New Dayton mission ‘to promote a thriving community’

City shapes mission statement, goals


By Megan Hopps
Sun Press Newspapers

The Dayton City Council recently met to devise a mission statement and prioritize its top goals.
In March, the Council met with city staff to brainstorm key words to use in a mission statement that would reflect the core values of the city organization. City Administrator Tina Goodroad used those words to present three, separate draft mission statements to the council.
In addition to formulating a mission statement, city staff worked with the Council to create a list of short and long term goals. Together, they fashioned a list of 11 goals.

Mission Statement
While the city reviewed three draft mission statements, the Council liked numbers one and three best. The first read, “The City of Dayton’s mission is to promote a thriving community while maintaining its rural heritage; to provide residents with a safe and pleasant place to live; to deliver growth with considered, informed decisions, to be financially responsible, and to be a responsive partner for its residents.”
The third read, “To manage development in our community while preserving our rural character; creating connections to our natural resources while providing customer service that is efficient, and fiscally responsible.”
Councilor Anne Ziebell favored the third, while Councilor Bob O’Brien liked the first.
“I just don’t like the terms ‘deliver growth,’” she said. “I’m not inclined to support a mission statement that promotes growth.”
Councilor Jon Mellberg and Mayor Tim McNeil agreed that the language was too embracing of growth. McNeil favored the first version because it highlighted the city’s rural character. Mellberg favored the first statement because it seemed more focused.
“What I don’t like about the third version is that is starts off talking about growth which, I feel, is kind of a negative,” Mellberg said.
And Ziebell agreed. She said she liked the concise, third version because it included the words “create connections to our natural resources.”
“To me, I like the connectedness of the third statement,” she said. “Despite the challenges of having three school districts in our city, we’re all connected and we should work to highlight the beauty of the rivers and park which we are so blessed to have in the walls of our city.”
Administrator Goodroad proposed a hybrid of the two statements to read:

“The City of Dayton’s mission is to promote a thriving community; to provide residents with a safe and pleasant place to live while preserving our rural character; create connections to our natural resources, provide customer service that is efficient, fiscally responsible and responsive to our residents.”

The Council liked this version best because it incorporated the words rural character — something the council seeks to preserve per the desire of Dayton residents. It also highlighted the city’s natural resources and promised to be fiscally responsible — a high priority for the Council.

Along with the creation of a mission statement, the Council also reviewed its 11 goals.
“We will also bring items before you that relate to these goals and try to tie our work towards their implementation,” Goodroad said. “Your review of this is important.”
The Council made a list of words that reflect the city’s morale. Those words are: service-focused, honest, accountable, respectful, ethical, transparent, responsive and friendly.
“Those key words emulate the way we operate,” Goodroad said. “This is the way we want to see staff and council operate and could be useful as we work through our branding exercise.”
The city’s 11 goals are:
1) Preserve rural character and open space
2) Create and maintain quality residential neighborhoods and business districts
3) Increase economic growth and development
4) Improve city’s fiscal strength
5) Define and promote city’s brand
6) Communicate transparently and effectively
7) Maintain a safe community
8) Maintain and enhance infrastructure
9) Prepare plan for public facilities to meet city’s growth
10) Create comprehensive park and trail plans
11) Improve and sustain high employee morale

Specifically, this means the city will be creating ordinances that preserve the rural character involving lighting, landscaping, parking, signs and others designed to preserve the city’s rural feel. To create and maintain quality residential neighborhood and business districts, the city will be completing the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, implement a code enforcement program and update building exterior and site design standards for all zoning districts. The Council also plans to explore funding mechanisms to support local business expansion, partner with businesses to seek county and state business assistance resources, adopt a transportation benefit study and continue planning for the Brockton Interchange as it relates to increasing economic growth and development.
To improve the city’s financial strength, the city plans to annually evaluate and update the budget, Development Revenue Forecast and Long-term Plan. Additionally, the city will annually update all rate studies and fee schedules, review banking relationships and opportunity for internal processing improvements, explore options for city-wide fees (including storm sewer, recycling and street lighting), explore use of franchise fees and use grants in all departments for priority projects.

In terms of developing a city brand, the organization plans to hire a branding consultant, design and implement a city sign plan and improve the image of key corridors and gateways. The city also plans to streamline the communication to its residents by adopting a formalized city Communication Plan including a Social Media Plan and Policy. They will further improve their communication by digitally storing all documents and files, expanding GIS capabilities, creating and managing a social media site, improve website capabilities and expand “The Communicator.”
“I just think we really need to be clear that we’re seeking resident input,” McNeil said.
In terms of maintaining safety in the community, the city plans to improve fire code enforcement, improve its ISO rating and promote residential lock boxes. The city further plans to maintain and enhance its infrastructure by implementing an annual pavement management plan, review infrastructure and maintenance needs and prepare to address northwest Dayton water needs.
The city will prepare a plan for its public facilities to meet growth needs by reviewing and updating the 2009 Facility Needs Study as necessary. The organization will also update the Park, Trails and Open Space Plan as part of its 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update, identify trail corridors off road and on-stree, identify funding of trail priorities, prioritize new park development, explore partnerships to acquire land for community park needs, implement a Stephen’s Farm Master Plan and CIP items and create a hunting access point to the river at Stephen’s Farm as part of the city’s goal to create a comprehensive park and trail plan.
Lastly, the city plans to improve and sustain high employee morale by updating personal policies, developing permanent part-time pay and benefit schedule, identify personal needs in every department with succession plans as they relate to the budget, develop a staff recognition program and create an employee wellness program.
Dayton staff reviewed all the specifics of each goal and rated them as short, mid and long-term goals.

Contact Megan Hopps at