The year 2012 brings to us a new year to grasp our community’s vision and opportunity, and begin to actualize some big goals. The foundation of this community is key, and today’s update looks at our efforts to study, plan, and make us strong as we build into a premier community. These are not just goals and dreams, these are specific data-drive targets that we are dedicated to reaching for the betterment of our lifestyle and our community. This next year will play a key role in developing our future and long-term identity.
The year 2012 kicked off in Gilbert with a reassuring exercise that allowed our staff to play out our response in the case of an emergency. Our emergency management coordinator, Sheri Gibbons, led this exercise that brought all levels of our staff, and our strong volunteer base, out in response to a mock emergency notification. Fire fighters, police officers, financial officers, and myself, were among those who joined as we played out how we would react, in this case to a hot day during which our power went out.
The mock exercise involved working with regional partners who will be key to our quick and effective response. Responding quickly and effectively to an emergency means we need to be ready to make decisions and plan, from providing the life-saving responses, distributing information and supplies, and even locating funds to support the overall effort. It was reassuring for us to test our plans, and see our employees even expand and improve on response ideas. After watching this exercise play out on the morning of January 11, I am confident that our community is ready to jump into action and help out our neighbors. As our community members, you will play the biggest role in any event, and we will rely on you to receive, share and respond to the information that the experts are providing.
This year will also see a focus on specific smart plans for the future, and that includes the venues that are probably among the most used of our residents, our regional parks. January marks the kick off of our Parks Master Plan, which is an important process that will help us identify goals and needs, particularly for our newer and growing south and east parts of Town. Gilbert is built in such a way that our regional parks are significant and provide the opportunity for popular youth sports and other family activities, in addition to smaller green belts we see within our communities. We will keep you informed as we move forward with this process.
Wildly Important Goals
Mayor John Lewis on Thursday gave me the opportunity to join him and comment on my vision ahead as we move into 2012, during his State of the Town Address on January 19. I am posting a pdf on this page, of the subject that I focused on, and that is our Wildly Important Goals. Gilbert, as you know, has five Strategic Initiatives, and to take those further, we have broken out 14 very specific data-drive goals to support those overriding themes.
The goals are listed on the attached sheet, and include things that will make a real difference in our community such as increasing the number of neighborhoods who are registered with us, allowing us to contact them with important information including in times of emergency. Other goals include increasing our recycling diversion rate to 30 percent from about 17 percent, utilizing technology to reduce staff time and improve service times, and developing our comprehensive infrastructure replacement plans.
Lastly, I wanted to announce some exciting news, as we continue our search for our first communications director in the form of a chief digital officer. Our closing date on that position is January 29, and we are seeking someone with significant skills both as a communications director, as well as in digital communications. I will keep you posted as we move forward into this new age of Gilbert digital communications.
This week, I am thrilled to announce that we launched our first mobile application, for both iPhone and Android platforms. The myGilbert citizen engagement app revolutionizes the way residents can report issues, and speeds up our ability to respond. Residents can report green pools, weeds, litter and other issues that impact their neighborhood, right on their cell phones, which also allows the Town to zero in on the exact location and respond. The app also provides useful contact and background information about the Town.
The app was developed by our Development Services Division in partnership with the Alliance for Innovation. I thank our staff for their forward thinking, which will ensure that residents could quickly report issues and have them resolved.
I encourage you to download the myGilbert app and try it out. This is just the start, and I also ask that you take a moment to fill out the poll and let us know what kind of additional apps you would find most useful. You can also email ideas to my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
myGilbert Citizen Engagement app
Find them free, on your phone’s marketplace.