Priorities Determined at Paducah Board of Commissioners – Management Team Retreat

Date of release:  November 16, 2017

The Paducah Board of Commissioners, City Manager Jeff Pederson, and Department Directors spent the day in a retreat to develop goals and priorities for the City.  The retreat was held at the Murray State University Paducah Regional Campus.  Julia Novak, president of the Novak Consulting Group, facilitated the interactive workshop. 

Last night, Novak, Pederson, and the Board met for several hours to discuss topics such as good governance, governing relationships and roles among Board members, the Manager, and management team, and expectations from each other, the City Manager, and administration.

Today’s agenda kicked off with each member of the Paducah Board of Commissioners sharing their beliefs about the future of Paducah.  The next activity focused on reviewing events and actions that have occurred over the past five decades to shape the City.  The Board then was asked how they would like Paducah to be labelled ten years from now.  The Board members presented the following labels:  Hitting our Stride, A New Paducah, Growth and Progressive, A Wonderful Place to Live and Work, and A Leader in Innovation and Modern Economic Growth. 

The Board then brainstormed to develop categories, also known as key performance areas, in which to place specific projects, programs, or policies.  That process then led to an exercise in which each Board member listed specific priorities for the City of Paducah government for the next 12 to 24 months.  More than three dozen ideas were presented.  After a couple of rounds of voting, the following 13 priorities came to the forefront:

  • Develop a clear process for managing constituent service requests;
  • Continue with the implementation of the Enterprise Resource Planning software;
  • Implement performance-based budgeting;
  • Update the Paducah Human Rights Commission;
  • Develop the riverfront area that used to be the site of the Executive Inn (this area is also called the Commons);
  • Complete current projects that are underway including the Comprehensive Storm Water Master Plan, City Hall Phase I Rehabilitation, and the Noble Park Tennis Court Shelter/Restroom Facility;
  • Develop a comprehensive infrastructure improvement plan;
  • Develop a bike plan for connecting and recreation;
  • Launch a neighborhood empowerment model;
  • Establish a creativity/arts commission;
  • Assist local community groups with their growth plans;
  • Develop a shared agenda with McCracken County;
  • Develop a regional 911 collaboration agreement.

The next step is for the management team to work the Paducah Board of Commissioners to define each of these priorities and develop a work plan that would include items such as staffing, necessary resources, and timelines.  Novak suggested that the Board and management team ask the following questions for each of the priorities:

  1. What problem are we solving, or what opportunity are we seizing?
  2. What does success look like?

The retreat ended with each participant providing their reflection on the day which was filled with hard work, great discussions, and a variety of ideas on how to advance Paducah.

Commissioner Sarah Stewart Holland quoted the character Jimmy Dugan from the movie, A League of Their Own.  Dugan said, "It's supposed to be hard.  If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it.  The hard ... is what makes it great." 

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