City of Reading Strategic Planning Framework

City of Reading

Strategic Planning Framework


The administration is in the process of developing a strategic plan to effectively communicate and plan around the priorities of the mayor. The general objective is to establish a strategic plan as the roadmap forward from where the recovery plan ends. Viewing the recovery plan as the “life support system necessary to get back on our feet,” the strategic plan can be viewed as the “next steps needed to get on with life” as we achieve success with most of the Act 47 initiatives in the next three years.


For our efforts, we have adopted the ICMA’s publication Strategic Planning for Local Government, a concise and accessible guide to developing and executing a municipal strategic plan. Although it is recommended reading for those involved in developing the plan, a summary of the key concepts and examples will be provided to everyone in the interest of time. More details on this will be forthcoming in updates to this master document.


The strategic plan is a living document that will continue to be developed and refined as time goes on. The main priority is to quickly begin integrating the overall goals and objectives into the departmental operating plans for the FY2014 planning efforts, and use the strategic plan to restart work on the comprehensive plan.


As the strategic plan is further developed, the next phase will be to consolidate all initiative tracking and reporting on the goals and objectives into ReadiStat, our unified performance management system, as required by recovery plan initiatives PI05, FI14, HR08, FD10, PD11, PW18, and CD05. This will integrate not only the mandated initiatives documented in the recovery plan, but also all other strategic initiatives involving the administration. Further information on the performance management system will be provided in a separate master document.



Organizational Statements

Vision Statement

The City of Reading is recognized as a leading model of sustainable urban living and one of the most vibrant and innovative communities in Pennsylvania. It offers a shared prosperity among all who live, work, learn, and visit here through a thriving local economy, social well-­‐being, and a healthy natural environment.


Mission Statement

The City of Reading provides leadership and service that is responsive and proactive to the needs of our community. Committed to policy innovation and operational excellence, we provide real and lasting value through our public services in ways that promote and enhance our economy, society, and environment.


Values Statement

As employees of the City of Reading, we will exemplify these core values:

  1. Respect for ourselves and our colleagues, where we create an environment that will empower us with cooperation, teamwork, and mutual support.

  2. Responsibility and accountability for our actions and behaviors. We encourage honesty and integrity as priorities.

  3. Openness to diversity, where differing ideas and creativity are actively encouraged and recognized.

  4. Commitment as public servants to take pride in our work, and to achieve and excel for the enhancement of our community.

  5. Excellence as the standard for providing responsive, caring service that the community deserves.

Leadership Philosophy

We are a community made up of diverse, talented, and dedicated people committed to public service. We will provide suitable equipment, fair compensation, and appropriate training for all employees. Together we will create a workplace that values people and skills, makes decisions collaboratively, and solves problems creatively.



Goals of the City of Reading

Presented below are the overall goals, objectives, and measures of the strategic plan. The five goals represent the broad mandates laid out by the mayor as the priorities of the City. Each goal in turn outlines specific objectives necessary to satisfy the goal, with objectives being the consistent focus for each goal.


The objectives require quantifiable measures that demonstrate performance in clear and understandable ways. The measures provide a direct conduit between the strategic plan and both budget priorities and performance management. To work towards those objectives and improve the measures, specific tactics are identified as priorities and projects that should be concentrated on. As the measures are solidified and data becomes available, targets defined with numbers, dates, durations, or other markers will be designated.


Goal 1: The City of Reading Provides Cleaner and Safer Neighborhoods [CS]

The City’s people feel safe in their neighborhoods, businesses, and homes, with police and fire protection, adequate lighting at night, clean right of ways and open spaces, and a well-­‐ designed and well-­‐maintained built environment.


Objective 1.1: The number of crimes, fires, and other major dangers are reduced citywide.

Objective 1.2: The built environment is designed to prevent accidents and injuries and discourage crime.

Objective 1.3: All streets, sidewalks, alleys, parks, and other public spaces are kept clean, attractive, and in good repair.

Goal 2: The City of Reading Drives Economic Development and Job Creation [ED]

The City begins to thrive through increased family-­‐supporting employment opportunities, locally-­‐owned businesses, independent retail, capital reinvestment, workforce development, local manufacturing, expanded corporate presence, and entrepreneurial activity.


Objective 2.1: People have access to diverse, resilient, and family-­‐ supporting employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Objective 2.2: City services and policy initiatives help ensure businesses are able to successfully open, operate, and expand in the city.

Objective 2.3: The economic multiplier is maximized through local preference in banking, purchasing, hiring, investment, and subsidy decisions.

Objective 2.4: Businesses are encouraged to operate using high community standards in economic, social, and environmental practices.

Goal 3: The City of Reading Operates Through Sound Fiscal Management [FM]

The City manages public money responsibly, budgets for outcomes instead of outputs, eliminates waste, maximizes revenues, minimizes public debt, and maintains accurate financial reporting.


Objective 3.1: The budget format and content accurately reflect the goals, objectives, and actual activity of the City.

Objective 3.2: The city maximizes revenues, minimizes debts, and eliminates wasteful spending.

Objective 3.3: Financial reports are consistently released and reviewed throughout each year.

Goal 4: The City of Reading Ensures Open and Transparent Government [OG]

The City adopts best practices in modern municipal management that increase participation, awareness, and access in the affairs of government through increased use of planning, technology, and public engagement efforts, and collaborates with outside partners to solve challenges and secure opportunities.


Objective 4.1: Democratic governance maximizes opportunities to be informed and involved.

Objective 4.2: Quality constituent services ensure input is expressed and issues are addressed.

Objective 4.3: People are treated fairly and equitably in all City policies and processes.

Objective 4.4: Intergovernmental coordination and collaboration is established whenever possible.

Goal 5: The City of Reading Thrives Through A Higher Quality of Life [QL]

The City provides a vibrant place to live, work, learn, and visit through a high standard of living across all neighborhoods, equitable open space, recreation, and wellness opportunities, diverse civic and cultural activities, and a well-­‐protected ecosystem.


Objective 5.1: Neighborhood standards of living and individual well-­‐ being are raised through high quality public services, infrastructure, and amenities.

Objective 5.2: The ecological resources and services of the city are preserved and protected through sound environmental principles and practices.

Objective 5.3: Every resident has access to recreational opportunities and open spaces that promote active lifestyles and access to nature.