Thursday, July 29, 2010

City Recieves Award For Performance Management Efforts

The City of Centralia was again recognized by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for their performance measurement and management efforts from the ICMA Center for Performance Measurement™ (CPM). Last year was the first time the City received acknowledgement from the ICMA CPM for two successful years of performance management and received the Certificate of Achievement for their efforts. This year the City has received the Certificate of Excellence, which is the highest degree of accomplishment within the ICMA CPM program.
Over the past three years, the City of Centralia has recorded and measured department performance using comparative performance measurement practices. In 2007, the City of Centralia formulated and began recording performance measures for the thirteen departments/divisions that comprise the City government. The City implemented the practice of measuring performance to ensure accountability in departmental and organizational goals and objectives. Each department has specific performance objectives and measures that both tie into Centralia’s Strategic Plan and Comprehensive Plan. Performance measures and objectives are derived from national benchmarks established through national standards, industry standards, performance of similarly composed governments and expected performance set by either City Council or City Management. City Council and City Management use this performance data for the planning, budgeting and allocation of City tax dollars and resources.
In the current economic climate, performance management is more important than ever. Not only does performance management aid in cost management, program prioritization, and quality improvement, but it encourages accountability and transparency.
“The certificate program is one of the pillars of CPM,” says Michael Lawson, director of the Center for Performance Management. “Through our certificate program, local governments are recognized for their exceptional commitment to continuous learning and improvement. The criteria on which the certificates are based serve as a checklist of effective, results-oriented management practices.”
Criteria for the Certificate of Excellence include:
  • Reporting of performance data to the public through budgets, newsletters, and/or information provided to elected officials
  • Verification efforts to ensure the data’s reliability, and
  • Staff training in the principles of performance measurement.
  • Using performance data in strategic planning and decision making
  • Sharing of performance measurement knowledge with other local governments/government entities
Surveying of both residents and local government employees
This marks the second consecutive year the City of Centralia has received acknowledgement and valuable feed back from the ICMA CPM on the City’s performance management system. City staff works diligently to ensure the data collected on a monthly basis is accurate, viable and continually evolving to provide citizens with the most efficient and effective services possible.
Centralia’s Performance Measurement annual results and information may be found in the City’s Budget Document, on Centralia TV and on the City’s official website:

Friday, July 23, 2010

City Officials Visit Washington D.C. to promote City Initiatives

On July 13, 2010, Councilman Howard Jones, Mayor Rebecca Ault and City Manager Grant Kleinhenz left for a two day trip to Washington D.C. to stress the importance of our City’s initiatives. This is the third year City officials have made the trip to D.C. to speak with our legislators and discuss the needs of our citizens. City officials met with Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Roland Burris and Congressman John Shimkus to discuss projects such as the replacement of the current water treatment plant, the dredging of Raccoon Lake, South Hickory Street realignment and extension of Calumet to Brookside Avenue, the extension of Pleasant Avenue north past the hospital to connect with Gragg Street and the US 51 at-grade crossing relocation/realignment project. The identification of these projects was a result of the City’s comprehensive planning process conducted in 2007 with citizens, local stakeholders and City Council members.
City officials held special meetings with the US representatives on Thursday July 14 and later attended an Illinois Constituent Breakfast July 15 before catching a plane returning home. “This is a brief trip but is invaluable when it comes to maintaining relationships with our legislators and keeping them informed of our City’s needs”, said City manager Grant Kleinhenz of the trip.
Currently, Senator Durbin is working to get Raccoon Lake authorized in the Water Resource Development Act which would make the City eligible to receive federal funding for the preservation and development of the lake. The City requested funding in the amount of $7,000,000 with a local commitment of $1,400,000 from the Lake Restoration Fund. The City is also working with the Army Corps of Engineers to use Raccoon Lake as a test dredging site.
City officials also received guidance on different avenues to explore while attempting to retain federal and state funding assistance for the replacement of the water treatment plant. The total project is estimated to cost between $13,000,000 and $20,000,000 and is currently in engineering stages with construction expected to commence in 2013. Centralia leadership plans to continue to work with the Senators for future appropriations.
Results of the efforts made by City officials in the development of relationships with legislators are projects such as the recent Economic Development Administration grant award of $2,000,000 for the Wabash and East 17th Street road and drainage improvement project. The award of the grant funding would not have been possible without extended project solicitation to the Senators and legislators tasked with the recommendation of constituent needs.