Administrative offices in Stevensville’s Town Hall will be closed on Friday, January 31st. Although offices will be closed, it won’t be a day off for the Town’s staff and elected officials. Instead, work sessions will be held throughout the day to facilitate capacity building within the organization, as well as critical strategic planning that the Town Council asked the Mayor and administration to conduct through the Town’s budget process last summer.
The concept of closing offices for this type of activity was proposed by Mayor Brandon Dewey at the Town Council’s January 9, 2020 meeting. The Mayor proposed that the 5th Friday of those months that have more than four Fridays be used to conduct planning activities and needed trainings. Mayor Dewey said that closing the offices was necessary so that all staff could participate without the interruption of phones and walk-in traffic. This would occur four times per year. Some members of the Town Council expressed concerns about delivery of services during the closure, but ultimately agreed to authorize a trial of the initiative and then evaluate it after hearing feedback.
The agenda for Friday’s activities can be found on the town’s website and divides the day into two sections, one for staff and departments, and the other for work sessions to be held with staff and the Town Council collaborating. The Town’s department heads and staff will provide updates on budget performance and current goals. Then, they’ll join the Town Council in developing a communication plan that will aid in better communication in the organization. Finally, work will begin on setting themes and goals for a strategic plan.
“The input of the Town Council is imperative for the strategic plan that they have asked for,” said Mayor Dewey. “It’s my hope that we can build a joint strategic plan that has buy-in from all perspectives within the community and gives both the staff and Mayor’s office a common direction to work alongside the Town Council.”
In addition to the strategic plan, Mayor Dewey hopes that a vision and mission statement can be agreed upon for the organization.
The council/staff work session will be open for citizens to observe with a public comment period held at the end of the session. While administrative offices will be closed Friday, the Town would like to remind residents that they can pay their utility bill online, or by using the payment drop-box outside the front door of Town Hall. Building permits and an array of other applications are also on the Town’s website and can be submitted via email, mail, or fax. Those with questions or time sensitive business should contact Town Hall prior to the close of the day on Thursday, January 30th.