FORT MYERS, Fla. — At the July 27, 2022 Board of Commissioners meeting, the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) adopted a new strategic plan.
The CRA organized a two-day public workshop on July 21 and July 22, 2022 for the purpose of drafting a strategic plan. The workshop was held at the Riverside Community Center and included representatives from the CRA Board, CRA Advisory Committee, CRA staff and other city staff, and interested citizens. This diverse group of participants worked together at round table seating to prepare the plan. The city live-streamed the program to enable citizens to view the proceedings online. The retreat was facilitated by Dr. Bob Lee, President of Local Government Advisors, Inc. and MPA Program Coordinator/Associate Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.
During the workshop participants learned details about the CRA structure and administration, CRA initiatives, and current CRA projects. They worked in groups to undergo an assessment of the city’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats/challenges (SWOT/C).
Over the two days participants discussing and preparing a vision statement, mission statement, set of core values, and strategic goals for the city’s CRA strategic plan.
“It was laudable how all tables of participants worked together to collectively prepare this plan,” said Executive Director, Fort Myers CRA, Michele Hylton-Terry. “We know this plan that will be used throughout the year will help us be a better organization and deliver positive results for our city and community while fostering a positive environment for our staff and board.”
According to Hylton-Terry, the vision statement is an aspirational statement that communicates what the CRA wants to be and be known for in the future. The mission statement is an action statement that communicates how the CRA intends to achieve that vision. The core values are intended to guide all stakeholders in terms of what values they will use in implementing the CRA’s strategic plan, and the strategic goals are broad multi-year initiatives that directly supports the mission statement.
It was recommended that the report be formally presented to the CRA Board at a public meeting where the public will have an opportunity to comment on the contents and language provided for the Vision, Mission, Core Values, and Strategic Goals. A final version will be incorporated into a final strategic plan
In terms of budgeting, CRA staff will be able to develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Applicable, Realistic, Time-bound) objectives that support each strategic goal provided in the strategic plan.
“The SMART objectives will correlate directly with the revenues and expenses outlined in the budget, giving the reader a clearer understanding on the categories and numbers within the budget,” said Hylton-Terry. “These objectives can also be incorporated into the CRA’s annual employee evaluation process to ensure that employees are focusing their attention on CRA objectives from the annual budget resulting in employees working on matters that have been prioritized to support the CRA’s strategic goals.”
STRATEGIC PLAN FOR CITY OF FORT MYERS COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY:
VISION STATEMENT: A vibrant and prosperous community free of slum and blight.
MISSION STATEMENT: Provide equitable, impactful incentives, while implementing redevelopment plans that enable revitalization and foster engagement and opportunities for stakeholders, using sound fiscal practices and professional staff to improve quality of life for our diverse community.
CORE VALUES: Integrity Respect Excellence Teamwork Curiosity
- Implement redevelopment plans in a timely and cost-effective manner.
- Engage stakeholders by marketing and promoting the city’s CRA programs.
- Adopt sound fiscal practices in the administration of the CRA’s financial decisions.
- Recruit, train, retain, and competitively compensate professional staff to provide the highest level of service.
- Provide meaningful and impactful incentives designed to spur development.
- Create programs or partner with/refer to other agencies to provide training for both continuing education and trades.
Note: Goal # 6 was slightly edited by the Dr. Lee to provide that the CRA will focus on the goal without having to be the actual provider.
About the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)
The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency was created in 1984 by the City of Fort Myers, Florida, under Florida Statute Chapter 163, to formulate a plan and strategy for the revitalization of the downtown River District.
The Fort Myers CRA has continued to grow, and redevelopment areas have been added throughout the city. Today, the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency encourages and oversees redevelopment in four designated areas that contain a total of 14 distinct geographic sections within the Fort Myers city limits.
The Fort Myers CRA, along with the City’s Community Development Division, prepares plans for the revitalization of each area and coordinates the implementation of the plan’s recommendations. Tax Increment Funds (TIF) generated by each area, combined with other funding sources, are used to upgrade the public infrastructure and to stimulate redevelopment in the same area where it was generated.
The Fort Myers City Council members, sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners, oversee the Agency’s divisions and their operations. The Fort Myers CRA office is located at 1400 Jackson Street in the Downtown River District.