Granby on a learning curve

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A time to look at successful best practices

What Connecticut Gold Coast town had a ’18—’19 mill rate of 11.369 and kept it flat for ’19—’20? It is also rated as #12 out of the 100 best towns to live in the U.S. and resident satisfaction has improved over the last three years in all departments. How did they achieve this?

1. Monthly department head meetings were instituted to promote cross-departmental dialogue and to ensure coordination of efforts.

2. The administration started “Weʼre Listening” note cards for patrons of town hall to provide immediate feedback about their experience.

3. By 2012, they grew that initiative into a formal, coordinated customer service program known as Community First. Since its inception, the town has trained all frontline staff in customer service best practices, implemented a biennial and has set and tracked customer service goals for every department annually. With success in providing improved customer service, this initiative has transitioned the focus to process improvement (Lean Six Sigma). The town has trained almost all leadership and supervisory staff in Lean Six Sigma. Through annual performance evaluations, department heads are encouraged to set process improvement goals.

4. Notably, with a focus on process improvement and waste reduction, the town is accomplishing more, with less. When adjusted for inflation, the town is spending less on services like general government, public works, parks and recreation, and public health than 10 years ago, without major service reduction. Additionally, the town has reduced headcount by 43.46 full-time equivalent positions since 2008.

5. Granby’s residential tax revenue is about 93 percent and the town that I am referring to has residential tax revenue of 87 percent.

6. Granby’s population of 65+ is 15 percent and the comparative town is 17 percent.

This is a “snapshot” of respective profiles with total populations at a significant variance but worth taking into consideration when orchestrating a marketing plan going forward for Granby. Note statistics are as of 2012 for Granby and the alternate town for 2018. That’s another thing we need—an updated reference source for our town. What is the alternate “gold coast” town? It’s name also starts with GR.

In summary, for far too long we have accepted leadership that “allows what it wants the public to know” and “listens to the public voice selectively.” We need to have a new successful best practices approach.

Susan Patricelli Regan is the Host of CT Valley Views TV Program, President of Foxfield F.A.R.M. Foundation; Founder of the Sylvia Davis Fine Arts Scholarship and former VP Marketing and Community Trade Relations for DIAGEO N.A.