The City of Birmingham is encouraging community participation at their Strategic Planning Workshop Series.

The City of Birmingham is encouraging community participation at their Strategic Planning Workshop Series.

Photo provided by the city of Birmingham

Birmingham seeks community input for strategic planning

Residents, and people who work and visit Birmingham encouraged to participate

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published September 7, 2022


BIRMINGHAM — A series of strategic planning workshops hosted by the city of Birmingham will take place throughout September.

This series is a part of the process of building a new strategic plan, which will provide direction for the city manager and the City Commission, officials said.

A strategic plan is a document that is the result of a process involving an organization defining its mission, vision, long- and short-term goals, and objectives with measurable performance indicators.

The city issued a request for qualifications for a strategic planning facilitator in April. Lew Bender was selected for this role in June.

Once the process is completed, the new strategic plan will go into effect in the fall, and it will include three- to five-year goals for the city.

Since City Manager Tom Markus’ term will end in June of next year, this strategic plan will give the incoming city manager something to refer back to. The City Commission will also be able to evaluate projects and initiatives based on how each one aligns with the strategic plan.

The first of the series was the “City Commission Visioning Workshop,” which took place Aug. 24. Mayor Therese Longe called for a short public comment period at the end of the workshop.

Upcoming workshops in the series will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 14 and 17. The public is welcome and encouraged to join and participate at the Baldwin Public Library.

Birmingham Communications Director Marianne Gamboa said community participation is key to this process.

“It’s really important to have community input as we put together goals for the future, because not only do we want to get feedback from city staff, city officials, board members and the Commission, but the input from the people who actually live and work here as well as those who come and use our perks is extremely important too, as far as putting together the whole big picture for the community,” Gamboa said.

The workshop Sept. 14 will be the workshop seeking the most community participation.

This “Community Participation Workshop” will take place at 6 p.m. in the Rotary & Donor Rooms at Baldwin Library. Feedback from the community about challenges, opportunities and achievable goals is highly encouraged by the city.

Gamboa said the community should be creative when coming to the city with their thoughts and ideas.

“We are looking for big, overarching, very broad goals and visions for the city,” Gamboa said. “So, it could be something we have never even thought of before.”

The final meeting is called “Putting it Together” and will take place Tuesday, Sept. 27. at 6 p.m. in the Jeanne Lloyd Room at the Baldwin Library. A short public comment period will be at the end of the workshop.

“We thought it was just an excellent opportunity to take stock of what the commission feels are important things that we would like to look at accomplishing in the future, what our vision for the city might be, and then to reach out to the community and ask all those same questions,” Longe said.

Longe said anyone who is interested is welcome to come and tell the City Commission what they like about Birmingham and what they would like to see in the future.

If a member of the community is not able to make it to one of these workshops, they can share their feedback on Engage Birmingham. All feedback submitted on Engage Birmingham will be presented to the City Commission at one of the workshops.