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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Apr 05

Measuring Results of City Services

Posted on April 5, 2016 at 3:21 PM by Communications Department

Performance Outcomes included in the Fiscal Year Budget for 2nd Year

It has been said that you can’t manage what you don’t measure! This axiom really resonates with the City of Newport News. City Manager Jim Bourey initiated a City-wide performance measurement framework two years ago as part of an overall effort to hold the City accountable to citizens for the taxes and fees they pay. The intent is to move beyond just tracking service delivery and efficiencies in our business processes and focus on the RESULTS. With a financial plan (FY 2017 recommended operation budget and CapitalFY2016 PERFORMANCE OUTCOMES_PW Improvement Plan) totaling over $1 billion, it is indeed important for the public to know what the City is actually delivering, the return on your investment is even more critical!!

The performance measurement framework focuses on just that - identifying why services are performed as opposed to simply measuring how much was performed. The City has identified over sixty high-level performance outcomes based on the City Council’s Five Strategic Priorities established by City Council listed below.

- Economic Development & Redevelopment:
Newport News is a place that promotes the expansion of economic activity throughout its various commercial corridors, provides economic opportunities for its residents, has a diverse tax base, fosters a healthy climate for new and existing businesses, and supports our schools

- Environmentally Sustainable Local Government Policies: Newport News is a sustainable community that promotes energy efficiency, reduces pollutants, and protects our natural resources and green space for future generations.

- Community Renewal & Maintenance:
Newport News is a place that strengthens neighborhoods by connecting families to community resources and healthy lifestyle opportunities; Newport News is a place that reinvests in and preserves its neighborhoods by confronting the persistent problems of urban deterioration with stronger maintenance codes, housing rehabilitation programs, home ownership programs, low interest loan programs, property acquisition and infill development.
- Fiscal Management & Efficient Operations:
Newport News is a place that carefully monitors revenue collections and expenditures to ensure a financially healthy organization. The City is a place with seamless and responsive service delivery.

- Maximum Emphasis on Public Safety:
Newport News is a place where citizens and visitors are safe and feel confident that a response will be there at all times.

So how do city officials actually know they have been successful in achieving their goals? Outcome measures help to show progress at a population level, ensure accountability to the public and foster a spirit of transparency. Outcomes provide a starting place to communicate results or the change in the condition of well-being for children, adults, families and neighborhoods in the city due to public investments. “Outcomes tell our story to larger audiences by looking back at past performance, looking around at our current status, and looking toward the future at things we need to improve upon,” said Telly C. Whitfield, Ph.D., Assistant to the City Manager and responsible for performance measurement for the City.

 For the second year, performance outcomes were included as part of the annual budget. Staff will continue to review the data collected and monitor performance in achieving desired goals. Some measures still require baseline information. Others may go through some refinement so that the most appropriate indicator of performance is given for each strategic priority and related initiatives. Future targets will also be selected after three full years of data is collected.

In addition to the inclusion in the budget document, Mr. Bourey presented selected outcomes to guests at the State of the City Address in the fall and used the framework as a way to introduce our city to dignitaries during a business development trip to China. The framework was also well received by the bond agencies during our successful bond rating process.

The FY 2017 Performance Outcomes can be seen on page 8 of the Recommended FY2017 Budget Book.