The Parker County commissioners unanimously approved the adoption of the strategic plan Monday morning after hired economic developer, Marty Wieder, came back with the final document.
“This is meant to be something that is a living document for you and for the others that you collaborate with. There’s really no major change from what I presented a couple of week ago,” Wieder said. “And you may want to change this over time, you may want to rework, and that’s the beauty in doing this.”
The first strategic plan goal is to continue to be the transportation leader, in collaboration with the county’s cities and communities, and help maintain Parker County’s thriving economy.
“It is even more critical in light of existing [Interstate] 20 corridor traffic, insufficient rights of way and old roads built in substandard ways — not to mention the threat of overwhelming traffic,” according to the document.
The objectives in achieving the goal includes exploring partnerships and entrepreneurial ways to plan, fund and leverage transportation improvements by fostering new transportation modes and engaging the Parker County Economic Development Council and financial institutions to assist in examining creative funding methods and approaches, including public/private partnerships.
Parker County Judge Pat Deen said the EDC has been working very close with the county on maintaining the rural integrity.
“It’s very important to stay close to them because we want to make sure that they’re in line with what our planning vision is and what the No. 1 priority of the constituents is, and that’s maintaining that rural integrity,” Deen said.
The second strategic plan goal is to encourage managed growth and protect Parker County’s small town feeling, and take advantage of being a collaborative leader when it comes to future growth.
The objectives in achieving the goal include considering how Parker County and its communities may best manage growth in a unified fashion, communicating the opportunity to begin mapping and planning based on land use rather than land value, considering the need for any additional networks or task forces and maintaining pay competitiveness and retain law enforcement and public safety officers.
The third goal is to continue to develop a long-term water solution — recognizing how not having one is a major threat to Parker County.
“There’s not really additional objectives underneath that because you’re already tackling that — you’ve got a consultant on board taking it on — but you didn’t want to forget it as a major item,” Wieder said.
The fourth and final goal of the strategic plan is to communicate the county’s spirit of teamwork and collaboration to others and seek their help and cooperation.
The objectives in achieving that goal include instilling a common message of unity and trust within the county and contacting and getting to know leaders of other counties in Texas that have similar characteristics to Parker County.
Along with the strategic plan was the mission and vision statements.
The approved mission statement is, “Parker County is a great place with a relaxed, small town feel, and the commissioners court seeks to protect and defend that for its people through leadership, planning and quality infrastructure.”
The approved vision statement is, “Parker County, Texas has preserved its small town feel, reduced IH-20 congestion, improved and widened roads and addressed the need for a water plan — without limiting a vibrant economy, impacting its financial strength or increasing the tax rate.”
Wieder said it would be good for the commissioners to stop and evaluate the strategic plan every once in a while.
“It’s good to stop every so often, consider what you’ve done and then reconsider what’s been adopted and change your path if you need to,” Wieder said. “The best thing to do is to just start taking that plan and implementing it the best you can.”
Deen said achieving the goals will happen gradually and not overnight.
“It’s going to be somewhat of a cultural change really. It’s gradual, it’s not going to happen overnight, but with help from the EDC and others, we’re already moving down that path with a focus on public safety in hiring Sean [Hughes] and staying close to the situation in Horseshoe Bend and so that is the change in culture,” Deen said.