Tracking Your City's Improvements May Be the Best Legacy You can Leave

February 27, 2014

By Hilari Varnadore

Hilari Varnadore will serve as a presenter for the interactive seminar, "Achieving Strategic Goals Using Community-Scale Performance Management" at the Congressional City Conference on Saturday, March 8 in Washington, D.C.

What legacy will you leave for your city? Most city leaders grapple with this question and place great emphasis on answering it. As a mayor, your primary concern may be an improved bond rating or ensuring the budget is in the black. Your agenda may include crime reduction, business retention, a more secure water supply or improvements to the transportation infrastructure.

Whether or not your priorities include one initiative or twenty, your staff needs a system to track and record improvements in order to help you reach your goals. Coordination across agencies, engagement of community partners, alignment with strategic plans and efforts to centralize data collection may be necessary.

The STAR Community Rating System (STAR) was built by and for local governments to respond to needs like yours. Cities track progress across a comprehensive set of community goals and objectives then gain recognition through the STAR Community Rating certification process.



   
City leaders who want to learn how to use performance management to accelerate and sustain improvements to local economic, social and environmental conditions are invited to learn more at www.STARcommunities.org. More than 70 communities just like yours are already registered and using STAR today.

In addition to reaching your goals and leaving the city a better place than when you started, improving transparency and accountability may be the best legacy you can leave.

Hilari Varnadore is the Executive Director of STAR Communities, an organization committed to delivering tools that help cities, towns and counties improve their economic, environmental and social conditions. Previously, Hilari was Frederick County, Maryland's first Sustainability Director in the Office of the County Manager.