“There are businesses out there that have helped other companies restructure, and that’s essentially what I think we need to have somebody look at,” Rowland said. “Otherwise you’re going to continue to fund all those programs, which gets right back to the problem. … I think you need to get some outside expertise to develop a plan to deal with some of this.”
Greufe explained the session wasn't intended to set any priorities in stone, stating in the agenda itself "We (do) not have the time to resolve any one issue today." Tuesday served more to get the ball rolling toward drafting a strategic plan that will come before the Committee of the Whole later this month.
The council outlined goals that fell into four criteria the city's financial position, communication, health of the city and organization/services. Finances dominated the discussion.
Tom Determann, at-large councilman, and O'Neill said it was too difficult to outline an overall plan without a clear picture of where the city stands fiscally.
"We need a financial statement on every single thing we’re doing every single month," O'Neill said.
"This is priority number one – seeing the year-to-dates," said Determann.
The finance conversation routinely steered itself back to City Administrator Jessica Kinser and Finance Director Anita Dalton - both in their first strategic plan session with the city. They were asked why reports from several months ago aren’t available yet. Kinser explained those financial statements need to be audited before they appear before the council. She added, “… we're months ahead of where we’ve been in the past.”
Greufe, Kinser and Dalton encouraged that the city give a directive on what specific reports the council wants to see regarding its finances.