Strategic Vision 2023-2028

At their retreat on September 24, 2021, the Ellensburg City Council considered strategic questions and created a shared vision for the future built on strategic priorities. The City Council’s Strategic Vision represents the most important issues facing the City of Ellensburg and establishes precedence for expenditure of staff and other City resources. In addition, the Strategic Vision provides Milestones as a measure of achievement for the entire executive staff and City Council to use in the coming years.

At the May 16, 2022 Ellensburg City Council meeting, the Council adopted a new resolution that included the refined strategic priorities and milestones for 2023-2028 that are listed below.

Strategic Pillars for Council's Vision 

  1. Housing Affordability
  2. Economic Vitality
  3. Safe and Inclusive Community
  4. Energy & Resource Management
  5. Sustainable Infrastructure

1.    Housing Affordability

  • Close the gap between units and projected need (additional 4,772 by 2037); increase permitted housing units by 3% per year
  • Decrease the number of cost-burdened households through implementation of the Housing Action Plan while retaining neighborhoods: removal of barriers to construction of new housing types; and create housing incentives that are utilized to build new housing stock
  • Support development of missing housing types through prototypes and incentives
  • Add affordable housing stock through partnerships and investment of earmarked sales tax funds and designated surplus property
  • Partner to expand resources to support community members experiencing homelessness

2.    Economic Vitality

  • Attract long-term skilled labor and “family wage” jobs to the community
  • Sustain and grow existing businesses; expand creative and entrepreneurial sector to retain and enhance community character
  • Prevent retail leakage while increasing diversity and retail options for residents
  • Identify gaps and partner to align local labor market to community needs (trades, mental health professionals, etc.)
  • Leverage location for increased efficiency/economy of multi-directional shipping (freight) transportation systems
  • Partner to streamline access to capital for community investment
  • Forecast and plan proactively for transportation, utility, and broadband infrastructure to serve residential, commercial, and industrial future
  • Maximize alignment and partnerships with Central Washington University, Kittitas County, EDA, CenterFuse (EBDA), Chamber, other organizations, municipalities and regional partners to implement actions outlined in economic development plan.

3.    Safe and Inclusive Community

  • Partner with other agencies and organizations to expand resources for mental health, substance abuse, and food insecurity gaps; advocate for infrastructure/staffing investment to support mental health crisis
  • Implement recommendations from 2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report; actively increase accessibility, equity, and inclusion in services, programs, and public facilities
  • Invest in communications to increase accessibility (translation, signing)
  • Expand partnerships to host cultural awareness through community events and activities
  • Leverage partnerships to provide more public and private family-friendly recreation facilities and activities (i.e., City Rec center, bowling, etc.)
  • Support policing with effective tools and training to address community needs

4.    Energy & Resource Management

  • Develop and implement community-wide sustainability/climate action plan to reduce carbon footprint with milestones across sectors
  • Update tree code and evaluate city street tree canopy for carbon offset
  • Increase hybrid/electric city car fleet and provide charging stations at city facilities
  • Meet milestones and targets of Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), Climate Commitment Act, building codes, and other state and federal mandates
  • Identify and implement renewable energy incentives and streamlined permitting
  • Implement smart grid solutions to improve efficiency and service delivery (demand management technology for two-way utility communication)
  • Implement customer information system software upgrade to improve internal and external utility management

5.    Sustainable Infrastructure

  • Forecast population growth impact on services, human resources, and infrastructure (utility, transit, transportation, parks and open space, park equipment replacement, broadband, etc.); create lifecycle design evaluation model for existing and new public facilities
  • Develop dedicated and sustainable funding for park and facility construction, maintenance, and operations
  • Build transportation and electric grid infrastructure to facilitate increase in electric and autonomous vehicles
  • Establish resources to implement broadband infrastructure plan for accessible and affordable broadband for residential and commercial
  • Implement strategies outlined in the 2019 Downtown Parking Plan
  • Develop solutions for builders and community members to add/utilize quality, sustainable residential infrastructure
  • Implement enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system and best practices to improve data management, operational efficiency, and cybersecurity
  • Maintain infrastructure development and maintenance programs best practices and investments for all public facilities and utilities
  • Continue stormwater and flood mitigation investments to improve resiliency

Sustainable: mindful action and investment today that minimizes and mitigates negative impacts on future resources—both natural and fiscal.  

Read the resolution