Scottsdale’s strategic plan identifies 31 goals deemed priority

The Scottsdale City Council meets at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (File photo)

Thirty-one topics and issues deemed most crucial by Scottsdale City Council and municipal staff has been amended and approved, giving shape to the municipality’s organization strategic plan.

Grouped within six strategic goals, elected leaders and city staff identified priorities to carry the City Council through the next 12-18 months, city officials say.

The Scottsdale Organization Strategic Plan amendment was approved in April with a 6-1 vote. Vice Mayor Linda Milhaven was the dissenting vote.

The action item had previously been a part of Scottsdale City Council’s consent agenda on April 15, prior to being pulled off for presentation and discussion. Councilwoman Solange Whitehead asked to pull the item off consent for a separate vote.

The Organization Strategic Plan was last accepted by City Council in September 2016, according to Assistant City Manager Brent Stockwell. The plan itself is a one-page overview that includes priorities from the prior plan and key objectives identified by staff.

On a regular basis, city staff will update the council on their progress of implementing the identified goals, Mr. Stockwell said.

“Following the start of this calendar year, we set up a council retreat to talk to you in detail about some items you might want to include in the organization strategic plan,” Mr. Stockwell told the council during his presentation.

“We looked at survey results, looked at items we discussed with you at the council retreat, looked at items staff had submitted as part of the budget process for this year. We kind of pulled this all together and wrote brief one-line summaries of each.”

The six strategic goals the organization plan is categorized by dates back to the mid 1990s, when a citizen advisory group coined CityShape 2020 created the guiding principles. They are:

  • Value Scottsdale’s Unique Lifestyle and Character;
  • Support Economic Vitality;
  • Enhance Neighborhoods;
  • Preserve Meaningful Open Space;
  • Seek Sustainability; and
  • Advance Transportation.

According to Mr. Stockwell, the Organization Strategic Plan was due back to council to be amended to recognize community input for additional items to be added. One such priority, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, was added the night of the vote.

Solange Whitehead

Ms. Whitehead made a motion to add the objective “Prioritize remaining acres within Preserve boundary and develop acquisition plan based on projected funds.”

“When this city set about getting the Preserve, we took a very active roll. We set a boundary, and we set up a plan on how we were going to acquire the acres,” Ms. Whitehead said. “I’d like to recommend we put in the strategic plan active statement.”

Mr. Stockwell explained the acquisition of Preserve land was not included on this Organization Strategic Plan because there is not any anticipated state land to be available within the next year.

“Staff did not anticipate any state land coming available in the next year and if it did, staff would act and bring forward that to the council in a timely matter if it had,” Mr. Stockwell said.

“It has been on the Organization Strategic Planning list in the past when we knew there were acquisitions coming up.”

In total, there are 31 goals on the strategic plan, 15 of which are deemed council priorities. The Organization Strategic Plan includes:

  • Conduct state-required process to update General Plan in preparation for voter-approval in 2021;
  • Identify locations and funding for additional parking areas to support specialty retail in Old Town;
  • Work with community to complete age-and dementia-friendly assessment and develop action plan;
  • Strengthen walkability of Old Town by improving connectivity between Civic Center, Arts and Canal districts;
  • Preserve and Enhance Environment through energy, green building, solar, solid waste and water initiatives; and
  • Support efforts to reduce preventable accidents, including consideration of Distracted Driving Ordinance.
The approved Scottsdale Organization Strategic Plan. (List by City of Scottsdale)

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at or can be followed on Twitter at

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