Thursday, June 30, 2022

Driven by Data: Southlake Recognized for Performance Management

With 30,000+ residents, 1,100 acres of parkland and open space, 245 miles of road, 180+ miles of sidewalk, and 15+ public and private schools our City is a living, breathing story of data and numbers. Managing the City requires careful attention to ensure that priorities are handled efficiently.

As Chief Operating Officers in their respective areas, Assistant City Managers Benjamin Thatcher and Alison Ortowski work with each department to identify and work toward performance management goals.

Recently the City was recognized with an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Certificate of Achievement for Performance Management affirming the City’s efforts to effectively manage resources to achieve service goals.

“We are so pleased to be recognized for this work,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “The data that we collect and share with residents, businesses, and the City Council is vital. It helps us work with the Council to envision the future, ensure high-quality services for our residents, and determine smart action plans that support a high quality of life.”

“Performance management is a bedrock principle of professional local government management,” ICMA Executive Director Marc A. Ott said. “By recognizing these leaders, ICMA hopes to encourage others to make a commitment to collect and analyze data, report it transparently, and use it to continuously engage their communities and improve their organizations.”
Yelverton points to Champions Club at The Marq Southlake as one example of how the City uses data and citizen input to make decisions.

“Survey after survey told us that residents wanted a community and recreation center,” stated Yelverton. “The Council, supported by Southlake’s Community Enhancement Development Corporation, took that information and worked with staff to create the vision for a beautiful and sustainable facility. Likewise, data helps us make business decisions and operate the facility safely and effectively. The building as it exists today is a perfect illustration of using relevant data to achieve goals.”

Another example of data’s power? The performance of the Southlake Fire Department. From first responder medical training and emergency response times to making sure the engines and medic vehicles are in tip-top condition, Chief Michael Starr and his command staff use key data points. They even produce an annual report that shows exactly how they use data to their best advantage.

“The data helps us perform optimally when it counts,” said Chief Starr. “Our team must function at the highest standards at a moment’s notice. That’s why we use the information gained from our training sessions and emergencies and apply them at the next opportunity. It’s what helps us improve our performance and serve our residents and business with excellence.”

These are just a few ways the City uses data in its day-to-day activities to achieve a culture of robust performance. ICMA will formally recognize Southlake for its achievement at its 105th Annual Conference in October. The group advances professional local government management worldwide through leadership, management, innovation, and ethics.

Southlake Recognized for Strong Performance Management

For the second year in a row, the City of Southlake has been recognized by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for strong performance management.

The City was honored at the Certificate of Achievement level and is one of only six Texas cities to be recognized by ICMA for commitment to the principles of performance management and effective communication of performance data.

“This recognition is especially satisfying,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “It is a nod to the work we’ve done over many years to establish a strategic approach that is supported by data for better decision-making and performance excellence.”

The cities of Austin and San Antonio received certificates of excellence, while Dallas, Fort Worth and Farmers Branch were highlighted with certificates of distinction. Depending on the level of recognition, excellence being the highest, criteria include incorporation of data gathering and verification, public reporting, benchmarking, strategic planning, community surveying, staff development, dashboarding and continuous improvement, according to ICMA.

“As a small city, this approach can be somewhat challenging, but it is well worth the effort,” said Yelverton. “Our goal is to serve this community as well as we can, and we’re proud that the tools that we’ve put into place have strengthened our performance.”