To the Saguache County Community,

from the Saguache County Commissioners, Linda Joseph,  Jason Anderson and Ken Anderson

It is with great pleasure and anticipation that we present to you the DRAFT Saguache County Strategic Plan. It is the first of its kind by and for our County, a reflection of the need to plot a long-term course that serves our County community in a clear, concise manner. This document was created to establish an action plan to address some of the most pertinent issues of our County in a manner that is transparent, measurable, and creates accountability. As government public servants, we are keenly aware of the challenges that we are called upon to address – economic scarcity, the state of our resources… especially water, and the difficulties of isolated communities in a vast landscape – are all issues that are seen as major concerns of our citizens. As we know when seeking solutions for large issues, the most difficult part is the process of turning ideas into action, and more importantly – results. A Strategic Plan aims to address this.

This document was made possible when Saguache County became the recipient of a CO Dept. of Local Affairs (DOLA) Planning Grant. The grant, awarded just before the holidays last year, supports the development of a Saguache County Strategic Plan, by January 31, 2014. This grant is for $15,000, matched by Commissioner Contributions in 2013 and 2014, to make the project possible. Saguache County worked with the Strategic Planning process and consultants approved by DOLA – Managing Results, LLC (MR).

Saguache County was first introduced to this planning process and MR over 5 years ago, when Gunnison County, which had used this approach presented it at the Annual Colorado Counties Winter Conference, and again a few years later. Implementing their strategic plan, Gunnison County achieved amazing results. Since, they’ve built a state of the art Public Works facility, and jail, while lowering taxes! Their profile as a County is quite different, so our journey and outcomes will be our own. But it is great to have a nearby positive reference, and the added benefit that Gunnison County has so much experience, and have made themselves available to be of support as they can.

The Strategic Planning process began with Managing Results principles, Marv and Marty Weidner, completing a documents review, to gain the needed understanding of the County’s profile, businesses and services, in the 1st quarter of 2014. Next, Elected Officials and Dept. Heads, and citizens they encountered during their stay were interviewed to gather essential information on the operations, issues and goals of the County and County governance, in late April. MR collated and analyzed the information from these steps, in preparation for an open working County retreat that began development of the Strategic Plan, in early May. MR and the County reviewed the resulting rough Strategic Plan draft, in a final session in July, where MR captured the ideas that came forth on performance measure development, and plan implementation. In work sessions this Fall, Commissioners and County personnel studied possible data sets for where we’re at now, and targets for what we’re reaching to achieve. And, did an “inventory” of existing organizations and projects in our County already contributing in areas related to the Strategic Plan goals; and potential partners, projects and funding sources there might be.

It is our intention that the County uses this document as a tool to create a more unified effort for the betterment of our county. However as with any tool, it is only effective if we are willing to pick it up and put it to use. So at this time, we request and encourage you to review this DRAFT Saguache County Strategic Plan, and help in shaping it. Let us know how it might be improved, and what would make it yours also, as we move forward as a County.

The DRAFT Saguache County Strategic Plan is available:

– in hard copy at the County Administration Office, lower level at: 501 4th Street, Saguache, CO 8114

– or, ONLINE for download at: http://saguachecounty.net/departments/administration

Public Comments will be accepted two ways, your choice!

IN WRITING BY: 3pm Thursday, January 8, 2015 – regular mail & eMail – details in DRAFT Plan

– At the Public Meeting – Friday, January 10 from 10am to 12 pm

            at the Road & Bridge Meeting Room, 305 3rd Street, Saguache, CO 81149