1) The Governance Process

Shifting from an annual operating focus to a longer-term vision with broader goals involves several separate, but interrelated, steps – each involving more people and sharing crucial information upon which to base strategic decisions.

Governance Process graphic

It begins with establishing a baseline of what it takes to operate and fund Enfield’s municipal government. Enfield has eight municipal departments/functional areas:

  1. Governance, Administration, and Finance
  2. Economic/Community Development
  3. Public Works
  4. Police
  5. Ambulance
  6. Fire
  7. Library
  8. Recreation

Between April and September 2018, each prepared and presented proposed strategic plans for the next five years that cover:

  • Historical trends,
  • Projected demand for existing and new services,
  • Proposed citizen-oriented outcomes,
  • Strategic initiatives needed to achieve those outcomes, and
  • Proposed budgets for that five-year period.

These are crucial to enable the Town Manager, Select Board, and Budget Committee to gauge challenges and how to prioritize and expend resources. They also help gauge key aspects that shape the overall quality of life for Enfield residents and the value residents receive for their tax dollars.

These proposed plans also help the Budget Committee and municipal administration assess the financial resources available while balancing the need to manage increases in the tax rate with delivered high levels of service and desired citizen-oriented outcomes. Municipal government accounts for only 28% of the total taxes Enfield residents pay (schools account for 65% and county 7%). Nonetheless, municipal costs amount to millions of dollars, so understanding how to deliver quality services that residents want at a good value is a key goal of strategic governance.

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