City Manager Anthony Lyons recently announced the creation of a new department, the Strategic Initiatives Department, which will be headed by Carrie Blanchard Bush, who initially led the Citizen-Centered Gainesville initiative. The creation of the department comes after months of combined efforts to find new approaches to major institutional priorities, such as the city budget process and its strategic plan, as well as how citizens and community stakeholders engage with the city.
Lyons stated, “The development of a Strategic Initiatives Department comes at a time where cities are being called upon to revisit old problems with new eyes, and in more collaborative and transparent ways. We have recently undergone an exceptional strategic planning process both as an organization and in partnership with the University of Florida’s Strategic Development Plan. The steps that we take today to coordinate strategic initiatives are just the first of several along the path to becoming our future city.”
The creation of the Strategic Initiatives Department is cost and position neutral, and is comprised of the following: Citizen-Centered Gainesville, Communications & Marketing, Economic Development & Innovation, Intergovernmental Relations, Performance Measurement and Strategic Planning. By maintaining a focus on the City of Gainesville’s strategic purpose and future direction in each of these areas, and the city collectively, a distinct identity and mode of conducting business will be achieved, which will benefit each of Gainesville’s residents. Staff projects this new alignment of city resources will be cost and position neutral.
Director Carrie Blanchard Bush brings 15 years of experience in local government, public policy and academia to bear as the leader of this new department. Since joining the City of Gainesville in January 2016, Blanchard Bush has been instrumental in leading initiatives from the Blue Ribbon Report, which support the creation of a citizen-centered local government. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Miami, as well as a doctorate in public administration and policy from Florida State University.