Dublin City Council members said they will remain focused on goals they had set in 2019 and build a long-ranged planning framework for the city dubbed "Dublin 2035."

The initiatives were identified during council's goal-setting retreat Feb. 20 and 21.

The goals council set last year were large ones and not ones that could be completed in a year's time, said Dublin Mayor Chris Amorose Groomes.

"It was important to take some time to reflect, benchmark and evaluate our progress," Groomes said.

"We wanted to validate the direction we are headed while we continue to pursue these for the betterment and competitiveness of our community," she said.

The 2035 plan, she said, will begin to frame what council members believe will keep the city competitive in the coming decade and beyond.

When council members reviewed goals they had set last year, they discovered they were still important, Vice Mayor Cathy De Rosa said.

For the first of the goals -- ensuring fiscal strength and sustainability -- council members set two benchmarks, De Rosa said.

The first was to ensure city tax revenues achieved a 3%-or-greater growth rate, and the city met that benchmark last year.

The second was to update the city's economic-development strategy. City officials updated the strategy last year and this year will focus on putting it into action, she said.

The second goal council set was to be the most connected community in the U.S. It focuses on bringing broadband internet access to all homes and businesses in Dublin, De Rosa said.

Last year, city representatives spoke with telecommunication companies, kicked off digital-identity pilot programs and continued to extend fiber-optic cable into residential and business areas.

"Cities are fundamentally about creating infrastructure ... that can build prosperity," De Rosa said.

Now that the city has undertaken background research, staff members can begin to discuss costs and create a more concrete plan to bring connectivity to every home and business, De Rosa said.

Although the city might not fully implement the goal this year, small-scale pilot programs could occur, she said.

The final goal council set in 2019 focused on innovating and enhancing city services using big data and better analytics, De Rosa said.

Last year, the city created a position for a director of data analytics to look at the role data analytics will play in the city's future.

One example would be how to use analytics to better assist residents and businesses with building permits, she said.

Another example would be how to use metrics to track workforce development.

The goal, De Rosa said, is to rely on data and analytics to advance how the city can deliver services in an economical way.

"This is all about enhanced service delivery to the community," De Rosa said.

Whereas council members remain committed to the previous year's goals, they also set a new goal for this year.

The Dublin 2035 framework will focus on four areas, De Rosa said. They are infrastructure, land use, economic vitality and quality of life.

During the coming months, council members will begin to put that framework in place, creating goals and long-term visions for each category.

Part of that process will include community opportunities for brainstorming, she said.

"We have a really sound foundation and really great momentum that we're going to build on," DeRosa said.

Dublin 2035 will be the city's plan to guide economic development, land use and data-informed decision-making, said councilwoman Christina Alutto.

"The goal is to further a future for Dublin that keeps our economic portfolios diverse, our built environment well planned and our services and amenities citizen-driven," Alutto said.

The city would leverage its community plans, data and community input, as well as innovative strategies and partnerships, to create a comprehensive plan, she said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

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