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Strategic Plan Update 2024-2028

The Board of County Commissioners is looking for feedback about a draft update to the County’s Strategic Plan.
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Cover page of the draft Washington County Strategic Plan Update 2024-2028. The cover includes images of Washington County employees providing county services and members of the community in various settings. The cover also includes a link to washingtoncountyor.gov

Washington County’s Strategic Plan, which was last updated by the Board in the 1990s, is a guiding document that identifies service delivery roles, organizational principles and priorities for the Washington County government. The Board of County Commissioners is currently engaged in a Strategic Update process to align the plan with a unifying vision called “One Washington County.”

In four years' time, after the County has implemented foundational systems improvements, a more extensive update to the  Strategic Plan is anticipated. These foundational improvements – a process Washington County calls “Design the Future” – include adopting a first-ever capital improvement plan, modernizing its resource management tool and other critical projects.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners is looking to the public for input about the draft Strategic Plan Update. A brief online questionnaire will be available until February 16 for comments from the community.

History of the Strategic Plan

Timeline showing key events in the development of Washington County's Strategic Plan, beginning with the adoption of the original version in 1986.

1986 - Original County 2000 Strategic Plan adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. This plan identified service delivery roles, principles and priorities for the organization.
Early 1990s - The Board adopted minor adjustments in the early 1990s, after a two-year review process and public hearings. The 1993-94 version was the last time the Board officially changed the Strategic Plan.
2005-2010 - The Board sought to condense the Strategic Plan from 60 to 17 pages and make minor updates. This shorter working draft was shared on the County web and a brief public input period followed. The working draft was not formally adopted.
Now - The Board is developing an update to the adopted Strategic Plan with changes to align to One Washington County language. Public input will be sought from Jan. 30 to Feb. 14. In four-years' time, after the County has implemented foundational systems improvements, a more extensive update to the Strategic Plan is anticipated. 
2028 - The Board’s target date for launching a comprehensive review of Washington County’s Strategic Plan, including a community vision. 

Members of the Board of County Commissioners and staff discussing the Strategic Plan Update in a conference room at Clean Water Services' Rock Creek Water Resources Recovery Facility in Hillsboro on January 11, 2024.

Process So Far

The Board of County commissioners conducted facilitated discussions of the Strategic Update during the Board’s Roundtable meetings throughout the fall of 2023. Agendas, supporting documents and full audio files of these Roundtables can be found here: 

January 11, 2024 - Board Roundtable
December 7, 20213 - Board Roundtable
November 2, 2023 - Board Roundtable
September 14, 2023 - Board Roundtable
August 3, 2023 - Board Roundtable

FAQs

For local governments, a strategic plan is a foundational document for local government leaders and residents to determine the effective and efficient delivery of services in the community over the long term. A strategic plan is used to identify service delivery roles, principles and priorities for a local government organization. Typical elements of a strategic plan include vision and mission statements, guiding principles, fundamental approaches to operating and goals to be pursued over a multi-year period. 

A strategic plan is central to other organization-wide plans, projects and initiatives. By identifying the County’s priorities, goals and actions, the strategic plan provides an important anchor for these other efforts, including several that are active currently such as a budget transformation process, establishing a capital improvement plan, developing a long-term financial plan, among others.  

The draft Strategic Plan Update refers to both the community and the county government organization. The proposed draft updates prior expressions of the community’s vision and priorities with more modern language and is informed by Washington County’s current goals and operational context.   

The original Washington County 2000 Strategic Plan was adopted in the late 1980s by the Board of County Commissioners. This plan identified service delivery roles, principles and priorities for the organization. The board adopted minor adjustments in the early 1990s, after a two-year review process and public hearings. The 1993-94 version was the last time the board officially changed the Strategic Plan. A brief effort to update the plan in 2005-2010 was not ultimately adopted by the board.  

No. The draft Strategic Plan Update would shorten the length and refresh the language of the County’s current strategic plan, which was last adopted in the early-1990s. The same essential approach to Washington County’s vision, mission and approach to local government operations is outlined in the proposed Strategic Plan Update. 

The proposed update to the County’s strategic plan is limited to refinements to the organization’s current strategic direction. As the plan draft describes: 

“It is our hope that this document lives and provides foundational information and direction to the Washington County organization as we navigate our way forward together into 2028."  

County officials are anticipating a more extensive strategic planning process and broader community engagement four years from now, once significant projects under the organization’s “Design the Future” initiative – reach their conclusion. These multi-year projects, already underway, include:   

  • the replacement of the organization’s core financial and human resources planning tool, referred to as enterprise resource planning modernization;   

  • an inventory of the county government’s approximately 350 lines of public service, many of which are mandated by state or federal law;   

  • an organization-wide assessment of current and projected capital improvement needs across the categories of transportation, facilities and technology. 

The draft vision statement in the proposed Strategic Plan Update is: 

“One Washington County is our unifying effort that produces a vision for a special community and mission-focused organization that can better serve the community now and in the years ahead.”   

“One Washington County” is a term used within the County organization to express a vision for a collaborative organization where multiple departments and offices work together in service to the Washington County community.  

In the words of the draft Strategic Plan Update, “One Washington County is also being expressed as a multi-organizational vision for unified and coordinated public service to the community:  

“Meeting the needs of residents of this community requires the planning, innovation and action of everyone—across various sectors and organizations. The fulfillment of our community vision requires everyone and our collective will to align passion and resources to serve our residents.  This involves uniting community efforts and organizations with the talent, diversity and capacity of the public servants of Washington County to cultivate a thriving, equitable and inclusive community.” 

The draft mission statement in the proposed Strategic Plan Update is: 

“Design the Future: Washington County is a leading-edge, mission-focused organization that successfully serves the community now and in the years ahead.  We are a human-centered organization that integrates equity into decision-making and supports the health, effectiveness, creativity and talents of our employees as public servants and the residents whom we serve.” 

“Design the Future” is an organization-wide initiative already happening in Washington County to identify and implement human-centered improvements to the delivery of county services over time. Examples include:  

  • the replacement of the organization’s core financial and human resources planning tool, referred to as enterprise resource planning modernization;   

  • an inventory of the county government’s approximately 350 lines of public service, many of which are mandated by state or federal law;   

  • an organization-wide assessment of current and projected capital improvement needs across the categories of transportation, facilities and technology.

The draft Strategic Plan Update would continue the same strategic approach Washington County has taken over the last several decades when it comes to the County’s role in the provision of services. The approach is illustrated in three important ways.  

First, in a section called “Four Fundamentals,” the Strategic Plan Update describes Washington County as a “dynamic partner” and outlines three modes for pursuing its public service mission, as either a provider, a partner or a supporter. This long-standing delineation of roles give context to Washington County’s partnerships with community-based organizations and fellow governments at the city, special district, state and federal levels.  

Second, in the same section of fundamentals, the Strategic Plan Update emphasizes “prioritizing critical needs” and the intention to:  

“continue to focus on resourcing countywide services defined by utilization and benefit to a broad range of county residents. Countywide property tax dollars will be primarily expended on countywide services.” 

Finally, throughout a section called “Organizational Goals,” the Strategic Plan Update lists the variety of services and objectives being pursued by County offices and departments, and the strategic mode for achieving these goals through being a direct service provider, partner or supporter.  

The draft Strategic Plan Update centers equity and Washington County’s diverse workforce and community throughout the document.  

The proposed mission statement speaks of Washington County as “a human-centered organization that integrates equity into decision-making.”  

Equity and inclusion are among the six Guiding Principles called out in the draft, specifically by stating: 
 
“We are committed to an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of the county’s residents and employees.  We are committed to fostering, supporting and strengthening equity and inclusion in Washington County’s programs, practices and policies.” 

In the section called “Four Fundamentals,” the draft calls on the organization to bring: 
 
“integrity, best practices and an equity-diversity-and-inclusion (EDI) lens to ensure the success of our priorities and mission.” 

Finally, in a listing of organizational goals, the draft Strategic Update refers to how Washington County’s departments and offices intend to pursue equity, diversity and inclusion in pursuit of their objectives. 

County officials are anticipating a more extensive strategic planning process and broader community engagement four years from now, in 2028, once significant Design the Future projects reach their conclusion. These multi-year projects, already underway, include:   

  • the replacement of the organization’s core financial and human resources planning tool, referred to as enterprise resource planning modernization;   

  • an inventory of the county government’s approximately 350 lines of public service, many of which are mandated by state or federal law;   

  • an organization-wide assessment of current and projected capital improvement needs across the categories of transportation, facilities and technology.   

Until this more extensive engagement process can begin, the public is invited to provide input about the draft Strategic Plan Update by answering a brief online questionnaire before February 16. Public input will be shared with the Board of County Commissioners at their Works Session meeting on February 20. 

The public is invited to provide input about the draft Strategic Plan Update by answering a brief online questionnaire before February 16. Public input will be shared with the Board of County Commissioners at their Works Session meeting on February 20. 

The Washington County Board of Commissioners plans to review public input received about the draft Strategic Plan Update at their Work Session meeting on February 20. After that, the Board is scheduled to consider adopting the updated Strategic Plan at their regular business meeting on February 27. 

Contact Us

Board of County Commissioners (BCC)

Phone

503-846-8681

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