DURHAM, N.C. – With just the click of a mouse, Durham residents looking for more information on how the City of Durham is doing on reducing crime can now get this information on a monthly basis, while also learning more about the City’s efforts to revitalize neighborhoods or provide access to safe and affordable housing.
As part of its continuing commitment to transparency and accountability, the City has published its third Strategic Plan Progress Report, which is a bi-annual report to give an update on how the organization is achieving the goals and initiatives outlined in the City’s Strategic Plan. For the first time, all crime data and analysis associated with the “Safe & Secure Community” goal will be updated monthly instead of bi-annually.
According to City Manager Tom Bonfield, publishing updated crime data every month, and the other data every six months, helps to fulfill the City’s promise to be transparent and accountable to Durham residents. “Approximately 75 percent of our unique visitors to the dashboard are focused on crime statistics and we wanted to be responsive to those inquiries and provide that specific data more often,” Bonfield said. “Since this plan ultimately drives the way this organization conducts business, it’s important that elected officials and residents stay informed every step of the way on what’s working well, what’s not working, and our plan for fixing the areas that need improvement.”
The Strategic Plan is the City’s business plan, which establishes priorities and objectives for the organization and defines selected actions and activities within the financial limits set by the City Council. The bi-annual interactive and printable progress report is now available on the City’s website, http://www.DurhamNC.gov/StrategicPlan/Goals, and is updated each February and August. The interactive site and progress report allows residents to easily view advances made on citywide measures and initiatives as well as view positive and negative trends. The progress report delves into each of the City’s five goals ― Strong & Diverse Economy; Safe & Secure Community; Thriving, Livable Neighborhoods; Well-Managed City; and Stewardship of City's Physical Assets.
According to Budget and Management Services Director Bertha Johnson, residents can view this report year-round to see how the City is operating, not just during the budget development time. “Residents have opportunities throughout the year to see how we use data to make operational decisions, allocate resources, and hold employees accountable,” Johnson said.
Some specifics in this progress report include the recent net gain in jobs being consistent with the economic growth that has occurred in Durham from 2010-2011. There are more job opportunities for Durham residents, particularly in high-growth industries such as healthcare, information technology, and environmental technology. The violent crime clearance rate increased 3 percent from 48 percent in fiscal year 2011 to 51 percent in fiscal year 2012, a clearance rate above the FBI’s national average in every index crime category.
To date, of the 25 total outcome measures in the Strategic Plan, 11 are meeting or exceeding target, an increase since the previous report in February 2012. In addition, eight are slightly below target, two are below target, and the remaining five have a target pending. Of the 30 total objectives, seven are meeting or exceeding target, a slight decrease since the previous report in February 2012. In addition, four are slightly below target, and 14 have a target pending or no current data available. Finally, of the 51 initiatives, 12 have been completed, 12 are more than 50 percent complete, and only three have yet to begin.
Audit Services Director Germaine Brewington said residents can rest assured that the data presented to them has been verified by her team to ensure it’s accurate. “The continuous monitoring of the data on the dashboard is critical to ensure the reliability of the data and to assure our residents that the data is certified and accurate,” Brewington said.
For information about the City’s Strategic Plan, visit http://www.DurhamNC.gov/StrategicPlan or contact Strategic Initiatives Manager Jay Reinstein with the City’s Budget & Management Services Department at (919) 560-4111, ext. 20102 or by email at Jay.Reinstein@DurhamNC.gov.
About the Budget & Management Services Department
The Budget and Management Services Department is responsible for preparing, implementing, and monitoring the City’s annual operating budget as well as the five-year revenue/expenditure projections for all City government services. The department also provides operational and organizational studies as identified by the City Council, City Manager's Office, and department staff. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, which the department established and maintains, the department helps to ensure that the City of Durham is a well-managed city by working with City agencies to build and implement performance measurement monitoring and evaluation. The department is also responsible for preparing the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), coordinating the City's process for petition and City-initiated annexations, conducting resident satisfaction surveys, and evaluating departmental achievement of City goals and objectives. For more information, visit http://durhamnc.gov/ich/as/bms/Pages/Home.aspx.
About the Audit Services Department
The Audit Services Department performs an independent appraisal function designed to examine and evaluate activities within the City as a service to management, the Audit Services Oversight Committee, and elected officials. The department acts as a managerial control that measures and evaluates the effectiveness of other controls. It also reviews external entities to determine whether revenues have been properly remitted to the City and whether grant and pass-through funds are appropriately used. The department is also responsible for the administration of external audit contracts. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the Audit Services Department helps to ensure that the City of Durham is a well-managed city and good stewards of the City’s physical assets. For information, visit http://durhamnc.gov/ich/asd/Pages/Home.aspx.
About the Technology Solutions Department
The Technology Solutions Department aligns the City’s information technology infrastructure and systems to the business needs of the City’s departments. It designs, implements, and maintains the technology hardware, applications, and programs. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, Technology Solutions ensures that its services support making Durham a great place to live, work, and play by helping provide a well-managed city and stewardship of the City’s physical assets. For more information, visit http://durhamnc.gov/ich/as/ts/Pages/Home.aspx.