Truro Township plans for the future

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By Tara Figurski

Staff Writer

Truro Township officials started looking at a strategic plan that, if adopted, could provide guidance for the township through 2020.

Truro Township Administrator Jason Nicodemus provided the trustees a draft of the strategic plan in March, asking them to study the proposed plan and give feedback

“The strategic plan is more or less a planning tool for the township,” Nicodemus said. “With changes over time sometimes an organization can lose a little bit of their objective goals.”

Nicodemus said having a strategic plan allows an organization to tie services to goals, objectives and focus areas.

“The strategic plan is a little more general in nature (and includes) focus areas that we want to concentrate on,” Nicodemus said.

The strategic plan identifies six focus areas: service delivery, communications, organizational support, governmental representation, governance structure, and fiscal policy.

A focus of service delivery is to protect the well being and safety of township residents and businesses, Nicodemus said, adding the township should build on providing proactive fire and emergency medical service. Another goal of service is to explore and identify options for improving safety and education of residents by identifying roles they can play in making their community safer, according to Nicodemus.

Township officials will ensure effective communications by expanding public service announcements and information outlets and increasing opportunities for the public to communicate with trustees, according to the plan.

Also under the plan, the township and its leadership should be active participants in addressing regional issues by participating in local and regional planning efforts and maintaining and expanding local, regional, state and federal partnerships.

Regarding fiscal policy, the township must maintain a a solid financial position to meet current and new needs in a cost effective and accountable manner while maintaining existing assets of the community, according to the strategic plan.

Because the township has never had a strategic plan, implementation is key, therefore Nicodemus is working to get staff, elected officials and residents engaged in the planning process.

“We are still working on the timelines for implementation,” Nicodemus said.

In preparing the draft of the strategic plan, Nicodemus studied other strategic plans and spoke with township administrators across central Ohio. Because each township operates differently, each strategic plan will look different.

“Madison (Township) would have a police department,” he said. “We do not have a police department. There are pieces that will not mesh and not everyone’s vision and mission are the same.”

The next step in the process is to compile questions and concerns and determine additional items that may need to be added to the strategic plan.

“This will be a whole team process,” Nicodemus said. “I have gotten a little bit of feedback from a couple of individuals. They had until the end of March to reply with initial feedback.”

Township trustee Barb Strussion said a strategic plan is fine, but her primary focus right now is the levy. She said it is difficult to focus on a strategic plan when the township is facing such a tight budget.

“We have to focus on that and hopefully get the operating levy passed,” she said.

On May 6, Truro Township residents are being asked to approve a general fund, .75 mill levy. The levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $23 a year in additional taxes.

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