Strategic Planning

A resilient, purposeful, and forward-thinking community where all are connected and can thrive.

To create equitable systems, infrastructure and services that make our community better.


  • LEAD THE WAY The City of Richfield seeks to continuously improve the services it provides to residents through innovative and creative solutions.  The city cultivates an environment of growth for its staff and residents
  • STEWARDSHIP The City of Richfield manages all of its resources, whether it be human, natural or financial in a responsible manner. The city aims to provide services that promote a prosperous and healthy community in the most fiscally responsible and sustainable way.
  • EQUITABLE The City of Richfield is dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and thriving hometown. The city seeks to understand barriers and connects all residents with opportunities. Richfield will reduce inequity by focusing on the areas of greatest disparities.
  • RESPONSIVE The City of Richfield listens and responds to feedback from residents. New projects undertaken by the city will reflect the needs of residents. Both elected officials and city staff will provide friendly, timely, knowledgeable customer service to residents at all times.
  • COMMUNITY CENTERED The City of Richfield celebrates and takes pride in its community. The city is resident focused and makes tailored decisions based on what is best for current and future residents. Richfield is constantly seeking opportunities to collaborate with residents  to set goals and accomplish objectives.
Why strategic planning? 

According to research done by the Harvard Business Journal, 85 percent of executive leadership teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy, 50 percent spend no time at all. Not a great indicator of organizational success. Recognizing the need for a cohesive plan for the future, the City of Richfield is taking a different tack by creating its own strategic plan.

The city’s strategic plan identifies goals for the organization internally, and the city as a whole. With population demographics changing, recent elected official turnover and new additions to the city’s leadership team, a unified approach to decision making and resource allocation is crucial. The Strategic Plan is a road map that will guide city leaders for the next 3-5 years.

The 2023- 2026 City of Richfield Strategic Plan

Since the fall of 2021, hundreds of voices from the City and the community have joined together to draft a 4 (four) year strategic plan for Richfield. Based on feedback from the community, elected officials and city staff we have identified 5 (five) specific measurable priorities- issues of high importance to the City Council, which will guide city leaders’ decisions for the next 4 years. The City Council adopted the Strategic Plan during the September 13, meeting.

The five priorities identified are:Pages from Richfield_StrategicReport_2023-2026_FINAL8-30

  • Operational Excellence
  • Community Development
  • Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Workforce Capacity
  • Equity and Inclusion

These priorities were identified through an exhaustive engagement process over the course of many months. The community engagement included a public survey and focus groups. More than 600 Richfield residents participated in our survey and over 70 city stakeholders, including community and faith leaders, members of our disabilities community, as well as many more important stakeholders participated in the focus groups.

It’s important to note, that while these five priorities guide where the City organization will focus efforts and resources over the next 4 years, they do not represent a comprehensive list of the city’s efforts or projects.  We recognize many other significant areas or work, like the city’s sustainability efforts, are inherently connected to the success of rest of the City’s priorities and the community in the future. We commit to accomplishing the priorities in the most environmentally responsible manner practical; recognizing the stress caused by climate change threatens the well-being of urban populations, including low income residents and/or those who live in high-risk areas, and puts additional stress on our communities, infrastructure, and organization.

Past strategic planning successes in Richfield

Where the 2023 Richfield Strategic Plan may be the first formal attempt to create an organization-wide roadmap, individual city departments have been relying on their own decision-making plans, in some cases, for decades. The Community Development Department has led the city’s Comprehensive Planning process since the 1960s. The Comprehensive Plan is similar to a strategic plan in that it gathers data and public input, sets goals and develops a plan to meet those goals.

Much like the Comprehensive Plan, which guides Richfield’s development efforts, the strategic plan brings residents and policy makers together on a collective vision for the services the city offers.

What happens next with the strategic plan?

City staff will begin working to accomplish the strategic priorities included in the 4 year plan. Within each strategic priority is a set of desired outcomes, key outcome indicators, performance targets and initiatives, which describe expected results and how the city will measure the impact of the work. Staff will begin working to accomplish the initiatives listed in the plan. Moving forward, City Council received strategic priority progress reports from staff quarterly. The updates will be available to the public on the City’s strategic plan progress tracking dashboard.

How will the City accomplish their strategic priorities?

To successfully accomplish the strategic priorities and achieve the intended outcomes expressed in the performance targets, it is necessary to have a focused set of actions. This includes detailed implementation steps to guide organizational effort. Richfield will accomplish this through a set of strategic initiatives. Strategic initiatives are broadly described, but narrowly focused activities that are aligned with the priorities and targeted to the achievement of outcomes expressed in the targets.

Staff then worked with the consultant to confirm that the targets, key outcome indicators and initiatives were consistent with the desired outcomes and priorities. This review also included researching and refining some targets and key outcome indicators to ensure that the needed data is or will be available. Since some of the key outcome indicator data is not currently tracked, some of the targets do not have a value listed. Staff will work over the next year to determine a baseline for the data and propose specific targets.

How did we get here?

The strategic planning process began with a meeting of the consultant and the Richfield senior staff on October 4, 2021. The meeting included a review of strategic planning principles, a discussion of organizational value proposition, the status of vision and mission statements, a tutorial on preparing an environmental scan and discussion on community outreach.

Next, staff preformed an examination of the operating environment, consisting of an environmental scan, a community survey, with more than  than 600 Richfield residents and other city stakeholders respondents, eight focus groups (with over 70 participants), City Council interviews, and a SWOT analysis.  Please view a summary of the findings below.

The strategic planning continued with two facilitated leadership sessions focused on effective governance on November 5, 2021, and February 10, 2022. The leadership group included the Mayor, City Council, and senior management team. During the two sessions the group discussed roles and responsibilities, governance best practice, teamwork, decision-making, style differences and conflict resolution.

On March 23 - 24, 2022, the City’s leadership team held a two days of strategic planning sessions. They developed a set of priorities (listed above), key outcomes, and performance targets.

Based upon the five priorities identified, the City’s management team met on April 28, 2022, to create a set of strategic initiatives and develop detailed action plans. 


Residents who have questions about the strategic planning process should contact management analyst Chris Swanson.