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Expanded fiscal management, public safety, sustainability actions highlight Town Council goals for 2019

The Town Council on Feb. 11, 2019 adopted a fresh set of goals for 2019, including an expanded section on fiscal management.

As in recent years, the goals are grouped by category with a category description and a list of possible actions for implementation:

  1. Effective Leadership
  2. Sustainable Community
  3. Fiscal Management
  4. Engaged Citizens
  5. Effective Boards and Committees
  6. Improved Infrastructure, Facilities, Public Safety, and Services

Public Safety is included this year in the last category on improved infrastructure, facilities and services.

Town Council Chair Jamie Garvin also drew attention to new items in the "Sustainable Community" category referencing the 2019 Comprehensive Plan update scheduled for review and adoption; and, the consideration of developing and adopting a "coastal access plan" for fishermen and for the public, as recommended in the 2018 report from the Harbors Committee.

The Comprehensive Plan is also referenced in the fiscal-management and improved infrastructure category; and the Harbors Committee report is referenced in the infrastructure category under improved access for commercial and recreational watercraft in the Kettle Cove/Crescent Beach area.

Garvin characterized the goals as guide for establishing "to-dos" for the Town Council and town staff; and for individual boards and committees that might be working in support of the goals.

Here is a link to the status of council goals for 2018.

Here are goals approved by the council for 2019:


Cape Elizabeth Town Council Goals

  1. Effective Leadership

    We will provide leadership for the community by enhancing good governance aspects such as transparency, accountability and integrity, and ensuring strong management structures.

    Potential Implementation Opportunities
    • Work with the town manager to commit to the development and implementation of services that address community needs, always keeping the One Town concept in mind.
    • Encourage the town manager to continually evaluate optimal organization/structure of departments and utilization of staff, along with ongoing succession planning and professional development in all departments.
    • Continue to examine opportunities to share services and resources with other communities and regional organizations.
    • More actively advocate for Cape Elizabeth with state legislators and others groups focused on promoting issues and interests of importance to our community.
    • Demonstrate through action adherence to the town council rules and Code of Ethics.

  2. Sustainable Community

    We are committed to a sustainable future and implementation of policies and projects to improve the social, economic, and environmental well being of the community.

    Potential Implementation Opportunities

    • Oversee review and final acceptance of the updated Comprehensive Plan, and begin implementation of recommendations.
    • Initiate work on a strategy for how the town will address and respond to issues associated with climate change, including setting measurable, time-based goals.
    • Review funding mechanisms for land preservation and for the stewardship of the town's open
    • Support opportunities to enhance the community's diversity.
    • Consider crafting a coastal access plan, including both public access and specific access for commercial fishermen as outlined in recommendations from the 2018 Harbors Committee report.

  3. Fiscal Management

    We will develop budgets and manage finances in a way that balances the established priorities of the town with economic realities, in alignment with public policy, financial oversight, and operational accountability.

    Potential Implementation Opportunities
    • Maintain a spirit of openness and transparency while being fully accountable to the public for
      the town's fiscal activities.
    • Ensure that any new goal or program is reviewed with business model principles.
    • Review all town funding sources, seeking opportunities to optimize existing revenues while also identifying areas of potential new revenues.
    • Work with the town manager and new finance director to evaluate potential new strategic planning, financial planning, and budgeting processes.
    • Monitor and evaluate the new senior citizen tax relief program.
    • Take advantage of budget and/or service-level efficiencies gained from cooperative purchasing and resource sharing with neighboring towns, cities, and other regional entities.
    • Pending approval of the Comprehensive Plan, consider appropriate ways to support economic development and revitalization opportunities, specifically in the town center area.

  4. Engaged Citizens

    We will improve and expand communications with citizens and other stakeholders.

    Potential Implementation Opportunities
    1. Continue public forums on specific issues and topics of interest to members of the community.
    2. Explore new ways to solicit public input including citizen surveys.
    3. Develop new communications tools and better leverage existing ones to disseminate information to the public, including the creation of a monthly email newsletter from town hall.
    4. Continue with standardized response protocol for citizen inquiries and communications, and considering formalizing as policy.

  5. Effective Boards and Committees

    We will work with advisory boards and committees to ensure strong focus and alignment of priorities.

    Potential Implementation Opportunities

    1. Conduct an annual orientation and information session for all boards and committees. Ensure standardized agenda format, including public comment opportunities, are being utilized.
    2. Request each board and committee to present annual goals and work plans by March 31. Council to provide direction to committees on conceptual basis, while respecting each committee's freedom to recommend solutions.
    3. Implement a system of reporting to enhance communication between the council and committees, including potential regular updates at monthly workshops or regular meetings.
    4. Recognize the service of the town's volunteers.

  6. Improved Infrastructure, Facilities, Public Safety, and Services

    We will continue to improve and enhance municipal infrastructure, facilities, public safety, and delivery of services.

    Potential Implementation Opportunities
    • Continue to make traffic safety improvements throughout town, as well as continue to review issues with tourism related traffic in specific areas and work with public safety and public works to develop mitigation initiatives.
    • Work with the town manager and fire/rescue chief on the development of a long-range plan for continued delivery of services.
    • Work with the Fort Williams Park Committee to continually review the mission, vision and financial sustainability of Fort Williams Park. Once the Comprehensive Plan is approved, begin work to update the Fort Williams Park master plan. Continue to assess/adjust current revenue sources and evaluate opportunities for new ones.
    • Continue to provide programming and services through Community Services that focus on all demographics within the community, notably the growing senior citizen population.
    • Move forward with plans for reuse of the former Spurwink School building.
    • Encourage projects throughout town that create and improve walkability for residents.
    • Improve access for commercial and recreational watercraft in the Kettle Cove/Crescent Beach area, as detailed in the 2018 Harbors Committee recommendations.
    • Explore / improve cellular and telecommunications infrastructure and explore related revenue opportunities.