Weatherford Democrat

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January 8, 2013

City takes step toward Strategic Plan

(Continued)

After the survey results were released, Wieder took council and staff through a Strengths, WeakNesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis. 

Strengths

City officials saw some other positives not listed in the survey, including a “fair, competitive” tax rate, the city having a unique identity, great schools and medical services, a healthy economic climate and a “city staff that is second to none.”

“Our greatest asset as a city is our employees and staff,” Mayor Pro Tem Craig Swancy said.

The city’s tax rate, one of the lowest in the area, also forces more of a reliance on sales tax monies, which can be fickle, Janicek said.

Weaknesses

The reliance on sales tax monies was considered a weakness, as well as the ability to communicate with citizens, or as Mayor Dennis Hooks called it, “spreading the word.”

Infrastructure and the need to play catch up with it and aging thoroughfares were discussed by nearly all on the dais. Council member Heidi Wilder said the visual clutter on many of the highways leading in and out of town was distracting. Council member Jeff Robinson said getting a fresh set of eyes on the problem could help.

“We look to correcting Main Street and Fort Worth Highway, but sometimes we can’t see the forest through the trees,” Robinson said. “We get so used to it we don’t notice it anymore.”

While the downtown area is considered a strength, it is underutilized, Robinson said. Wieder said while driving through town, he saw an opportunity for York Street to become an antique hub north of the downtown area.

A need for consistent staff direction and getting citizens involved in the government process were seen as things that needed to be improved.  Director of Community Relations and Parks and Recreation Danielle Felts said once services and new programs are brought out they should be staffed.

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