City of Jacksonville


Parks Task Force Committee

Vision/Mission Statement Subcommittee

Minutes of August 4, 2004 Meeting

I. Date, Time, Place, Attendees

A. Date, Time, Place of Meeting

Date of Meeting: August 4, 2004

Place: Mayor's Office

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

B. Attendees

  1. Anna Dooley
  2. Christian Harden
  3. Derek Rowan
  4. Elizabeth Kohler
  5. Ford Riley
  6. Mark Middlebrook
  7. Ron Littlepage
  8. Rufus Pennington
  9. Tom Majdanics

II. The Meeting

The group met at the Mayor's Office for a subcommittee meeting regarding recommendations for a Vision / Mission Statement for the newly defined Parks Department. Chairman Derek Rowan indicated that the purpose of the meeting was to create a mission/ vision statement for the newly defined Parks Department. The statement would help lead the task force to the end result of recommending how to make Jacksonville's Parks and Recreation Department “the biggest and the best” in the United States. Mr. Rowan suggested some concepts taken from the Harvard Business Review, such as recognizing the core ideology of the project and establishing a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) in order to stimulate progress.

The current mission statement of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Entertainment is “Delivering quality parks by providing clean, green, safe and fun recreation for the whole family.” The vision statement currently reads “To become leaders in our filed by maximizing the recreational opportunities available to Jacksonville's citizens, enhancing the quality of life by creating ‘Best in Class' parks and programs, practicing continuous improvement and focusing on the customer.” Derek provided a first draft mission/vision statement of: “The Jacksonville Parks and Recreation System will become the biggest and best in the US, by creating the ultimate park experience. We will achieve this goal by creating a park system that will be safe, fun, educational, and accessible to all families.”

Tom Madjanics suggested that the group start with buzzwords that characterize the new mission of the parks. These included quality of life, accessibility, preservation, sustainability, awareness, customer satisfaction, economic development, and partnerships. The committee emphasized the need to recognize our resources (i.e. water) and to ensure that the park's department is focused on the resources that the City has and is managing those resources in a sustainable manner. The group discussed the qualifications for the Sterling Award, and the importance of integrating customer service attributes to the mission/vision statement. The committee also stressed the importance of focusing on the educational opportunities that parks can provide. Since many of Jacksonville's residents and most visitors are unaware of the rich cultural, historical, and ecological history of Jacksonville, the parks system can serve to provide current and future generations with a sense of place and belonging.

Anna Dooley's draft: “To ensure an enduring system of public parks, providing safe, fun, and educational experiences, utilizing natural resources and accessibility to all citizens and future generations.”

Rufus Pennington's draft: “To preserve and enhance the City's parklands, through partnerships though innovative strategies, in order to provide parkgoers, now and in future generations, with the highest possible quality experience.”

Tom Majdanics along with a few additions: “To serve citizens by improving and preserving a quality system of public parks, recreational facilities and programs that will enhance the City's quality of life by providing safe, inviting, and accessible experiences to its current and future generations.” OR “To serve citizens through preservation and enhancement of parklands, resulting in a quality system…”

Mark Middlebrook's draft: “To ensure an enduring park system, essential to our Quality of Life, we must:

· Make our parks accessible to all;

· Make our parks safe and fun;

· Preserve and protect our natural resources;

· Build partnerships public and private;

· Promote our unique natural, historical, and cultural resources.”

To conclude, members decided to bring three proposed versions of the mission/vision statement to the August 12th Task Force meeting for input and full committee approval.