Siler City Commissioners prepare for new direction

City department heads were asked to pick three budget priorities for presentation to the board


The Board of Commissioners met for a a special session on Feb. 26, to discuss a strategic plan for the city and potential budget impacts for the year ahead. The special session provided a chance for new members of the board to discuss aspects of the strategic plan and its implementation.

Speaking to potential conflicts with budgetary planning that may arise in the process of planning, Siler City Mayor Donald Matthews minced no words, saying “It really does them no good to give us what they think, if were not on the same sheet of music on where we are going”

Gary Jackson of McGill Associates presented a briefing on the importance of strategic planning and some of the conflicts board members may face during the process. The Siler City Board of Commissioners adopted a five-year strategic plan, prepared by McGill, a year ago under the prior administration.

“Significant change doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen without persistence, allocating the resources behind it and holding people accountable, including yourselves,” Jackson said “Do you like to do what people want or do you want to govern well? If you’re honest with yourself, you a feel a little bit of both of those pressures, don’t you?”

Siler City department heads were put on notice that a new direction for the city would be charted out by the board. Heads were instructed to prepare budgetary priorities and bring them before the commissioners.

“The department heads will come forth at a later date with their top three budgetary items and present them to the board,” Mayor Matthews said. He emphasized the importance of board agreement on strategic priorities for the city.

“Can you ever have enough public safety? Can you ever have enough community engagement?” said Commissioner Lewis Fadely, stressing the need for realism and perspective in government.

“When you set large policy based goals,” he said, “you have your 10,000-foot goal, but then you have your sub-goals. And those are the ones that you can check off.”