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Continued and New Internal Projects

Clerk’s Office

Clerk's Office Assessment 

The City Clerk’s Office is in the process of conducting a structural review and assessment that will inform a strategic plan to be developed in 2018. 

City Manager’s Office

Customer Experience

The City of Boulder is committed to its vision, Service Excellence for an Inspired Future, and wants to ensure that it is proactive in providing a superior level of customer service across the organization. Throughout 2017, staff has been focused on city-wide conversations on established organizational principles with employees at all levels of the organization including implementing actions based on these principles. Feedback solicited during this process will be aggregated and rolled up to City leadership with proposed next steps for 2018. A Service Excellence Training was also created by a subset of the original Customer Experience Staff team based on feedback from 2016 research. In 2017, two staff trainings open to all employees were hosted by staff members as well as 2 sessions designed specifically for the Information Technology Department. The team is anticipating hosting 4 sessions in 2018.

CMO Strategic Plan

The City Manager’s Office (CMO) is in the process of developing a strategic plan to create alignment with the department’s mission and vision and the strategies to meet the department’s goals.  By the end of 2017, the CMO will have completed the principal discussions and work to inform the plan. By Q2 2018, the final strategy will be available for implementation to guide the work to address the mission and vision.

Communications

Communications Department Assessment

The city conducted a communication assessment in 2009; based on those recommendations, the Communication Department centralized staffing in 2010 to enhance efficiencies and communication effectiveness. Between 2010 to 2013 Communication staff were trained in best practices, embedded in city departments, and communication platforms were expanded and enhanced. The department worked with a cross-department staff advisory team to develop a 5-year strategic plan which expires in 2018. The department is in the process of developing an RFP to conduct a communication assessment to determine areas of opportunities, new technologies and best practices, as well as information and engagement strategies to inform its next 5-year plan (2019-2024). That plan will be drafted in FY 2018.

Finance

Finance Department Strategic Plan Implementation

The department hired a consultant to assist in identifying a strategic direction for the future of the finance department.  The process involved developing a clear vision and mission for the department, establishing goals, identifying priority strategies, and creating an implementation plan.  The plan is intended to represent the department’s vision and those specific initiatives that will help accomplish that vision.

Phase II: Priority Based Budgeting

Evaluate the effectiveness of the PBB tool for budgeting purposes and identify potential other tools that would make budgeting by priorities easier and more transparent.

General Fund Capital Policy and Plan

Identify funding to create a capital policy and plan that addresses needs in General Fund departments that do not have another specific revenue stream to fund their capital needs and incorporate into the Capital Improvement Process.

Budget Process and Structure

Review the budget process and identify ways to increase efficiency and transparency while decreasing the amount of time it takes to produce the work. Simultaneously, create a budget that is user friendly for the entire public.

Samba Safety System Implementation

Samba Safety is a cloud-based system that allows for real-time monitoring of current employees’ driver license status.  This will reduce the risk the City faces and allows for proactive intervention with at-risk drivers.

Banking Services Review and Implementation

City staff competitively bid banking services every 5-7 years.  There are several requirements the city has for a bank to be considered, most of which relate to specific business operation needs.  Staff will bid these services out and evaluate the respondents.  A finalist will be chosen and Council will be given the opportunity to provide feedback.  If a new bank is selected staff estimates the entire process to change banks could take 6-12 months.

Tax and License Software Implementation

Implement a new tax and licensing software system, which will handle tax return filing and payment processing for multiple tax types and will feature a customer/user/taxpayer portal for online access to filing, payment, and licensing functions.

Government Finance Officer’s Association’s Financial Sustainability Index Pilot Program

The City of Boulder was selected to serve as a pilot in the GFOA’s test of the Financial Sustainability Index to help set the benchmark for local government finance offices.

Centralized Purchasing Process

The department plans to hire a consultant to analyze the existing process and make recommendations for improvements, with the goal of making the city's purchasing process as efficient and cost-effective as possible. 

HB17-1216 Sales Tax Task Force

The task force will study sales and use tax simplification between the state and local governments to identify opportunities and challenges within existing fiscal frameworks to adopt innovative revenue-neutral solutions.

Human Resources

Diversity Strategy

The Diversity and Inclusion Officer is engaged in the assessment of the organization’s needs in order to prepare a Diversity and Inclusion strategic plan.  This includes meeting with several key community stakeholders, as well as internal staff.  The purpose of the strategy is to increase the city’s ability to attract and retain diverse employees, and increase our cultural competence that lead to specific actions to provide enhanced community services. The intention is to create measurable and meaningful initiatives that positively impact and engage all members of the Boulder community. 

IAFF and BMEA Contract Negotiations

Both the city and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF, local 900) shall collectively engage in good faith contract negotiations in 2018. The city is currently in the second year of a two-year contract with IAFF, from 2017-2018, and the parties will negotiate both the economic and non-economic terms of the contract in observation of contract provisions specific to negotiations.  Negotiation methodology and bargaining team composition are still to be determined, but it is anticipated that preparation for contract negotiations will begin in late 2017 through early 2018, and actual negotiations will take place in April/May and end in early June of 2018.

Both the city and the Boulder Municipal Employees Association (BMEA) shall collectively engage in good faith contract negotiations in 2018. The city is currently in the second year of a two-year contract with BMEA, from 2017-2018, and the parties will negotiate both the economic and non-economic terms of the contract in observation of contract provisions specific to negotiations.  Negotiation methodology and bargaining team composition are still to be determined, but it is anticipated that preparation for contract negotiations will begin in late 2017 through early 2018, and actual negotiations will take place in April/May and end in early June of 2018.

Human Services

Human Services Data and Analytics Work Plan Implementation

The Human Services Department is developing new, data analytic approaches to identify and develop metrics to assess and accelerate progress toward meeting goals and priorities identified in the 2017-2022 Human Services Strategy.

The Data and Analytics work plan prioritizes development of community indicators, outcome measurements and the use of real-time operational data for continuous evaluation and improvement in the three roles of the department:

  • Direct services provided to the community
  • Funding invested in community organizations to meet community needs
  • Community planning and implementation of best practices

The workplan is sequenced into three phases:

  • Phase I lasts through early 2018 and focuses on assessing the department’s existing data ecosystem;
  • Phase II lasts through early 2019 and focuses on developing new processes to embed data analytics throughout department workstreams; and
  • Phase III lasts through early 2020 and focuses on sustaining progress through formal policy development and new organizational procedures.

Information Technology

New Cost Allocation Model Implementation

IT will continue to examine the current IT cost allocation model and explore the transition to a usage model based on software licensing usage. During the 2019 budget cycle, IT will include more detailed charges for both storage and network resources and continue to monitor the model.

Development of Technology Improvement Plan

The City of Boulder uses a variety of software and systems.  Such systems include, but are not limited to: enterprise resource planning, financial management, fixed asset management, constituent relationship management, business intelligence/analytic, and a variety of spreadsheets and custom developed databases.  While individual departments within the organization often own and operate their own systems, the purpose of a complete technology capital program is focused on organizational wide financial management and information technology work/system planning.  To generate the expected return on technology investment, the approach of properly planning for systems and detail its specific needs so that a system can be deployed that meets needs across the organization given its resource constraints for both the initial purchase and long term maintenance.  The Technology Plan will be a comprehensive look at organizational needs and align with a financial plan.

Open Space and Mountain Parks

OSMP Office Relocation

OSMP completed office space planning studies in October of 2015 and January 2017. The findings established the need for additional office space to: address office and storage space shortages; address health and safety issues; allow for renovation of existing facilities; increase collaboration; and coordinate materials and fleet usage. A short-term action from the studies includes moving to an interim space located at 2520 55 th Street until a campus vision is explored.

Staff’s focus in 2018 will be to develop the OSMP campus vision. To ensure staff has an optimal, efficient working environment, facilities and equipment, a campus relocation may include acquisition of land, construction of a new facility and/or major renovation of an existing facility (including potential repurposing and/or expanding use) depending on site opportunities.

Parks and Recreation

Asset Management

 In 2018, Parks and Recreation will continue fulfillment of master plan goals to “Take Care of What We Have” through a formal asset management program. 2018 highlights include the implementation of the single city-wide enterprise system for asset management, Beehive. This work will inform capital planning so that Parks and Recreation can ensure adequate resources are available to maintain and operate assets and implement a life-cycle approach. Most importantly, Parks and Recreation will be able to prioritize limited funds based on asset priority and condition.

Encampments Response

Citywide resources continue to be involved in addressing illegal encampments on public lands. The issue is complex and in 2018, staff will continue to explore proactive strategies in coordination with the new Homelessness Strategy and in an effort to balance safe access for all in community gathering spaces and on public lands.

Police

Additional Community Benchmark Data for Police Vehicle and Pedestrian Stop

The Boulder Police Department (BPD) is committed to ensuring fair and equitable policing practices.  In collaboration with Human Services and the City Manager’s Office, the BPD issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) in September 2017 seeking assistance to more fully understand the methods that law enforcement professionals and other stakeholders use when collecting and analyzing vehicle and contact data. In conducting research related to this RFP, the City has identified that there are a number of methods for gathering this data and information from this project will help make a more meaningful baseline for comparison than census data alone. This project is part of the ongoing response to the Hillard Heintze report recommendations.

Public Works

Asset Management System Replacement 

The Department of Public Works began a pilot project in early 2017 involving a new asset management software, called Beehive.  The pilot was designed to focus on the assets in the Utilities Division of the Public Works Department as it provides a comprehensive testing ground, given the diversity of infrastructure, facilities and equipment.   Undertaking this evaluation in this area leverages city resources and helps to analyze the extent to which this tool can meet broader organizational needs. The project team’s initial focus has been to implement the tool for the Utilities maintenance workgroups first, then the focus will shift toward implementing for the treatment plants.   Early signs are favorable and other departments, including Information Technology, Parks and Recreation and Open Space and Mountain Parks, are being kept apprised of this work because of its potential for further application.      

The focus in 2018 will be to optimize Beehive to improve efficiencies, and begin implementation for other areas of Public Works, including the Transportation Division.

Fire Station 3

Presently located at the intersection of Arapahoe Avenue and 30th Street, Fire Station No.3 has been identified in the fire department’s master plan and capital improvement plan for relocation for the following reasons:

  • Facility Response and Performance: The facility is currently located in the 100-year floodplain and is not ideally placed for current and future emergency response time goals.  Locations currently under review are outside of the 100-year floodplain and provide for response time performance improvement of approximately 36 percent based on a four-minute travel time standard from the station needs analysis conducted in 2015.
  • Construction Deficiencies: The existing facility, built in 1964, lacks community outreach and meeting space, which is desired to meet current department goals. In addition, due to its age, the facility presents challenges for meeting city objectives, including energy efficiency standards.  Finally, the facility is unable to accommodate anticipated apparatus re-deployment related to the department’s Standards of Coverage process and the potential for Advanced Life Support service delivery.

The city intends to relocate the fire station to a location that serves northeast Boulder. In 2018, the city will work to secure a suitable property for the relocation of Fire Station No.3 and begin site planning.

Permits and Licensing System Replacement 

This project will replace the existing end-of-life permitting system (LandLink) and consolidate several stand-alone licensing systems from around the city into one modern enterprise application, EnerGov. The city has been working on the implementation phase of this project since the first quarter 2015. The system will launch on April 9, 2018 and will include new supporting systems including electronic plan review, mobile applications for enforcement and inspection staff, an online Citizen Self Service portal (CSS) where customers can apply for a select number permits online, search for the status of permit and plans cases, pay invoices, schedule and check inspections, and resubmit applications. The next phase of the project will begin in the third quarter of 2018, and will implement the professional licensing, permitting, and planning case types in CSS that were not included in the initial go live.  This will provide customers the opportunity to submit applications electronically instead of visiting the Planning and Development Services Center. 

This project is a collaboration between Planning, Housing and Sustainability, Public Works, Information Technology, Finance, Open Space and Mountain Parks, and Police departments.

Radio Infrastructure Improvements 

The City of Boulder currently owns and operates a Land Mobile Radio (LMR) infrastructure that services both public safety and non-public safety users across the city. This infrastructure was first installed several decades ago and the city is encountering increasing issues with the performance of the infrastructure.

A radio infrastructure study, completed in 2016, identified near-term and longer-term improvements. The city proposes to upgrade infrastructure based on current public safety standards. This new infrastructure should help the city improve the performance of its LMR operations and enhance interoperability with partner agencies. It should also allow the city to more efficiently and effectively monitor and maintain the system. The city has determined that a digital system is the best solution for its needs based on current and evolving technology. This standard will help ensure that the city has a common operating platform that maximizes compatibility with vendor equipment and other LMR systems.

Short-term investments are scheduled for completion in 2017. More significant improvements are programmed for 2018 and include tower consolidation and equipment upgrades to support system redundancy and reliability.

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