Independence for All
2017 - 2021 Strategic Plan
The 2017 – 2021 Strategic Plan for the City of Independence was adopted by the City Council on February 6, 2017. It is the result of several months of intense focus and discussion to plan and guide the course for the future. The plan helps direct limited resources to make the maximum impact on community needs. The City is committed to a unified vision that stretches from the Mayor and City Council to front-line employees and includes citizens and community partners.
The Council established goals and objectives that were informed by results from prior citizen surveys and input from civic leaders. The plan includes 74 strategies that outline how staff will achieve each of the Council’s objectives. Performance measures set the foundation for a continuous cycle of monitoring progress and adjusting as needed to ensure success.
Our quality neighborhoods, 21st century jobs, growing economy, safe, family-friendly community, and cultural diversity makes Independence, Missouri a nationally recognized city with a unique history and sense of place.
Transforming our community through engagement, innovation, and sustainable services.
Improve customer service
- Implement process to better track and respond to citizen calls for service.
- Implement effective customer service training for all front-line employees.
- Use social media to provide responses to customers/citizens.
Communicate more effectively internally and externally
- Streamline and simplify reporting to make efficient use of staff time and ensure clear, concise information is delivered to the City Council and public.
- Develop and implement a communication strategy to share the strategic plan with city employees and public.
- Enhance the City's primary public information tools: Channel 7, website, CityScene newsletter, social media.
- Make improvements to the City’s intranet/network so it is easier for employees to find information and collaborate.
- Implement the new utility billing system to improve understanding of utility charges.
- Complete implementation of Cityworks to improve data gathering and reporting.
- Create more opportunities for employees to interact with management and share ideas.
- Promote and expand open data in accordance with the What Works Cities standard.
- Use new methods and technologies to identify and reach all internal and external audiences
Control long-term costs
- Continue to advance the employee wellness program to contain health insurance and workers compensation costs.
- Conduct a comprehensive market salary study and implement recommendations in the employee pay plan.
- Negotiate fair, sustainable compensation and benefit agreements with labor unions.
- Increase efficiencies to control costs of local government operations.
- Explore the use of general obligation bonds for infrastructure and facilities projects.
- Identify and capture sustainable funding sources.
Improve long-range financial planning & decision-making
- Develop long-range financial forecasts and capital plans for every major governmental fund.
- Develop better financial reporting to improve awareness and access to information for decision-making.
- Develop or refresh financial policies such as, but not limited to, fund balance policy, investment policy, debt management policy, and one-time revenues policy.
- Develop cost of service studies for utilities and ensure appropriate customer rates.
- Develop life-cycle costing to better understand the total cost of ownership for facility and infrastructure investments.
- Implement modern financial and human resources management software.
- Improve financial analysis and reporting on development incentives.
Attract & retain quality employers
- Support and empower the Independence Economic Development Council to recruit/retain businesses, develop entrepreneurs, and facilitate workforce training with community partners.
- Develop an image/marketing campaign that targets perception of Independence by people inside and outside of Independence.
- Improve partnerships and coordination with all school districts and social service agencies.
- Partner with KCATA to ensure that public transportation connects the Independence workforce to quality jobs.
- Complete the City of Independence Comprehensive Plan update, utilizing a robust community engagement process to identify neighborhoods, housing choice, transportation and economic development needs and goals.
- Support development of an industrial/office business park.
- Develop utilities master plans for areas targeted for development in the Comprehensive Plan.
- Create an Economic Development Policy to guide decision-making and ensure a progressive and effective approach to public incentives.
Grow retail & commercial business
- Support redevelopment of key corridors through land use planning/zoning and incentives.
- Attract and retain visitors to the City's historic sites, amenities, and events.
- Promote hotel/motel industry best practices to ensure quality guest facilities that attract community visitors.
- Obtain legislative authority to pursue the Museum and Tourism Related Activities Tax to support tourism needs.
- Develop historic programming to benefit historic areas and districts.
- Support historic preservation efforts to protect community historical resources.
Reduce blight in commercial corridors, entryways & neighborhoods
- Conduct proactive code enforcement sweeps along key commercial corridors and entryways.
- Cross-train inspectors to conduct code enforcement and zoning enforcement.
- Revise policies and procedures to more aggressively and efficiently process code enforcement actions.
- Streamline process to demolish dangerous vacant buildings.
- Improve the process to suspend/revoke business licenses for properties with frequent violations.
- Acquire blighted properties that could be redeveloped for improved economic activity.
Improve visual appearance of major commercial corridors & historic sites
- Evaluate and prioritize recommendations of current corridor plans: Truman Road Green Gateway Plan, Truman and Winner Road Commercial
Node Plan, US 24 Highway Corridor Study Plan, Englewood Art District Circulation Plan, Northwest Independence Sidewalk Health Impact
Assessment, Noland Fashion Square Development Plan, Noland Road CID Plan, Linking Independence Plan (Square to National Trails Museum),
Square Revitalization Plan, 40 Highway Corridor Study, Little Blue Parkway Plan, Mid-Town Truman Road Plan.
- Develop corridor plans for: US 40 Highway, MO 291, 23rd Street and Fairmount District (US 24).
- Implement recommendations of Trails Museum Master Plan designed to improve the historic sites.
- Beautify major entryways into the city.
- Target street and sidewalk maintenance along major corridors and around historic sites.
- Proactively clean up public right-of-way along major corridors and near historic sites.
Improve condition & maintenance of public infrastructure & facilities
- Develop a pavement condition index and implement a street maintenance program that targets improvements in high visibility and high need areas.
- Renew the Streets Sales Tax as part of a sustainable funding strategy for public infrastructure.
- Evaluate space and maintenance needs for city buildings and determine a long-term strategy for needed improvements.
- Ensure the Complete Streets Policy is implemented during all new construction and renovation.
- Prioritize and implement recommendations of the Parks and Recreation 2010 Master Plan.
Reduce crime & disorder
- Increase public education regarding crimes of opportunity.
- Proactively address crime trends and patterns with targeted policing efforts.
- Implement a business crime prevention outreach program.
- Implement the video surveillance monitoring program for convenience and tobacco stores.
- Balance proactive policing efforts with community engagement within allocated resources
- Identify strategies to improve and expand resources, such as Crisis Intervention Teams, for mental health needs
Increase perception of safety
- Consider ways to prevent crime and increase perception of safety in building codes and community design.
- Improve street lighting and sidewalks in priority locations.
- Continue support and enhance Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) program.
- Expand the Neighborhood Watch Program.
- Increase park patrol to enhance perception of park safety.
- Improve community outreach and good news stories.
- Enhance police and city officials presence at community meetings and events such as neighborhood association meetings.
Stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods
- Target incentive programs (including tax abatement), CDBG and HOME resources in neighborhoods in need of revitalization and stabilization.
- Develop model zoning codes to encourage affordable housing units near transit or other key services at activity centers.
Build new housing units to fill market need
- Consider adjusting code and building specifications to create more flexible development - such as for new urbanist developments.
- Ensure that land use policies and housing strategies incorporate Community for All Ages best practices.
- Develop a housing strategy for the Little Blue Valley to encourage mid-range and executive housing.
For more information about the strategic plan, or to schedule a City Official to come speak to a community group, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.