“Working together to build the best small city in the metro.”
The City of Windsor Heights is uniquely positioned within the Des Moines metro. As a land-locked suburb the community must think creatively about how to attract and retain businesses, customers, and residents as growth options will be required to be innovative and likely grass-roots efforts. In order to be proactive in learning and planning for the future, the city completed a visioning and data collection process to assist with future planning.
The visioning process was facilitated by J. Scott Raecker, Executive Director of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University and Cassandra Halls, President of 2 THE TOP. The visioning process included multiple steps to capture input from the community, business, partners, peers and others to help the Mayor and Council understand what direction is most important, allow for sharing of ideas and accept constructive feedback.
• Launched the project 6/22/2022
• Assessed Mayor, City Council & Staff perspective
• Established Compact for Excellence in approaching the work
• Completed expansive survey of external stakeholders (citizens, businesses, nonprofits, regional partners, peers)
• Analyzed data, identified themes, assessed Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
• The Mayor and Council worked together with those findings to create the vision statement.
• Visioning Launch: 6/2/2022
• Issued Community and Staff Surveys: September and October, 2023
• Reviewed Community, External Stakeholder and Staff Survey Results: 2/23/2023
• Analyzed/Processed Community, External Stakeholder and Staff Survey Data: 3/29/2023
• Presented and Modified First Draft of the Vision Statement: 7/17/2023
• Hosted 2 Focus Groups to Review Survey Data and Vet Draft Vision Statement: 8/23/2023
• Presented Updated Vision Statement to City Council: 9/18/2023
The Visioning Surveys allowed residents, stakeholders, and staff to share feedback about Windsor Heights like:
• What words come to mind when you think about the community?
• What makes Windsor Heights unique from the other suburbs?
• What should we do “more of” or “stop doing”?
It also offered opportunities to share thoughts about quality of city services, parks and what people like most about the community, along with greatest areas of concern and what is most important for Windsor Heights in the next 5 – 10 years.
The Mayor and Council worked together to analyze the results of the survey and understand what themes came forward from over 360 responses.
Mayor Jones shared “This process has been ongoing for over a year and has included multiple work sessions with council and staff, presentations by Scott and Cassandra and a citywide survey that many residents responded to. Throughout this process we’ve worked to develop a greater understanding the strengths, opportunities and challenges that our community faces. In shaping our vision, we relied on the results of the community survey.”