When the Council first met in January, one of the main topics of discussion was the review of the City’s Strategic Plan and the establishment of goals for 2016.  Adopted originally in June of 2014, the plan outlines the City’s mission statement, core values, roles and responsibilities of the Council and City Manager, and four areas of strategic priority.  Within each area, multiple goals are identified.  While all areas of strategic priority and goals are important, their prioritization in any given year ensures that the City is focused on specific outcomes.

Over the course of several meetings, the Council selected its top three areas of strategic priority (in bold) and the goals (listed as items) within each area on which to focus.  Together, the Council and City Manager created action steps to achieve these goals.  The alphabetized steps are operational in nature and the responsibility of the City Manager.  Those in italics represent the actions the Council ought to take to assist the City Manager in his efforts to achieve the specified goals.

Since the Council approved its goals and objectives for 2016, I have received several requests for the document below.  While progress has already been made in some of the areas, there is much more to do over the next 10 months.  So, the Council will periodically review its progress to ensure efforts remain focused and goals are accomplished.


 Fiscal Responsibility:

Item 1 – Continue establishing clear operating procedures regarding economic development which will position the City to expand its tax base, recapture lost valuation, raise the median household income, and attract a talented workforce.

  1. Downtown area – Develop options for revitalization (i.e. 79E) that make it not only attractive to business, but also a young work force. Aggressively market these options.
  2. Strategic Marketing Plan identifying Claremont as having centers of excellence/business hubs (i.e. IT, high quality wood based products, precision manufacturing)
  3. Action Plan for neighborhood improvements in the downtown area with associated costs
  4. Compliance of property maintenance codes (w/ particular attention to absentee landlords)
  5. Expand efforts to support existing employers and their growth, using current technology and marketing trends to promote them whenever possible.

Council Actions/Directives:

– Identify ordinances that directly relate to economic development, prioritize and refer to Policy Committee for review/update.

-Establish a Joint Task Force of stakeholders to address the downtown area

-Explore establishing a Finance Committee to review budget and provide recommendations to Council ensuring economic development goals are properly funded

-Establish quarterly meetings with SAU #6 with clear agendas and desired outcomes

-Examine Downtown TIFD

-Increase working knowledge of successful economic development initiatives by attending conferences, lectures, webinars, etc.

-Collaborate with legislative representatives to create/support bills that provide new economic development incentives

Item 2 – Continue to collaborate with SAU #6, Granite State College and River Valley Community College as effective economic development and workforce development partners.

  1. Workforce Development – Meet with local employers, identify and document needs, and develop a plan to address those needs with educational and other relevant partners

Council Actions/Directives:

-Establish quarterly meetings with SAU #6 with clear agendas and desired outcomes

-Establish semi-annual roundtable discussions with Grant State and RVCC 

Employee Development

Item 2.  Focus on preparations for the next round of collective bargaining scheduled to begin in 2016.

  1. Establish collective bargaining timeframe with each unit, and identify negotiating team members

Council Actions/Directives:

-Review current negotiated contracts in preparation for collective bargaining

-Mayor to assign a council member to each negotiating team to act as a conduit to the Council during negotiations

Item 3.  Effective organizational stability and growth includes succession development.

  1. Provide comprehensive overview to incoming city manager to ensure smooth transition.

Council Actions/Directives:

-Establish procedure for hiring new manager (i.e. search firm, search committee, etc)

-In the event that a search does not produce a viable candidate, establish plan to hire an interim city manager

-Ensure that the 2017 budget includes funds for search

-Review job description and update as necessary

Public Health, Safety and Welfare

Item 2.  Continue review of city owned property to assist in putting it to its best use and/or marketing it for sale.

  1. Develop action plan for the timely divesture of property taken via tax deed; recouping lost tax revenue and moving property back onto the tax roll
  2. Provide Council with comprehensive listing of tax-deeded property, city property and abandoned property.
  3. Develop maintenance plan for city properties and, if no use is designated, send out RFPs for use

Council Actions/Directives:

-Acquire training with regard to the tax deeding process in order to provide better direction


Charlene Lovett is the Mayor of Claremont.  Please email comments, questions or concerns to char_lovett@hotmail.com.