Jan. 24 Council Work Session: Strategic Plan Update


The Los Alamos County Council has set an agenda item for its upcoming Council work session Tuesday, Jan. 24 to discuss its Strategic Plan. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the conference room inside Building 1 at Pajarito Cliffs Site.

The strategic plan was first adopted in 2011 and goals are reviewed and updated annually by the council to provide direction to the staff, who then develop Management Action Plans (MAPs) to achieve the goals.

The vision statement adopted by the Council six years ago is:

Los Alamos is a world-renowned community where discovery and innovation are inspired by its dramatic history and magnificent mountain setting. We offer extraordinary educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities in a vibrant, small-town atmosphere.

The vision statement looks forward into the future 20 years, imagining what Los Alamos could look like by the year 2030. Building upon that vision, strategic focus areas are items of extreme strategic importance and determine the nature and quality of a community’s future. The strategic focus areas define where resources – both time and money – should be spent to reach the fulfillment of the vision by answering the most critical question: “What really is most important?” Council has worked through the years to refine the plan into three main goals with strategic focus areas. Each January the Council discusses work that has been completed, new items to be considered and current items to be amended. The Council then has the option to set priorities for any of these areas. This updated plan informs the upcoming May budget process and this process may be part of the Council’s discussion on Jan. 24. Currently the goals, focus areas and priorities are:

  • Economic Vitality & Financial Sustainability: The priority area is “Maximize our opportunity with respect to the development of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.”
  • Quality of Life, including focus areas for: Housing, Education, Quality Cultural and Recreational Amenities, Environmental Stewardship, Mobility. The priority area falls under Housing: “Promote maintenance and enhancement of housing stock quality.”
  • Quality Governance, including focus areas for: Operational Excellence, Communication, Intergovernmental Relations. The priority area falls under Operational Excellence and is two-fold: “Simplify permit requirements and improve the overall process, and, establish and implement a mechanism for effective utility policy setting and review.”

Each of the focus areas contains detailed plans to achieve results in the short and long-term. While the Council sets the overall vision, goals, strategic focus areas and priorities, the methods used to achieve the plan is the responsibility of County staff. Therefore, after the Jan. 24 work session and later Council adoption of the plan for 2017 at a regular Council meeting, the next step will be for County Manager Harry Burgess to work with the County department directors to update the MAPs, which will include information regarding objectives, budget, staffing, resources and timing.

The Council will receive public comment at the beginning and end of their work session on Jan. 24 and the public is invited to give feedback regarding the strategic goals, focus areas or areas that they would like to see made priorities for 2017. Citizens can track progress being made on the goals at http://www.losalamosnm.us/gov/council/Pages/PlanningOurFuture.aspx.

The online and interactive 2016 Annual Report is a valuable resource and provides an overview of the goals as well as work accomplished each calendar year. It is available at:


The Jan. 24 strategic planning session is an informal work session for the Council; the meeting will not be streamed or broadcast on PAC 8. The agenda will be available no later than Friday, Jan. 20 at http://www.losalamosnm.us/gov/council/Pages/default.aspx.