In March, 2010, in response to on-going fiscal challenges, the City Council expressed a need for an analysis of the city’s “core competencies.” The St. Charles Sustainability Initiative (SSI) was initiated in May, 2010 with the purpose of identifying ideas and suggestions from all city stakeholders to achieve the vision of the city’s strategic plan – a City organization that maintains an optimal service delivery framework that balances resources with needs.
The process began with presentations to employees and the City Council. The city also requested support and assistance from the community. Ideas were gathered through late June, 2010 and over 130 separate suggestions were received. The suggestions were assigned to city departments for evaluation. Each department then submitted impact statements to the City Administrator’s Office. The City Administrator then established a group of 18 city employees from all departments to review the suggestions.
A report was prepared that included ideas and recommendations for the consideration of the Mayor & City Council. Those recommendations were separated into 5 main categories:
1. Capital Projects & Assets
2. City Services & Programs
3. Employee Compensation/Benefits
4. Support for External Agencies/Groups
5. Taxes and Fees
Formal presentations were made at the City Council’s Government Operations Committee in February and April, 2011. Based on feedback received, the City Administrator and city departments formulated plans for implementation.
On Monday evening, a presentation was made to update the City Council on where the city stands in implementing the ideas that were approved. The results are remarkable and demonstrate the dedication and commitment of city staff.
- Voluntary separation incentive program for city employees, resulting in reductions in the workforce ($900,000)
- Changes to the employee health insurance program ($400,000)
- Reduction in front-line engine companies related to termination of relationship with fire protection district ($750,000)
- Elimination of low-use vehicles in the city’s fleet, or extension of the replacement schedule ($800,000)