz, Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, City Treasurer Laurie Sheldon, Assistant City Engineer Dan VanderHeide, Court Administrator Michele White and Michigan Municipal League facilitator Marilynn Semonick.
 
Mayor Pro-Tem Brown opened the meeting and asked Deputy Administrator Mark Rambo to present the Strategic Planning agenda.  Rambo explained desire to build shared expectations, standards and beliefs for the City, so that everyone is focused and moving in the same direction.  He introduced strategic planning facilitator Marilynn Semonick from the Michigan Municipal League, who gave an overview of the day’s schedule.
 
Guided discussion followed in groups and as a whole on the topics below, working toward the identification of key objectives for the City of Kentwood:
  • Foundation questions for Kentwood planning (What makes Kentwood unique? Why do people move here and stay here?)
  • More foundation questions for Kentwood planning (What makes Kentwood attractive to potential residents/businesses?How can we impact quality of life?What do we wish to maintain about our community?)
  • Opportunities and potential threats for Kentwood in the next five years
  • Strengths and areas of improvement to optimize opportunities and address potential threats
  • Identify key areas of focus and strategic objectives for Kentwood
  • Chart next steps and action items
Themes and key issues developed throughout the discussions, leading to consensus of the four over-arching objectives of Customer Service, Quality of Life, Financial Vitality, and Vibrant Community.
 
Next steps will be compilation of information from the facilitator and recording secretary; review and development of themes; request for citizen feedback; City leadership creation of strategic plan; City staff creation of action steps for execution of the plan; and City Commission formal approval of a one year strategic plan.
 
Mayor Kepley thanked the Commission and staff for their input and collaboration, and noted the continued need to focus on effective communication for the City, flowing from within the City offices and out into the community.  He affirmed that Kentwood is a fantastic community, and the City will strive to solidify Kentwood’s strengths and improve the level of service provided for residents.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 2:18 P.M.
 
 
 
 
Becky Schultz                                                             Michael Brown
Deputy City Clerk                                                      Mayor Pro-Tem