Skip to main content

Aug. 23, 2022 Comment on Strategic Goals - Dianna Suarez

I understand that the review of current goals is a backward-looking exercise and does not mean that the goals will carry forward intact.  I have attended the previous meetings and observed the discussions regarding goals.  I have offered input regarding strategic goals and offer further comment as to why these goals must be better constructed and written.  The District itself has admitted, “The goals and actionable measurements to attain these stated goals are in large part ambiguous and difficult to measure in any quantifiable way.”  Below is a definition of the purpose of a goal and why I hope that these will be revised, rewritten, or deleted.

Goal. A goal is a broad statement of proposed achievement which, when accomplished, significantly contributes toward the achievement of our mission. Goals should be broad enough to be something toward which we are constantly moving. Generally a goal can be seen as an aim within a particular area of concern for the organization.

The continued health of the District is dependent upon the proactive management of our physical, natural, financial, and human resources.

This is very poorly written because the terms are not well defined or generally understood.  What is district health?  Proactive management can be any action and indeed NID in the past has randomly attributed many actions to “proactive management”.  It is all encompassing because it includes the entire spectrum of the workplace and is non-specific. This goal is so broad it becomes meaningless.

Actively seek collaborative and responsive relationships with our local and regional communities to conserve, protect and enhance District resources.

This goal can be more targeted and inclusive.  Why just local and regional?  What about the state and federal resources?  The parts about collaborative and responsive relationships are good and to conserve, protect and enhance District resources.  I get the idea and it could be stated much better. 

Develop and manage our resources for local control of our community’s most valuable assets.

This local control thing stands in sharp contrast to the previous goal. What is the community’s most valuable assets?  The community does not “own” the water, only the pipes and canals.  What about ecosystem services?  That may be a valuable asset as that creates the quality of life that people seem to value.  This goal has the negative effect of creating us vrs them mentality.  If “the Company” wants to assert their authority, maybe they could say something like “we will diligently represent NID customers.”

Integrate established practices and technologies that enhance efficiency and reliability throughout NID.

Maybe there could be a more standard way of delineating practices and technologies like Best Management Practices and latest scientific knowledge.  The sentence addresses practices and technologies and requests efficiency and reliability. It is too vague to be helpful.

Maintain a financially healthy District by having a sustainable and resilient budget.

This could be rewritten to provide quantifiable measures like a balanced budget, and investment in infrastructure and the workforce.

Improve and protect the District's water supply, ensuring sustainability and reliability, given the uncertainty of climate change.

This is also poorly written.  Improve and protect are pretty subjective.  Improve and protect how?  Maybe take specific actions that increase reliability by maintaining aging infrastructure.  Ensure sustainability by dredging reservoirs, forest enhancement, meadow restoration etc. And then addressing the uncertainty of climate change is another subject worthy of its own goal.

My point is that these goals are very weak and do not give a solid and clear direction for the District.  They should not be simply approved because Director Bierwagen does not want to spend time making them better.  I can go on about each measurable objective under each goal, (many of them are scattered about with multiple topics under a single goal followed by similar topics under the next goal) but that will take more time than is available.  I think that these may come up again and I will have a more in depth comment next time.

Thanks, Dianna


Join our mailing list