2020 - 2021 Priorities

The following is the overall list of priorities that each Board member came up with. Each board member was provided 20 points to allocate to the list of priorities.

* John Williams (JW) | Troy Allen (TA) | David Peterson (DP) | Heidi Murphy (HM) | Melissa Ratcliff (MR) | Sarah Valencia (SV) | Paul Vandervelde (PV)

RankDescriptionJWTADPHMMRSVPVTotal2020 Rank
1Village Library0063850224
2Economic & Community Development4830400191
3Sustainability4023223163
4Diversity, Equity & Inclusion3022320122
5Financial Responsibility & Financial Planning3800000115
6Strategic Planning00000099NR
7Parks & Recreation
000305087
8Road Maintenance0400003711
9Covid-19 Relief & Assistance00200507NR
10Housing101211066
11New Logo, Branding, & Marketing10131006NR
12Fire - EMS Study10100035NR
13Staffing Additions00111025NR
14Communication & Engagement200000029
15Facility Planning101000028
16Ordinance Updates000200029
17Food Security in the Community0001000112
18Emergency Management Plan00000000NR


The list is in no particular order; each item is entered as submitted) (/// = similar priority or category submitted) 

Fiscal Responsibility and Financial Planning

Fiscal responsibility, stabilize and lower Village taxes (TA) /// Remain Fiscally Responsible - strive for a minimal tax increase for the Village portion of the taxes (JW) /// Continue to operate within the Village Financial Management Plan. (SV) /// It would always be a priority of mine as long as I am a member that our community is fiscally responsible/conservative. (PV) 

Road Maintenance

Invest in our future with increased street maintenance (TA) 

Economy/Economic Development

Encourage more business/retail growth, both existing and new (TA) /// Village Economy/Economic Development (DP) /// Support existing businesses and accelerate commercial/retail development to provide citizens with more local options as well as improve our tax base ratio. Engage Chamber of Commerce and other key Stakeholders (e.g. County - Dane Buy Local) to market / promote existing businesses. Opportunities to activate TIDs 8, 9, and 10 (JW) /// Continue to support new businesses coming to CG as well as support existing businesses growing in Cottage Grove. (SV) /// Continue to see businesses come into our community to support the overall community. (PV) 2 

Communication and Engagement

Continue to improve engagement with Village residents and stakeholders. Encourage involvement and communication. I think the remote meeting has really helped in this area in the past year. (TA) /// Engagement and Communication - improve engagement with Village Residents and those outside the Village; consider a consultant or new member dedicate to communication. Take more opportunities to connect with Village Residents (i.e. local events; promoting our website; Community Guide; Facebook; other social media; etc.) (JW) /// Work on implementation of hybrid meetings to allow for greater public access and participation in Village Board meetings and a greater array of village committee meetings. (MR) 

COVID-19 Relief and Assistance:

Covid-19 relief/assistance for existing businesses in the Village (DP) /// Support for residents and local businesses impacted by COVID and help them to recover from the losses sustained since March, 2020. (MR) 

Village Library

Prepare financial plans and proposals so our community can consider building a library and community space. A library is a unique and valuable space in a community that brings together people of all ages to access a variety of resources and information. Libraries serve many purposes providing space for the community to gather, support education and arts, provide business resources, and serve a diverse population of any age or background. (HM) /// This past year the Village Board has made Diversity, Equity and Inclusion one of its top priorities. Part of that includes providing spaces in our community that are open to all and are a welcoming space. Throughout the past few years and especially the past year, we have been updating our parks and bike trails in order to provide accessibility throughout our community. Our community is currently missing a key piece in providing accessible, equitable space to our residents and that is a library. After the overwhelming response to the Library Planning Committee’s survey in the fall of 2020, that found 70% support for a library, the Village Board tasked the Library Planning Committee with gathering more information regarding the financial aspects of the library that will be presented to the Village Board in July, 2021. We have had a lot of community engagement regarding the library. The library needs to remain a priority to the Village Board. The library is an asset that any equitable, diverse and inclusive community should have. It will allow our residents to have a space throughout the year where they can engage with their neighbors and friends and learn more about what is happening in our community which provides for greater sense of community and belonging. (MR) /// Work with Library Planning Committee to understand recommendations and potential ways to move forward. (SV) 3 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity/Inclusion/Equity (DP) /// Diversity and Inclusion - look for opportunities to promote and increase our community's diversity and inclusion (JW) /// Work with the board, committees, and other stakeholders to view policies and decisions through lens of diversity, equity and inclusion. Consider additional strategies, events, policy changes, trainings, and other recommendations from the DEI Committee to meet our vision that the Village be a safe, friendly, and attractive community for businesses, neighbors and families to live, learn, work, play and ensure that this vision is a reality for all persons regardless of their race, ethnicity, culture, religion, beliefs, background, gender or orientation now and in the future. (HM) /// Continue DEI Ad Hoc Committee and the work initiatives that it entails. (SV)

Sustainability

Make our vision / plan real with actual steps; need to accelerate our pace and make more sustainable investments to ensure the benefits we have now as Village citizens are there tomorrow and beyond (i.e. clean air / water; similar resources; etc.) and we reduce its environmental impact now and in the coming years. reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. Install solar panels on municipal buildings where practical (e.g. municipal services building with large roof). Options for wind power and other green initiatives. increase non-gas options for transportations (i.e. multi-use paths throughout the village and connections beyond; Village replacement of gas to electric vehicles and equipment). Increase tree planting efforts through doubling of tree budget. Continue to partner with community organizations and support their environmental efforts (e.g. Lions annual tree planting; etc.). Reduce the salt usage on winter streets leveraging best practices from our pilot to other areas in the Village (JW) /// Implement a plan to transition Village vehicles, equipment and buildings to use more sustainable/efficient energy (hybrid/electric vehicles and installation of solar panels on MSB), incorporate additional sustainable practices in infrastructure projects and on village properties, focus on ways we can help to improve regional water quality, continue to provide resources to residents for ways that they can become more sustainable (ex. rain barrel program, rain/pollinator garden education/events, promote Focus on Energy resources, efficient water softener information, de-icing/salt practices, etc). (HM) /// We need to continue to focus on sustainability in our community. Look into and provide additional programs and education regarding what our residents can do to help in sustainability efforts and what the village can do to reduce our carbon footprint and be good stewards of our space. Look at including sustainability into development agreements so as to ensure new developments are also considering sustainability when they build in our Village. Look at our own village buildings to determine and implement efforts to reduce our carbon footprint to be good leaders to our community. Look at how we can help our existing businesses and households to make their properties more sustainable, whether that’s programs to help them switch to energy efficient appliances or continue to provide opportunities such as reduced costs for the rain barrels or education and information regarding rain gardens or what to plant to 4 help the bees and butterflies flourish. (MR) /// Continue Sustainability Committee and the work and initiatives that it entails. (SV) /// Sustainability - Recycling every week (PV) 

Fire – EMS Study

Evaluating (implementing where necessary) EMS and Fire study recommendations (DP) /// Complete EMS/Fire study process to understand what future needs will be and what will need for staffing and facilities. (SV) 

Staffing Additions

Village staff additions (DP) 

Facility Planning

Long-range Facilities planning (DP) /// Continue to review and analyze village facilities, space and needs assessment to position the village to allow for expansion as our community continues to grow. This includes evaluating emergency services needs and review after completion of the studies. (MR) /// Review facilities study to understand strategy for moving forward. (SV) 

Housing

Support residential development with more diverse options and increase our pace of development (JW) /// Promote land use policies that will advance goals for a healthy community, create positive economic outcomes and provide environmental benefits. Follow the findings of the Housing Task Force to create a vision for increasing housing options in the future including a greater variety of home values, unit sizes, lot sizes, apartments, town homes, duplexes, and condos and increase transportation options to promote connectivity between neighborhoods and businesses. (HM) /// Continued options for housing for our residents in order to maintain our population and allow residents to stay in our community from birth to their senior years. This provides a stable economy and base for businesses, knowing our population and tax base will remain here into the future. (MR) /// Hear recommendations/conclusions from Housing Task Force to understand where we need to focus our efforts around housing. (SV) /// Housing options- I do feel that it is important in relation to Cottage Grove being inclusive to all. (PV) 

Parks and Recreation

Continue to promote an active community where bicycling, walking, and recreation are a safe, healthy, and accessible part of our daily activities. Expand recreational and park opportunities and facilities to meet the needs of our community’s senior, youth, and adult populations. (HM) /// Continue to support new and improved park facilities. (SV) /// Parks and recreation - Great to see such nice movement. I would like to see us continue down this path. It is such a need for the growth of families and also for our community to be competitive with sounding Dane County Communities. (PV)

New Logo, Branding, and Marketing

Work to promote the new logo and brand identity within the community and in the region by: enhancing streetscapes/beautification with investments such as banners and natural landscaping, applying for Bike Friendly Certification with the Bike Federation, joining the Wisconsin Bike Federation, considering working on a Village tourism map that would include parks/bike paths/business areas, continuing to increase engagement with residents, businesses, and visitors with development of the website and social media presence, and other strategies. (HM) /// Continued marketing and outreach in order to inform developers, businesses, and people about our community and have them consider coming to our community. Having a staff person or a line item for marketing in our budget would be helpful when opportunities present themselves throughout the year. This will allow for the ability to collaborate/participate/partner with other entities to help our community as opportunities arise. (MR) /// Roll out CDA rebranding project. (SV) 

Food security in our community 

Support of our local food pantry at Bryn Mawr and senior center at Colonial Club of Sun Prairie to help those in our community who suffer from food insecurity, and supporting other groups committed to helping our community (such as the Optimists who have instituted a Snack Pack Program that provides food to students who don’t have access to food on weekends during the school year. There are over 100 students in this program which indicates this is an issue for our community.) (MR) 

Ordinance Updates

Continue to update ordinances. (SV) /// Update ordinances, zoning, and development policies that meet goals for a more sustainable future. This would include a complete streets policy that promotes alternate transportation (pedestrian and bicycle), safe bicycling education/bike patrol, prioritize connectivity with bicycle/multi-use paths, review sidewalk policies to provide equitable connectivity, reviewing building standards to encourage more sustainable new construction, analyze parking requirements including any electric car charging station requirements, and other related policies. (HM) 

Emergency Management Planning

Emergency Management Plan - Not so sure the Joint efforts are still in the best interest for us as a village. My thoughts are solely related to the growth of the village and can we sustain that growth with a joint effort. (PV) 

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning as a board - I think it would be good to go through an actual strategic planning session with a consultant. I love that we do the exercise of ranking but I think a session with a consultant might be helpful. (PV)