Monday, April 23, 2018
News Roundup

Sossamon outlines long-term strategic plan for Hernando

BROOKSVILLE — Developing a housing program for low-income veterans, creating an agriculture education program on county-owned surplus land and building a Nature Coast sports complex are among the ideas in Hernando County Administrator Len Sossamon's new strategic plan.

Also in the plan are semiannual gatherings for representatives of the county, the School Board and Pasco-Hernando Community College to find service efficiencies.

Sossamon released the proposed plan, a year in the making and assembled after input from across the county, on Thursday.

The 20-page document leans heavily on economic development, multi-year planning, strengthening old and creating new partnerships, and improving services for all of the county's residents.

It also includes a yardstick that will allow county officials to measure whether they are accomplishing their goals by tracking performance measures ranging from customer satisfaction with programs to the turnaround time for service of vehicles in the county fleet.

The plan does not include proposals for funding any of the initiatives.

Sossamon used input from citizen surveys and town hall meetings, comments by residents at commission meetings and conversations with local professional groups, he notes in his introduction.

"With all this input,'' he wrote, "we have worked to develop a plan that will help guide Hernando County boldly into a more robust, sustainable and successful future.''

The county's mission, he recommends, should be to provide "the highest quality of life for all residents by delivering fiscally sound, responsive services in a manner that is equitable, professional and has the highest degree of integrity.''

Sossamon divides the individual goals in the plan into three categories. They are economic viability, environmental stability and strengthening community.

Each vision is attached to broad objectives, specific goals and measures of performance.

"As we plan the strategic direction of Hernando County into the future, we feel it is important for our residents to have quantifiable indicators to gauge how effectively or efficiently services are being provided,'' the plan states.

Those measures will be tracked and available to the public "and will provide more transparency to our taxpayers.'' They will also be used as a management tool to strengthen department performance.

The County Commission will consider approving the plan on Tuesday.

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