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Board of Commissioners Strategic Planning Efforts

The Board of Commissioners is in the process of defining future impacts and investment priorities to provide direction on the desirable impact areas for our community.  The priority areas to be discussed and defined include (listed in alphabetical order):

                • Economic Development
                • Environmental Impact & Mobility in Washtenaw County
                • Human Services/Safety Net
                • Labor Force Sustainability/Internal Equity
                • Long-Term Fiscal Stability
                • Mandated Service Provisions/Resources


Given the significant changes within the county’s budget, since 2008, as well as the increasing needs of the community, the Board of Commissioners started retreating in early March to discuss community investment and impact areas.  Board of Commissioner will continue to retreat during the month of April.  Board priorities and interests will be communicated upon adoption.

The results of these discussions will be critical for County Administration and the organization.  The priorities and direction provided by the commissioners will help determine the direction for the organization and what services are retained long-term.  If the budget process is successful, the Administrator’s Recommended Budget will demonstrate to the commissioners how the budget will achieve their desired future impacts and investment priorities for the next four years.


Look for additional information regarding Board of Commissioner developments in the Administrator’s Newsletters, within the local media on and, and through the board agenda website and meetings.


Investing for Community Impact:  an Introduction


Identifying and working toward community impact can move Washtenaw County Government toward a policy-making and resource allocation paradigm that focuses on – and measures – improved quality of life in Washtenaw County.

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Identifying and committing to change one or more community conditions or populations means moving beyond understanding how much money we spend and how many units we deliver. It means understanding and committing to what differences those investments and services make for Washtenaw County residents. It moves discussion beyond the "what" county government does toward the "why" we do it. 


Impacting a change in a community condition or population will involve deploying and coordinating multiple strategies, all focused on the same outcome. Impacting community change cannot be accomplished by Washtenaw County Government alone, but county government can play a number of significant roles from catalyst, to facilitator and convener, to investor. By their very nature, community outcomes and change efforts require multiple partners, each contributing to the change in community condition or population. In order to be effective, these partners need a common agenda, shared measurements, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and adequate infrastructure to support shared efforts.


Over the next four years the County will focus on how its investments impact the community. During 2014 County Administration will develop a process that will focus on community impact.  The exact framework is still to be developed, but will include the following elements:  an inventory of potential impacts and strategies, defining the role of county departments and the partners we work with, and identifying milestones and measurements within defined Board of Commissioner priorities and interests.   More information regarding this initiative will be shared during the first half of 2014.


See additional information regarding the Board developments in the Administrator’s Newsletters, within the local media on and, and through the BOC meeting

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