Meeting Date:

March 26, 2009





Darby Fuerst,




General Manager

Line Item No.: 



Prepared By:

Arlene Tavani

Cost Estimate:






General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:   The Board last conducted a strategic planning session on February 28, 2008, when five, three-year goals and associated six-month objectives were developed (attached as Exhibit 15-A).    Chair Markey has requested that the Board decide if it should conduct a strategic planning session in 2009, and if so, what discussion format would be most effective to address the political and regulatory issues facing the District.  If the Board concludes that a strategic planning session should not be conducted, the Board should decide how to document the District’s current goals and establish timelines. 


In discussions with former Chair Lehman and current Chair Markey, it was suggested that the Board should consider that at present, the most effective planning method may not be the  traditional SWOT analysis, conducted in previous years, that assesses an agency’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to develop a strategic plan for the future.   Instead, this Board may benefit from a different approach such as one of the following.  (1) Discuss a list of items agreed upon in advance, with the goal of encouraging open dialogue and the exchange of ideas.  The discussion should not be constrained by adherence to a strict structured format. The Board would decide if this discussion should be facilitated by a consultant or a staff member. (2) Utilize scenario planning methodology, in which the Board and key staff develop and then consider, in depth, several varied future scenarios.  The scenarios are developed based on identification of internal and external influences identified by the group that are both certain and uncertain.  This process encourages discussion of a wide range of possibilities and competing perspectives.  (3) Hire a facilitator that will develop an individualized approach to the strategic planning discussion based on requirements specified by the Board.


District staff has determined that the cost to conduct the type of strategic planning services proposed would be between $4,000 and $6,000, not including travel and lodging.   Costs associated with conducting a session, such as a meeting room and food have historically been approximately $1,000.


If the Board concludes that strategic planning is not a priority at this time, the Board should decide if goals the District is currently working on should be documented and new timelines established.   If directed, staff could develop a list of projects with timelines for Board review at a future meeting date.


RECOMMENDATION:   The Board should decide if a strategic planning session will be conducted, and if so, what type of format should be followed.  If appropriate, the Board should authorize staff to move ahead on selecting a facilitator, and at a future meeting present an item for approval of funds to conduct a strategic planning session. Alternatively, if the Board chooses not to conduct strategic planning, it should provide direction on how to document current goals and set associated timelines.


IMPACT TO DISTRICT STAFF/RESOURCES:   The MPWMD Fiscal Year 2008-2009 Budget includes $5,900 for all costs associated with conducting one strategic planning session.  This amount was based on fees charged by the facilitator hired by the District in the past.  The budgeted amount may need to be increased, based on the rate charged by a facilitator that is qualified to provide the services requested.



15-A    Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Strategic Plan, Updated March 2008