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City Council Strategic Plan

A Foundation for Meeting Community Needs

The City Council Strategic Plan is the City's guiding document and foundation for meeting current and future community needs. It integrates the Biennial Operating and the Capital Improvement Budgets, and subsequently drives daily operations within the City across five priority areas. The strategic plan identifies key objectives, prioritizes change and addresses resource allocation. It has a six-year time horizon, bolstered by an annual iterative review considering shorter-term adjustments, and a 10-year outlook to incorporate long-range initiatives reflected in the financial plan.

Five Priorities

The strategic plan is organized across five priorities that City Council has identified as critical to the City's success:

  • Safe Community
  • Infrastructure
  • Community and Economic Development
  • Vibrant Community and Neighborhoods
  • Organizational and Service Effectiveness 

Council also identifies specific objectives, called "strategic results," that provide the City team with a clear path for achieving success within each priority.


In 2013, the Arvada City Council developed the first comprehensive citywide strategic plan which was adopted by resolution that year. Strategic plan updates are adopted by resolution annually. In 2019, City Council and the City's leadership team began developing he 2020-2025 strategic plan. This document builds upon the original strategic foundation and includes cycles of learning which led to the creation of a fifth priority area. Principles and milestones were also incorporated in 2019 to provide clear alignment and progress points toward the successful completion of strategic results. City Council reviews the strategic plan at its annual strategic planning retreat. The retreat is a forum for in-depth discussion of the current approach and and evolving needs of the community. Additionally, every other year following a City Council election, Council engages in a comprehensive review of all strategic results is conducted to determine whether updates, additions, or deletions are needed.

Measuring Progress

The City team monitors progress using a performance management system, called FOCUS, which aligns performance-based budgeting, strategic planning, strategic results, priorities, milestones, performance measures and individual workforce goals to clearly define what the City must accomplish over a six-year timeframe. The City Council Strategic Plan guides FOCUS to prioritize services and programs for the community by concentrating on the value to, and experience of, the customer, and by measuring, evaluating and reporting performance. The City team reviews progress toward achieving strategic results on a quarterly basis, and shares updates with the community, workforce and City Council.