The Douglas County Board adopted its 2020-2040 Comprehensive Plan on Thursday, June 17, as well as a process to ensure the plan is carried out.
The plan serves as a guide to social, physical and economic development of the county. It identifies issues and opportunities, and it sets goals for housing; transportation; utilities and community facilities; agriculture; natural and cultural resources; economic development; intergovernmental cooperation; and land use.
The county’s executive committee will conduct an annual review of the steps taken to execute the plan during the first quarter of every year starting in 2022. Department managers are being encouraged to incorporate comprehensive plan goals into department work plans.
“I’m not very happy with the way this is worded because it says departments are required to include plan goals in their department goals,” Supervisor Sue Hendrickson said. “That’s not really the intention. There may be things they can’t afford to do.”
Hendrickson suggested amending the resolution to eliminate the requirement and instead encourage department managers to consider plan elements in their work plans.
“There’s a lot of information that tells us where we are right now also. But the goals are the future, and what we want is to make sure that every department looks at them and reviews them," Supervisor Nick Baker said.
Baker said board members know that every goal in the plan won’t be accomplished, but the annual review and inclusion of goals in work plans ensures progress is made.
“We’re not looking to force anybody to do stuff,” Baker said.
“I don’t want the 10 commandments; how about the 10 suggestions?” Hendrickson said.
County Board Chairman Mark Liebaert made the motion to amend the language in the resolution. Baker seconded the motion despite initial objections, and it was accepted by the board.
Prior to Thursday night’s meeting, Douglas County Administrator Ann Doucette had already included discussion of the Comprehensive Plan on the agenda for the monthly department managers meeting Tuesday, June 22.