Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Adams County Board of Commissioners Outlines Strategic Plan

The Adams County Board of Commissioners pushed its reform agenda forward with a two-day planning retreat Feb. 24-25, 2011 at the Adams County Government Center to discuss best practices for governing counties, examine deficiencies in current county practices and the organizational culture and to outline a strategic vision with the county’s department heads.

The board engaged the county administrator, county attorney and department directors in a frank and open discussion of the county’s immediate and long-term needs.

“The board of commissioners is committed to reform, starting at the top,” said Chairman W. R. “Skip” Fischer. “When the barn roof collapses, all of the sacred cows are killed. Our plan will address every aspect of governance from the adoption of governing policies to proactive transparency. We will earn back the trust of the people we serve.”

To this end, the board will hold itself accountable to five commitments:
1. The board will develop and adopt “rules of engagement” to increase effective communication and transparency between the board members and with the other county elected officials, key personnel and the citizens of Adams County.
2. The board will clarify in writing the roles, responsibilities and reporting structure of the county administrator and department directors.
3. Working in conjunction with the county administrator, county attorney and key staff, the board will review all of its current policies and procedures and publish a revised and standardized policy and procedures manual.
4. Working in conjunction with the county administrator and the county attorney, the board will initiate a more thorough investigation of expanding to five commissioners from the current three and/or moving toward home-rule county status (including the projected costs, timeline and long-term pros and cons to the taxpayers).
5. The board will release its updated vision, mission statement and list of priorities to the citizens of Adams County within 60 days.

The session was facilitated by Dr. David Knapp, president of the Thornton-based consulting firm, Marathon Leadership, LLC.

“As a resident of Adams County, I have a vested interest in helping improve my county government, and as the facilitator, I was extremely pleased with what we accomplished,” said Knapp. “All the participants were highly engaged and committed and I was impressed with the board’s openness. Facing the organization’s challenges won’t be easy, but if the board builds upon this newly set foundation, it can construct a solid future for Adams County."

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