AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

David Burton
Civic Communications Specialist
2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807

January 22, 2017

MU Extension Specialists Help City of Republic Employees
Build Goals and Action Plans for Their Departments

REPUBLIC, Mo. - A sleeping giant has been awakened in western Greene County. New city leadership combined with an enthusiastic staff, positive elected officials, a thriving economy, quality of life assets and a strong school district have helped to position Republic as a positive place to do business and raise a family.

To keep up with the changes and needs, city departments are now creating goals, action plans and work groups to accomplish priority projects and keep moving the city forward.

"We have a comprehensive mix of new and tenured staff members, and it was necessary to bring everyone together, look beyond their challenges or departments and think big picture," said David Cameron, city administrator for the City of Republic.

University of Missouri Extension Community Development Specialists Dr. Amy Patillo, David Burton and Dr. Pam Duitsman, facilitated a goal-setting training for city department heads on Jan. 18-19 in the training room at the Heart of America Beverage Company, Republic.

"MU Extension's community development program works with Missouri communities and non-profits of all types to improve staff interaction, increase citizen involvement and to offer a variety of other relevant trainings," said Burton.

Patillo led city department heads and supervisors through a strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat (SWOT) analysis of the city. Attendees were engaged individually and in groups to brainstorm needs, identify city goals and create action plans.

"Groups, organizations, and communities can develop a vision, identify priorities, develop an action agenda, and successfully develop and implement programs and projects by using MU Extension's proven processes and research-based information," stated Dr. Patillo.

The group discussed positive city accomplishments to date as well as areas of concern. On the topic of communication, the need for a public information officer for internal and external engagement was discussed as a way to communicate positive messages. However, a surprising need for internal staff communication and cooperation also bubbled up as a priority.

"It was great to see staff identify a challenge, discuss different approaches to meeting that challenge, and then settle on creating work groups and making weekly meetings on goals and finances a priority goal," said Burton.

Staff also set goals to recommend to the City Council. The top six goals focus on the comprehensive plan, finances and funding, technical needs, training, communication (internal and external) and 30/60/90 action plans for workgroups.

Disciplined follow-up is essential to keep the momentum going to accomplish identified goals. By developing action items and assigning responsibility, city staff and leadership is preparing to do 30, 60 and 90-day follow-ups on the goals as well as establishing work groups.

"While we have recognized several positive improvements over the last 18 months, we also know that we cannot live in yesterday's achievements and must continue to improve with our processes, relationships, and trust," said Cameron. "It's an important aspect of government when you have positive momentum that you make time to assess your current position, future needs and what could hinder the organization."


This same type of training is available for any governmental group or non-profit in southwest Missouri. The team is especially interested in getting smaller towns to work together and pool resources in order to offer this training to their own staff. The program includes both large group work and individual or work group projects.

For more information about meeting facilitation or customized training options contact any of these MU Extension Community Development Specialists working in southwest Missouri: Amy Patillo in Christian County, (417) 581-3558; David Burton in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; or Kathy Macomber in Barton County at (417) 682-3579.


Selected photos for media distribution available at

Source: Dr. Amy Patillo, (417) 581-3558

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