Allegheny Activates

Vision Teams

In December of 2011, Allegheny County Executive (then-Elect) Rich Fitzgerald announced a six-member steering committee for his transition, as well as the creation of twelve vision teams that were charged with laying out a future vision for the county.  The steering committee and vision teams were formed to provide a fresh perspective on how government operates, and should operate, and began a process that has resulted in recommendations on operations, efficiencies and policy for Allegheny County moving forward. 

In making his selections, the Executive noted that with twelve years of experience on Allegheny County Council, he had already learned a great deal about the county and its operations, and was very comfortable setting priorities and making decisions about directors and administrators.  The vision teams, he noted, are about our future and how we can continue to improve, promote and move Allegheny County forward.

To lead this process, the Executive selected six people who are well respected in the community, represent a sector of the county that plays an important role in our present and future, and could help he and his administration review and evaluate the recommendations that were receive in the process.  Each of the six members took responsibility for the direct oversight of two of the vision teams, providing a constant contact for questions, concerns, advice and direction throughout the process.  The members also had an opportunity to review the draft reports, attend any of the vision team meetings that they wished to, and have reviewed the final documents for presentation to the Executive.

The Steering Committee Members are:

Philip Ameris
Laborers’ District Council of Western Pennsylvania

 Esther Bush
Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

 Mike Dunleavy
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 5

Barbara McNees
Greater Pittsburgh Chamber

Mark Nordenberg
University of Pittsburgh

 Audrey Russo
Pittsburgh Technology Council

Embracing the charge of Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to create a vision that continues to “improve, promote and move Allegheny County forward”, community representatives, from both the public and private sector in twelve areas, under the leadership of a six member steering committee used a fresh set of eyes to focus on the intricacies of government operations. Particular emphasis was given to variables that the county government should employ to promote efficiencies that contribute to the vitality of our county and enhance the quality of lives of our residents.

Fusing their energies with the broad knowledge and expertise, the community representatives crafted a vision team report utilizing a variety of methodologies involving extensive research of best practices, analysis of operations, exploration of innovative approaches, community input through listening sessions and website, to address their respective charge.

After a significant analysis of all aspects of operations and the identification of creative strategies and specific recommendations in their respective area of expertise, the following 12 themes emerged for consideration by the County Executive:

  1. Enter an era of increased accountability to increase efficiencies and effectiveness by delineating specific and measurable outcomes for departments.
  2. Redefine visions for government functions that reflect greater both inter- and intra-governmental practices especially related to the economy, workforce development, human services, etc.
  3. Evaluate staffing needs, facility design and spatial needs to achieve defined outcomes identified by all departments, as well as, guaranteeing that facilities are perceived and managed as valuable assets.
  4. Use technological advances to manage data and facilitate the ability for the community to be actively and efficiently engaged in all aspects of government operations. 
  5. Explore various tax revenue models and entrepreneurial strategies to sustain financial integrity, address infrastructure needs, and contribute to economic growth.
  6. Expand the diversity of the workforce to achieve social equity, economic vitality  and increase international competitiveness.
  7. Implement new strategies to achieve the highest level of public health with respect to the environment, physical and psychosocial needs of all our residents.
  8. Embrace the belief that smart growth, environmentally responsible land development and preservation of green space contributes to the economic condition of the county.
  9. Capitalize on the significant economic opportunity that is available in the energy and environmental sectors.
  10.  Implement strategies that ensure that modes of transportation address the current and future social and economic needs of the county.
  11. Recognize that a strong correlation exists between corporate decision-making for relocation or expansion and available real estate and therefore a primary focus on commercial and real estate is warranted.
  12. Espouse a culture that believes that innovation and entrepreneurship drive future economic growth and is inherently connected to the county’s economic vitality; job growth, classic economic development, improved efficiencies and collaboration in the community, improved business process and infrastructure, talent, investment and entrepreneurship. 

Using these fundamental beliefs as a point of departure, the respective vision teams submitted comprehensive analyses to the Steering Committee, which in turn reviewed those reports with the County Executive and presented them to him for his internal review and consideration.

Following are those reports: 

PDF Icon All files are PDFs
Courts Administration
Report Without Appendices
  Intergovernmental Cooperation  
Economic Development     Parks, Recreation and Trails
Report Without Appendices
Energy and Environment
  Public Health 
Financial Sustainability
Report Without Appendices
  Public Safety  
Report Without Appendices
Human Services
  Workforce Development 
Full Vision Team Report  
Vision Team Report Brief