Board Priorities for the Community

The Board of Supervisors has established priorities for the community: public safety, education, economic development, infrastructure, and service excellence, all encompassed by fiscal responsibility and reducing the tax burden.

Bond Ratings – Stafford County announced at a press conference this morning that the County joins 47 counties and 33 cities across the nation in acquiring its third AAA bond rating — the highest credit rating available. Moody’s Investors Service announced the bond rating upgrade this week, citing Stafford’s current healthy financial position as well as its emphasis on strategically planning for the future. Stafford previously received AAA bond ratings from Fitch Ratings in October 2016 and Standard & Poor’s in July 2015.

Stafford 2040 Vision and Strategic Plan – The Board created the first ever vision and strategic plan for Stafford County. While Stafford’s 2040 vision incorporates several strategic priorities as a part of its overall message, the Board of Supervisors simplified the desired state into a vision statement that Stafford is “where heart, home and a healthy business environment come together in one community!” The Strategic Plan provides short-term steps that can be taken over the next three years to position the County for success within the seven overall strategic priorities: Healthy Growth; Dedicated and Responsive Public Safety Team; Quality Educational Opportunities; Responsive Transportation; a Vibrant and Exciting Business Community; the Heartbeat of Recreation, History and Culture; and Organizational Excellence.

Healthy Growth Initiative – Stafford kicked off efforts to effect healthy growth in the County with a plan to identify and execute growth management strategies that align with Stafford’s Comprehensive Plan without negatively impacting taxation. Stakeholders were identified and interviewed, roundtable discussions were held and public information sessions were conducted to gain data to include the public in the ongoing process.

Comprehensive Road Study – At the direction of the Board of Supervisors, Stafford conducted an objective, data-driven Comprehensive Road Evaluation to determine how best to plan for road improvements in the County while identifying sources for funding. County staff presented an analysis of 114 roads/road segments to the Board of Supervisors in November 2018. The Board directed staff to conduct further research on 63 roads/road segments, to include recommended improvements and cost estimates for those improvements. This list was narrowed to a top list of projects to be performed as funding is available as well as a list of “wedge” projects that could be achieved with simple fixes.

Employee Class and Compensation Study – The County worked hard this year to prevent the loss of employees to localities with higher wages. Work continued on a class and compensation study in an effort to bring positions at the low end of the market pay up to a more competitive paying level.

Public Works and Utilities Merge
– The Department of Public Works and Stafford Utilities were merged into one Department of Public Works under one director. The move was meant to streamline and combine efforts and skills as both departments conduct many of the same functions.

School Protection Officers – Three positions were created for school protection officers at elementary schools. High school and middle schools already have full-time school resource officers. School protection officers require less training and allowed Stafford to put officers in place more quickly to protect the schools.

Rappahannock River Mile Marker Signs – Faced with calls for help on the Rappahannock River by recreational users who were unsure of their location, resulting in soaring costs for public safety, Stafford’s Fire and Rescue Department worked with the City of Fredericksburg to create a visible mile market system to help better locate and assist those in need along the Rappahannock River.