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Petersburg, Virginia City Government

The goal of the effectiveness and efficiency review of selected departments (city attorney, city assessor, city manager, clerk of council, finance, fire, human resources, library, museums and visitor centers, office on youth, parks and recreation, planning, police, public works, and social services) of the Petersburg city government was to work with city managers and leaders to establish a management vision (consistent with the vision principles that had been established by the city council) that provides an overarching framework to guide the way the city does business.  Specific study objectives included distinguishing core and/or required services from discretionary services; determining the level at which core and/or required services should be provided; understanding the fundamental relationship between resource expenditures and investments and performance (e.g., service levels); ensuring services are provided as cost-effectively as possible; developing systematic and consistent approaches to making resource allocation decisions that reflect community priorities and the availability of financial resources; and establishing systems that support integrated financial and management decision-making and support management accountability.


As a starting point the consultants recommended that the city undertake five key initiatives: to develop an aggressive economic development approach and strategy that incorporates the best features of existing plans; to establish a management framework to guide how the city is managed and operates; to establish a resource allocation framework to guide decisions about how to make the best use of the city’s limited resources; articulate a new deal with employees; and to ensure effective communications with internal and external stakeholders.


Other recommendations were to establish an organizational structure that will support the transformation process; identify core services and the baseline level at which those services should be provided; undertake initiatives to reduce cost that can be implemented in the short-term and assess alternative approaches to service delivery; increase salaries for targeted employees; make investments needed to jump start economic development initiatives; develop and implement core features of the management infrastructure; develop and implement core features of a compensation framework; and assess manager and employee capabilities and initiate a plan for retooling the city’s workforce.