Elbert County Strategic Plan – How are we doing?

In 2018, Elbert County Commissioners and staff developed a strategic plan to focus County leadership on activities that help achieve the County’s mission: to provide essential statutory services and supportive infrastructure to our citizens in a professional, respectful and cost-effective manner.

The strategic plan lists five strategic goals that guide decisions related to the County’s $28 million annual budget, including personnel, revenue, and capital investments in areas as diverse as public works, public safety, and human services.

County staff takes the stewardship of public funds seriously and relies on the Strategic Plan’s road map to manage those resources to best serve the citizens.

Goals and Progress Update:

1.    Maintain and promote a financially sustainable County government that is transparent and effective.
Elbert County hired a new Finance Manager in October 2018. Michelle Schrote brings years of experience in public-sector finance and a CPA certification to her role at the helm of Elbert County’s Finance Department. In partnership with County department staff, she’s helped improve finance processes and impart up-to-date knowledge about finance and budgeting. Michelle and the finance team are mid-way through the 2020 budget cycle and look forward to helping the Budget Officer deliver a balanced and sustainable budget that supports the strategic plan for the Commissioners’ consideration in October.

2.     Ensure a qualified, trained, and efficient workforce.
In early 2019, the County launched an automated payroll and timekeeping system, swapping a cumbersome manual process for one that’s mobile, secure, and convenient for employees and supervisors. The system allows for better data collection and analysis of workforce trends and personnel utilization. As it unfolds, the data will feed the budget process more effectively.

3.    Deliver plans, updates, and status to citizens via multiple channels while ensuring open, two-way communications.
During late 2018 and 2019, county staff has worked with a contractor to fine-tune its social media presence, understanding that the best way to engage citizens is to meet them where they are – and social media is where it’s at! Community survey data, citizen input from other channels, and advice from experienced County staff help us understand where good feedback comes from and how to communicate it effectively. Follow us at @ElbertCoPIO on Twitter and Facebook!

4.    Plan for continuity of government in case of disaster, infrastructure failure, or economic impacts.
Emergency preparedness is always on our minds, but a great example of our focus on continuity of government is the implementation of CivicClerk software to manage the Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission agendas. It’s a secure, cloud-based software that houses everything relating to their work, allowing citizens to access information about upcoming and past meetings, and for that information to be accessible from anywhere there’s an internet connection – no need for piles of paper to conduct the business of the County in an emergency. As a bonus, it streamlines the agenda preparation process for County staff, making us all more efficient.

5.    Support growth and economic activity in the County.
Staff in the Community and Development Services Department has worked hard to analyze, streamline, and update the County’s land use regulations to make sure they balance the rights of property owners with the needs of neighbors, businesses, and visitors to have a safe, attractive, and economically productive environment in the County. Land use regulations are complex, and County Commissioners have shown a commitment to the needs of their constituents when, despite in-depth analysis and stakeholder input, some regulations have had unintended consequences; they’ve been revisited, revised and replaced when necessary.

You can find the County’s strategic plan on the County’s website by entering “strategic plan” in the search bar – let us know your thoughts by emailing pio@elbertcounty-co.gov.