Fiscal restraint
 tops county list 
of new priorities

Mesa County Commissioners announced at a press event Thursday they plan to prioritize fiscal responsibility and community involvement and maintain an open door policy with employees.

The three commissioners — two of whom, Rose Pugliese and John Justman, were elected in November — spent a day in Gateway earlier this year developing a strategic plan that laid out the new regime’s mission, vision and values for the county and its leadership. The draft went through revisions after commissioners met with department heads and fine-tuned their preferences for the document. Commissioners rolled out the finished product publicly Thursday.

The one-page plan does not contain specific goals or a flowchart of future actions. Instead, it contains statements that will guide county policy and operations. Those statements include, “We treat others as we would like to be treated,” and, “We lead efforts that meet our mission, vision and goals by active listening, being approachable, motivating others to action and by aligning our resources efficiently and responsibly.”

Commissioner Steve Acquafresca, who has been on the board for six years, said the old board had a strategic plan as well, but he hadn’t seen it in some time. A new plan, he said, was needed because the county has dropped 72 employees through layoffs and attrition since the economic downturn began. New commissioners also gave the board a reason to create a new plan.

“Two-thirds of our board are new people with new, fresh ideas,” Acquafresca said. “I think this new board is more approachable, with both feet firmly embedded in the community.”

Acquafresca said he hopes the strategic plan will provide internal guidance for county employees and show the community what the board values. No formal action is needed to adopt the plan and it can be altered over time to adjust to changes in the county.


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So, where was the community involvement in coming up with this strategic plan?

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