Commissioners To Workshop With Strategic Planning Consultant

SNOW HILL – Elected officials are expected to work with a strategic planning consultant next month in an effort to define their vision for Worcester County.

At a meeting Dec. 18, the Worcester County Commissioners approved a proposal for a strategic planning retreat from The Novak Consulting Group. The retreat, which is set for Jan. 29-30, will take place at the Berlin branch of the Worcester County Library.

According to Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins, the commissioners in the past have conducted a strategic planning session during their Maryland Association of Counties winter conference. This year, however, they opted to do something more formal.

“Over the past six months events have shown the strategic planning process needed to be changed,” Higgins said. “During this time the commissioners determined that they needed to collectively define their vision for Worcester County.”

Higgins said that led staff to investigate various options.

“As part of our investigation, we were aware that the Town of Ocean City conducted a successful Strategic Planning Retreat (in September 2017) facilitated by Catherine Tuck Parrish of The Novak Consulting Group,” Higgins said.

In response to the county’s inquiry, The Novak Consulting Group submitted the proposal reviewed by the commissioners this month. The proposal outlines the various services that will make up the process, including phone calls to each commissioner and an online survey that will be completed by the county’s department heads that will help Parrish develop the agenda for the retreat itself.

According to the proposal provided to the county, the entire process will cost $10,000. Following the initial phone calls to commissioners and survey of department heads, facilitators will meet with the commissioners on Jan. 29 and 30.

“This session will include exercises and discussion,” the proposal reads. “The purpose of the workshop would be to clarify expectations between the governing body and staff; set a vision and goals for the county commission; and set a path for the county staff to achieve those goals.”

A week after the session, the consulting group is expected to provide a summary report documenting its results.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.