STRATEGIC PLAN FOR FOSS PARK DISTRICT

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1 STRATEGIC PLAN FOR FOSS PARK DISTRICT August 15, 2012 Foss Park District 1730 South Lewis Street North Chicago, IL

2 Foss Park District Strategic Plan BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS Lawrence Wade Kingston Neal Donna E. King Bernie Semasko Vernon McKinley President Vice-President Commissioner Commissioner Commissioner EXECUTIVE PLANNING COMMITTEE Lawrence Wade President, Board of Commissioners Kingston Neal Brad Skof Kevin Holley Vice - President Business Manager Executive Director CONSULTANTS Executive Service Corps of Chicago Bruce Jorgensen, Project Manager Linda Hamilton, Fran Stedronsky, Rob Bearman, Joe McFadden, and John Mayer

3 Foss Park District Strategic Plan Mission We are committed to providing parks, recreation, services and facilities to our culturally diverse population through the resources of community involvement, dedicated staff and sound management. Vision An innovative park district that adapts to our community and provides exceptional parks, recreation, and services. Core Values The Foss Park District pursues its mission and vision by demonstrating these five core values: Integrity We will practice steadfast adherence to a high moral and ethical code, and will reliably deliver on what we say we are going to do. Service Oriented We will focus our efforts on our customers and will operate the District based on the needs of the community. Teamwork The Board and staff will use a collaborative and cooperative team based approach that results in the best possible decisions for the greater good of the community. Excellence We will strive for the best in everything we do. Accountability We will work to achieve the most effective and efficient use of our financial resources while striving for the best return on the use of our assets.

4 TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary 2-4 Strategic Plan

5 Foss Park District Strategic Plan Executive Summary The Foss Park District Board and staff initiated a strategic planning process in late 2011 to set future direction for the Park District over the next four to five fiscal years ( ). During the initial phase of the strategic planning process, the Board and staff chose the consulting firm of Executive Service Corps of Chicago to help facilitate this effort. Executive Service Corps (ESC) became engaged in December of 2011 and helped in the initial formation of an Executive Planning Committee. It was through the combined efforts of ESC and the Executive Planning Committee that the various steps of the strategic planning process were coordinated. The Executive Planning Committee worked with the ESC consultants to review the Park District s mission statement, vision and core values. The following were adopted. Mission Statement: We are committed to providing parks, recreation, services and facilities to our culturally diverse population through the resources of community involvement, dedicated staff and sound management. Vision: An innovative park district that adapts to our community and provides exceptional parks, recreation, and services. Core Values: The Foss Park District pursues its mission and vision by demonstrating these five core values: Integrity Service Oriented Teamwork Excellence - Accountability. There were numerous sources of information that were utilized in the creation of the recommendations that form the basis for the strategic plan. All available demographic information was reviewed for potential trends and the consultants also reviewed all Park District financial statements. It was determined that additional information should be collected and therefore, during February and March of 2012, ESC did one-on-one interviews with the Board of Commissioners, the Executive Planning Committee, key full time and key part-time staff of the Park District and key leaders and partners in the City of North Chicago. A total of 42 interviews were conducted. Some of the highlights of the preliminary findings from all sources were as follows: 2

6 The North Chicago School District 187 (K thru 12) has 3860 students of which 13% are part of the military. 48% of the students are Hispanic and 42% are African American. There is a need for a full Community Needs Assessment to determine the right mix and types of programs that should be offered to the community. While there is an identified need for more programs, it is unclear as to which ones will be the most beneficial to the community. The Park District has generally good parks and facilities and available land for development and expansion. There are currently in place some sound business strategies for generating income with identified ideas for alternate income sources. There is a need to address diverse community needs which include bilingual materials as well as a bilingual staff. Communications within the Park District and externally to the community can be challenging and needs improvement. By reaching out to leaders in the community, the Park District appears to have an opportunity to take a leadership role in creating collaborations and partnerships that can benefit the entire community. The Park District faces a low tax base which is creating funding deficits and faces the reality that some kids/families simply may not have the means to pay the Park District fees. The history of adverse community issues can create perception concerns for the Park District. Based upon the preliminary findings and the Park District s vision and mission, the Executive Planning Committee and the Board of Commissioners agreed that the following four strategic initiatives should be addressed: 1. Programs - Recreational programs that address diversity and the changing interests and needs of the communities served 2. Communications Communications to the community AND for the community 3. Partnership and Collaboration - Leverage all of the strategic initiatives to provide the opportunity for the Foss Park District to lead in the community 4. Revenue Generation Comprehensive financial plan to ensure responsible management of resources, while generating new sources of revenue growth In May of 2012, ESC facilitated a retreat which initiated the process of the formation of committees to address each strategic initiative as well as launched the work on determining the goals and objectives for each initiative. Present at the retreat were the Board of Commissioners, the Executive Planning Committee and all members of the Park District staff who participated in the one-on-one interviews. 3

7 The objectives and action plans for the five strategic initiatives were reviewed by and approved by the Board of Commissioners on August 15, This strategic plan is the result of key stakeholders interviews, extensive Park District staff time and effort, research into the demographic and financial issues that might impact the Park District and overall best practices recommended by the consultants. The strategic plan should be thought of as a roadmap that the Park District can follow to achieve the success that they seek via their vision. 4

8 Foss Park District Strategic Plan Strategic Initiative # 1 - Programs - Youth, Senior, Educational (Health care, financial, mentoring, etc.). Sports (baseball, soccer, more basketball). 1. Conduct a Community Needs Assessment to obtain usable information from residents/shareholders in order to align programs and offerings of FPD with the needs and wishes of community. Additionally, use survey to begin process of reaching out to residents to foster a more positive attitude towards FPD. 2. Develop plan for continuous assessment of all programs to determine success/failure of programs; to change mindset of community; to have programs that will enhance the lives of residents and improve the way of life; to make best use of FPD s staff and facilities Strategic Initiative #2 - Communications Communications to the community AND for the community (community needs assessment required). 1. In an effort to better communicate with the community, assess community program and communication needs 2. Improve overall communications with and to the community/ies 3. Improve internal communications within the Foss Park District Strategic Initiative #3 - Partnership and Collaboration - This can leverage all of the strategic issues and FPD has the opportunity to lead the community. 1. Creation of an Executive Leadership Group to include government and business entities 2. Creation of a Staff Leadership Group to include City, School, Navy and Business Community 3. Creation of an Alliance with Current Foss Park Business Partners 4. Creation of partnerships with other park districts and special recreation programs 5

9 Strategic Initiative #4 - Revenue Generation - Continue innovative ways to generate revenue to support programs and facilities. 1. Develop a Rolling, 5 year Pro Forma Cash Flow Forecast Planning Tool 2. Identify New and Innovative Sources of Revenue and Expense Reductions 3. Form a Foundation with Aggressive Revenue Goals to Provide Program Scholarships for Needy Families in the Community 4. Increase Grants by Enhancing Grant Writing Capabilities 5. Develop a technology plan that will enable business processes to improve employee effectiveness, speed communications, lower operating costs and improve marketing capabilities 6