Serving the community since 1970

City Council plans for 2022-23

The City Council held a strategic planning workshop to plan for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Many issues were discussed and prioritized for the upcoming months based on the city's mission, vision and core values.

The City of Wasco's stated vision is to provide its citizens and business community effective municipal services and, at the same time, maintain a historical sense of community values.

Community values are trust, respect, integrity, teamwork, ownership and innovation.

"We are committed to a purpose greater than ourselves," said City Manager Scott Hurlbert.

"What we strive to do is to make a positive difference and leave a proud legacy."

The 2022-23 six areas of focus are 1) improve and maintain the city's infrastructure, 2) enhance and modernize city facilities, 3) enhance financial stability and sustainability,

4) implement strategic economic development, 5) enhance employee development and retention, and 6) define and prioritize community-building initiatives.

The workshop's goal was to establish a concise and prioritized list to guide the council and staff in creating the coming year's budget and capital improvement program.

It was interactive, and there were several exercises for the council and staff that attended.

One of the exercises was for the council to provide their top three ideas, projects, concerns and initiatives, and/or were hearing from their constituents.

The top issue was overwhelmingly community public safety. "The real underlying question is how do we create a community that feels safe," Hurlbert said.

Other highlighted topics were roads, water, infrastructure, the beautification of downtown and consistent work as planned.

There were presentations by various departments, including finance, community development, public works and the city manager's office. A personnel summary and plan were also introduced.

Mayor Gilberto Reyna said, "This workshop lays the foundation for our vision to where we want to go as a city and what we want to achieve. The event was special because we were all able to explore ideas from the staff and council to set the direction to where we are headed."

"It's a chance for discussion between the council and staff, and it is less formal than a traditional council meeting. The workshop gives us a chance to discuss a cross-section of topics instead of the narrow focus found in a traditional council meeting," Hurlbert said.

Assistant City Manager Maria Lara said, "My goal today is to share how I can better understand each department and be a resource to them."

Lara discussed some of the various grants recently awarded to the city and those planned.

"There were many grants that we received in the last year, and we are in the process of waiting for responses from others," said Lara. "We are working to identify those grants that align with our plans. I am working hard with my team to go after the appropriate type of funding."

The council and staff are optimistic about the future.

"We have the right people in the right places. I am happy you are all here," Mayor Reyna told the audience.


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