Strategic Plan Project
Explore the Strategic Plan!
You can click through the Strategic Plan Below! Click on the bottom corner of each "magazine" page to move forwards and backwards in the Strategic Plan.
Request for Proposals
During the summer of 2021, at the direction of the Select Board, the Town prepared a request for proposal for a Town Wide Strategic Plan. A Strategic Plan is a forward-looking document to develop a vision and set the goals of the Town for years to come. The Strategic Plan will be a living document that grows with the Town as time goes on to continue to be representative of the desires of Shrewsbury residents. The core and foundation of the Strategic Plan will be created through community input and engagement from Shrewsbury residents.
In September 2021, the Town received five responses to our request for proposals for the strategic plan and an internal review team reviewed responses. After conducting interviews with select firms, the internal review team selected Raftelis as the firm to lead the Town through this process. During their meetings in October 2021, the Select Board authorized the Town Manager to engage in negotiations and then sign a contract with Raftelis to begin the Strategic Planning Process.
The Process Begins
During the month of November 2021 the Town coordinated meetings with Raftelis to begin the Strategic Planning Process internally in December through engagement sessions with Town Staff and Board/Committee/Commission Chairs. These engagement sessions helped facilitate conversations on strengths and challenges the Town faces and goals each of these groups have for the Town in the future.
National Community Survey
At the end of January and February 2022, the Town participated in the National Community Survey. The survey was active for 7 weeks and launched in two phases. The first phase, conducted through a direct mailing and online, was for a limited number of residents selected at random. The second phase was open to all residents through an online platform . The National Community Survey asked questions of the community on certain service and topic areas. The second phase of the survey launched on March 3, 2022 and closed March 21, 2022.
Town Employee Survey
Internally, the Town staff received a survey in January to develop a shared set of values (how the Town staff will work together/what's important to Town Staff), and develop a mission statement "What is the Town's purpose and how will staff serve the residents?" From this survey, that mission statement will be derived. Some staff members have also opted in to a training on community engagement so they are able to having meaningful and intentional conversations with residents on the present and future state of Shrewsbury.
First Round of Community Engagement
Town Staff volunteers met with various community groups to gather feedback for the Strategic Plan. The volunteers met with over 180 individuals across 18 different community groups/outreach efforts. They facilitated discussion with these groups centered around three questions - What do you like about Shrewsbury today, What are some challenges Shrewsbury faces today, and What do you want Shrewsbury to be like in the future? For those not involved with these community groups, our interactive feedback website, Getinvolvedshrewsbury.com, asked all of the same questions presented during those meetings and additional questions too! This allowed for individuals to get involved as well! Paper copies of feedback surveys found on the GetInvolvedShrewsbury website were placed at the Town Hall, Library, and Senior Center too.
Organizational Mission and Values
The Expanded Management Team met with Raftelis, on April 13, 2022 to work on a Missions and Value Statement for the Town as an Organization. Earlier this year, Town Staff were sent a survey and the results from this survey were the center of this discussion to form these statements.
Draft Strategic Plan
During the months of April and May Raftelis reviewed and analyzed the community feedback received during the month of March from various community groups and individuals that participated on their own through GetInvolvedShrewsbury.com. The findings were presented to the Board of Selectmen on May 19, 2022 for their review and comment. This information will inform building the framework of the Strategic Plan Project.
That day, the Board began to develop the Strategic Outcomes of the project in combination with the Mission and Value Statement created by the Expanded Management Team in April 2022. The Town continues to work to finalize a draft of these Strategic Outcome areas.
National Community Survey Results
At the Board of Selectmen meeting on May 24, 2022 Polco presented the results of the National Community Survey. Polco's report with the results can be viewed HERE. The presentation can be viewed HERE and the recording of the presentation from the Board's meeting can be viewed HERE.
Second Round of Community Engagement
During the summer of 2022 the Town began the second phase of community engagement on the Strategic Plan. The goal was to provide as many opportunities and modes of engagement and feedback for residents as possible. The Town updated GetInvovledShrewsbury.com to collect feedback on the Draft Strategic Outcome Areas Online, held 3 in-person Community Feedback Sessions (2 at the Shrewsbury Public Library and 1 at the Senior Center), 4 virtual Community Feedback Sessions, and 5 drop-in Community Feedback tables at various town community events (Farmers Market, National Night Out, and Food Truck Thursdays). In addition to these feedback sessions and the online platform, paper surveys were made available at these events, Town Hall, the Library, and the Senior Center, as well as two direct mailings were sent to those residents who are registered heads of households with the Town Clerk’s Office. In total, 13,990 postcards were sent to residents providing them with the GetInvolvedShrewsbury.com site and letting them know a paper survey was going to be arriving in the coming days. 13,990 surveys were sent directly to residents with a prepaid return envelope to gather their input on the Draft Strategic Outcome Areas.
339 paper surveys were returned for a 2.4% response rate. Between the paper surveys and then online form, the Town received over 3,350 items of feedback on the strategic plan. Throughout the second round of feedback, over 2,100 individuals engaged with the online site and form in some way. 142 individuals attended the community feedback sessions, whether that was through the in-person meetings, virtual meetings, or the drop-in sessions at various community events.
From here the Select Board and Town reviewed the feedback received and made changes to the outcome areas and added strategies based on what the community communicated through the public engagement efforts. Thank you to the community for your engagement in this process!
Shrewsbury 2030 Strategic Plan
The final Strategic Plan document can be found HERE as well as the presentation and formal acceptance of it by the Select Board at their meeting on January 10, 2023.
What Comes Next?
Besides community engagement, the Strategic Plan being a living and used document was extremely important to Town Leadership, as well as the residents based on what we heard during the community feedback process. That is why the Strategic Plan is going to be integrated in the Town's operations from the budget to daily tasks, operations, and individual goals. We all want to move Shrewsbury closer and closer towards the community we all aspire to be - the greatest local government in the world!