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Farmington's 2013 goals are on track

It's not uncommon to set goals and then forget about them in a couple of months. But that's not the case for the Farmington City Council.

On Monday, Farmington city administrator David McKnight reviewed progress on five priorities set by council members earlier this year. The product of four separate goal-setting workshops, the list was formally approved by the city council in April.

The priority list includes goals to ensure the long term financial health of the city; position the city for future economic development; review the use and efficiency of city facilities; maintain the long term viability of city liquor operations; and continue communications with residents and partnerships with other local governments.

Each of those categories has several sub-goals to be met.

Six months into the year, both McKnight, and mayor Todd Larson see that work progressing.

"I'm pleased with the progress," Larson said. "Government works really slow, and sometimes it's really frustrating. But it works slow for a reason, because some issues are pretty complex and we need to take our time with them."

Six months into the year, progress has been made in more than half of the prioritized goals. Much of that work has come under the first goal relating to the city's finances. A new capital improvement plan for purchasing city vehicles and doing street projects was established early in the year.

Council has moved ahead on the second priority of increasing the city's economic development potential, as well. That's important to Larson, because it means bringing more businesses to the community, which was one of his own goals for the community.

"It's positioning the city for economic growth. There has been some good movement, way more than in previous years. I'll be even more happy when we see some contracts getting signed," Larson said. "With this amount of movement we've had so far, something is bound to happen soon."

McKnight points out that some of the goals are ongoing -- they start in 2013 and continue through the end of 2017 -- and some of the goals do not start for another year or two. That's intentional, he said. The list of goals and priorities council works off of includes one-, three- and five-year goals.

"That's one of the reasons I like this plan. Hopefully it will outlive us. It will just keep moving forward, whether it's a different council or a different administrator or different staff," McKnight said.

To keep the list of goals and priorities fresh, and to get direction when needed, McKnight plans to bring the list before council members on a quarterly basis. Doing so also helps track progress and map out the next steps.

"Council will look back at this document at the end of the year and add to it as they see fit. They want to add police and fire goals in the next year or so," McKnight said. "I'm happy with the work we've done to date, but we have a lot of work to do."

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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