Peoria Park District launches focus group, looks at cost effectiveness with tax dollars

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PEORIA, Ill.,– A Peoria Park District focus group is meeting to talk cost recovery. It’s all a part of the district’s strategic planning efforts. Their 2018-2020 plan says that tax dollars “foot the bill” for most governmental services, which includes parks. 

 “The idea is that, we have to, together, value things from those things that significant community value all the way through the continum to those things specifically individually valued,” said Emily Cahill, Peoria Park District Executive Director.

The hope is to spend tax dollars efficiently in an effort to help strength the park system for the long term. The district hopes to create and maintain awareness of their strategic plan while also building a culture of excellence.

The district has engaged about 85 different community organizations and asked them to send a representative. Board members have been able to invite individuals to participate as well. About 40-45 staff members engaged in the process too. 

“We want to show that we’re being good stewards of those dollars that you entrust to us,” said Cahill. “With that responsibility comes the opportunity for us to be transparent but collaborative to make sure that we are serving our community in the best way possible.”

Cahill continues that the next steps will be a proposed model and that proposed model will then be presented on the website. The district will have opportunities for people to provide their thoughts/feedback and the organization will provide open houses where people can come and talk about their concerns.

Cahill said the values that are developed now, with the feedback from the community, will help to make policy that really forces consistency in how the community is served.

To view the strategic plan, CLICK HERE. 

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