The Fairfield City Council and numerous partners enlisted the University of Northern Iowa’s (UNI) Institute for Decision Making to conduct a comprehensive planning process for the City based around five core community values.
The University of Northern Iowa and the Commission gathered public input primarily through surveys and public meetings; the Commission then refined the information and distilled core values and goals for the City. The final plan, adopted in 2003, presents numerous strategies and actionable items related to community character as well as other planning issues.
The visioning component of the process involved two main projects. First, an intensive survey was completed by more than 600 residents, including many high school and university students. Second, the Commission held a series of town hall meetings to review drafts of the vision and goals statements, as well as to help the Commission identify balancing principles for planning.
Throughout the plan, the community’s “cornerstone values”—identified through the visioning process—direct and shape actions and goals. The cornerstone values include: harmony and respect; economic strength and vitality; education; preservation of small town life; cultural richness, arts, and recreation; natural environment; beautification; identity and reputation.
The five goals driving the plan are:
1. Expand Fairfield’s dynamic economy
2. Improve our community’s physical assets, beauty, and natural environment
3. Advance Fairfield’s educational opportunities
4. Cultivate and promote Fairfield’s cultural richness and recreational opportunities
5. Strengthen Fairfield as a caring community
Goals are then broken down into aims, which in turn have objectives and strategies. An indicator of success is defined for each objective, along with a proposed implementation date; an organization or body is assigned lead responsibility for each objective, with secondary responsibility given to organizations that can help with implementation.