City to beef up performance measurements

The city of Coon Rapids plans to beef up its performance measurement system.

Right now, the city’s performance measurement efforts include reporting an extensive amount of data and measures in the annual city budget document and taking part in the state’s voluntary performance measurement system, according to Matt Stemwedel, assistant city manager.

“Both of these components are important pieces to a performance measurement system, but they fall short of providing decision-makers and the public with information that is truly informative and useful,” Stemwedel wrote in an email to the council.

Stemwedel outlined additional performance measures that city plans to put in place.

• Developing a community report card that would detail the city’s success in its strategic planning areas as well as provide the community with high-level data on the city’s performance in key service areas and initiatives.

“The purpose of this report is to provide transparency in government and to help the city understand its strengths and weaknesses,” Stemwedel wrote.

Plans are to complete and publish this report in the second quarter of the year.

• Develop an active performance reporting process, not just on an annual basis as part of the budgeting process as is done now.

According to Stemwedel, the new system “would act like a dashboard for performance measures that could be quickly referenced and used to make management decisions.”

Plans are begin implementing this new system in late 2013, Stemwedel wrote.

• Continuing a community survey on a biennial basis not sporadically; the city’s 2011 community survey was the first since 2007.

A regular survey is a vital component of a robust performance measurement system since it provides opinions from residents as well as feedback on the quality of city services and can help the council make decisions on programs, capital project needs and budgeting, Stemwedel wrote.

Waiting more than two years between surveys would mean the data would become too stale to be relevant, he wrote.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]

  • how about us?

    Metrics, indicators and performance criteria are all valuable in answering the questions “how good are we, and what can we do better?” This has to be compared to the voice of the customer, who happens to be the citizens and residents of Coon Rapids.

    Some basic quality of life issues might include how well (timeliness and thoroughness) streets and sidewalks are cleared of snow. What can these be compared against? Anoka County and neighboring suburbs like Blaine. When is snows on them, it snows on Coon Rapids.

    The effects of the ill-advised gasoline prepay ordinance could also be studied. Has this crime been eliminated, or just shifted to neighboring suburbs?