Strategic Plan

Identifying Problems

Across rural Colorado, communities in the same area, with similar populations and with comparable assets are in much different places, a disparity the recent recession only widened. To understand why, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and the University of Colorado, studied why some places such as Durango and Salida are thriving while others continue to struggle. Investments in education and health care matter and the more diversified a rural economy is contributes to faster growth. However, the study found that intangibles - such as a community’s vision of its future and strong leadership to get it there - are what matters most in the end.

To that end, at its November 15, 2016 Strategic Planning retreat, the City Council identified its vision for Cañon City as a vibrant, attractive and safe community that values quality of life, adventure and prosperity. To achieve this community vision, the City must develop a “road map” or strategic plan that provides the direction to its desired destination.

Strategic Priorities

Strategic Priorites of the Strategic Plan (JPG)The 2017 to 2020 Strategic Plan (PDF) strives to provide the strategic priorities and key intended outcomes the City organization will focus on over the next three years to guide the community towards its vision. The foundation of the proposed strategic plan is built upon the following strategic priorities:

  • Attractive Built Environment
  • Community Investment Opportunities
  • Economic Development
  • Infrastructure
  • Public Safety
  • Public Trust, Transparency and Accountability

These Strategic Priorities are the collaborative result of a Citizen Survey and City Council assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the community and organization. The Strategic Plan offers direction and focus on issues that are critically important to improving Cañon City.


The Plan sets priorities, establishes strategies, identifies key intended outcomes and performance measures to monitor and measure Plan progress.

The Strategic Plan will require the City Council and staff to consider the Plan when:

  • Assessing the performance of the City Administrator and staff
  • Delivering city services
  • Developing department business plans
  • Developing policies
  • Preparing the City’s budget


The following critical steps describe how we will move from words to action and ensure alignment of the City’s’ Strategic Plan, department and staff work plans, policies, and budget.

  • City Council policy initiatives and discussions will focus on the Strategic Priorities.
  • Each City department will create an annual Business Plan with specific action-oriented goals, work activities, and performance measures to align with and make progress on the Strategic Priorities.
  • Periodic reviews of the Strategic Plan will be conducted by City Council to ensure that it continues to focus City government resources on the issues most important to the City Council and community.
  • Senior management and employee performance evaluations will be linked with the Strategic Priorities.
  • Strategic Priorities performance measures will be monitored and reported on to hold ourselves accountable for making measurable progress in achieving the strategic commitments.

Upon adoption by the City Council on March 6, 2017 the Strategic Plan was communicated to the community and city staff. Quarterly progress reports will be provided to the City Council and an annual progress report will be provided to the public.