Strategic Plan 2017

A look forward at the City's goals and plans to achieve them

Strategic Plan

What? Why?

A Strategic Plan is a document that outlines a systematic process for moving toward a vision in a manner that involves the development and prioritization of strategic goals along with measurable strategies.


We are committed to providing excellent City services that enhance the quality of life for the Lawrence Community.


The City of Lawrence - supporting an unmistakably vibrant community with innovative, equitable, transparent, and responsible local government.

Organizational Values

The City of Lawrence has five organizational values: Character, Competence, Courage, Collaboration, and Commitment.

Critical Success Factors

During the strategic planning process the City Commission developed seven (7) Critical Success Factors. These are the elements that must go right for the community to be successful. The factors are listed here with a brief definition.

Effective Governance & Professional Administration

The City effectively and collaboratively plans and prioritizes in a transparent manner to efficiently move the community forward. We clearly communicate, and boldly and professionally implement using sound leadership and relevant best practices.

Safe, Healthy and Welcoming Neighborhoods

All people in Lawrence live in neighborhoods that provide opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle through good neighborhood design with access to safe and affordable housing and other services that help them meet their basic needs. The diverse and unique features of our neighborhoods are celebrated, creating a stronger community as a whole.

Innovative Infrastructure & Asset Management

The City of Lawrence has well-maintained, functional and efficient infrastructure, facilities and assets, and supports accessible, sustainable transportation options. We are innovative and forward thinking to meet community needs while preserving our natural and historic resources.

Commitment to Core Services

Core municipal services reflect legal mandates and the City’s commitment to meet health, safety and welfare needs and maintain assets while adapting service levels to meet evolving community expectations.

Sound Fiscal Stewardship

The City provides easy access to relevant, accurate data for budgeting and decision making. Decisions are made by prioritizing across all government services considering needs, balanced with available resources, using fiscal policies based on industry best practice to ensure decisions reflect the current and long term impact.

Collaborative Solutions

The City of Lawrence actively seeks opportunities to leverage partnerships in order to enhance service delivery and quality of life in the most fiscally sound and responsible manner.

Economic Growth and Security

The City of Lawrence fosters an environment that provides both individuals and businesses the opportunity for economic security and empowers people’s ability to thrive. Our community succeeds because of individual prosperity and a vibrant, sustainable local economy.

Priority Initiatives

When the City adopted the strategic plan, several priority initiatives were identified. These are key items that the City Commission wanted to move forward in the 2-3 years following adoption. The chart below aims to provide a status update on each identified initiative.

Advisory Board

Inventory and evaluate the role of existing advisory boards and commissions, to identify opportunities to consolidate or sunset as appropriate, and adopt consistent operating guidelines.

Since adoption of this initiative, the City has created guidelines for all advisory boards and has reviewed current boards and commissions to identify consolidation opportunities. We are currently in the process of implementing new board management software. The link below outlines our progress is more detail!

See our progress!

Professional Development

Review City’s practices for ongoing professional development and align efforts to achieve excellence around the Commission’s priorities

In 2017, the City reviewed the training programs offered and realized there was a gap in non-supervisory training opportunities. Since then, the City has developed a non-supervisory training program, identified free training programs available to all employees and implemented a city-wide training system. Additionally, an updated performance evaluation tool has been developed to align with the values. The link below outlines our progress in more detail!

See our progress!

High-Speed Fiber

Identify barriers to having high-speed fiber throughout Lawrence and facilitate the development of the necessary infrastructure by the private sector.

In 2013, the City partnered with CTC Technology and Energy to assess the state of broadband service in Lawrence. One of the identified areas of improvement related to enhancing the right-of-way policy for the City. In June of 2019, the City Commission adopted ordinances aimed at improving the right-of-way process. The link below outlines our progress in more detail!

See our progress!

East 9th Street

Review 9th Street plans and develop a proposal to complete the road infrastructure and determine ability to add creative and artistic elements.

This was the first priority initiative completed from the 2017 strategic plan! The design was approved in June of 2017, and later that year the City reached an agreement to begin engineering and, ultimately, construction. In August of 2019, the road was open to traffic. There are a few final items remaining before the construction is considered completed.

See our progress!

Facility Master Plan

Develop a City facility master plan and comprehensive facility maintenance plan

Staff have completed a general facility inventory, which has been used to help forecast key maintenance items for inclusion in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)--provided they meet the criteria. Through the CIP process, a number of facility needs have been addressed. The link below outlines our progress in more detail!

See our progress!

Priority Based Budgeting

Develop a plan to implement priority based budgeting and enhance communication in the annual budget process

In March of 2019, staff presented results from the City's first year of using priority-based budgeting. This method will continue to be incorporated in future budget presentations. Additionally, the City has used OpenGov to share line item budget details with the City Commission and public, and we have updated the budget documents to provide a high-level overview. The link below outlines our progress in more detail!

See our progress!

Long-Term Financial Planning

Develop and communicate a long-term financial strategy.

Beginning with the 2018 budget book, each major fund included a 5-year financial forecast to help outline the long-term impact of budget decisions. Additionally, a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) has been included as part of the budget process and it is adopted along with the operating budget. This is an initiative that is ongoing and will continue to be part of budget practices. The link below outlines our progress in more detail!

See our progress!

Downtown Master Plan

Develop a master plan for Downtown that includes needed and desirable assets, infrastructure, and uses.

This initiative is ongoing. The City has been working with Houseal Lavigne Associates (HLA) to help facilitate the creation of a Downtown Master Plan. The next phase of the process is to create goals and objectives. Once these are established, a draft of the master plan will be created, presented, and feedback will be collected and incorporated, where applicable, before a final Downtown Master Plan is adopted. The link below outlines our progress in more detail!

See our progress!

Strategic Plan Archives

For additional information on the strategic plan, please visit our archives page at