Council sets 2015 goals, city admin expectations

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Goals in sight for council

The city of Austin has some new goals.

The Austin City Council approved a list of goals and overarching strategies Tuesday it hopes the city can accomplish in 2015.

Those strategies include keeping Austin a safe place, connecting with citizens more, developing more ways to grow Austin and maintain its amenities, keep city infrastructure running as efficient as possible and emphasize economic development for the city.

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“It’s a very productive process,” City Administrator Craig Clark said.

Some goals have already been achieved, such as the Austin Police Department’s new Tip411 online application that allows residents to anonymously report crimes. Others, such as completing the Oak Park Mall purchase agreement to turn the property over to Hy-Vee, may take longer to finish.

Clark said it was beneficial for city staff to get specific direction on the council’s priorities, even with its obvious issues such as working more closely with Vision 2020.

“It gives city staff better direction,” he said.

The council has made great strides in setting and achieving goals in recent years. Before last year, the council used to set priorities for the city that may or may not have been accomplished. That changed when the council set hard goals to achieve in 2014, and the city looks to continue that process.

Council Member Judy Enright said she approved of the goals process because the council could always add more specific projects under each strategy as issues arise.

Council members also approved criteria to measure Clark’s performance over the next few months. Clark, who started as city admin on Dec. 8, will be reviewed largely on how well he carries out goals set in the city of Austin’s city administrator job description.

Council Member Jeff Austin said it was important to also measure Clark’s effectiveness at being a leader. The city will update Clark’s goals to reflect leadership criteria over the next week.