Kerby works to operationalize 2040 Community Core Values

Joe Kerby, Benton County Administrator

The County began the 2040 Thriving Communities Initiative in 2016 with a charge from the Board of Commissioners to determine our communities’ vision for the future. The County began a multi-year effort to engage with people that live, work and play in Benton County to determine what they want the County to be like now and in the future. Late last fall the public engagement process culminated in the establishment of the 2040 Community Core Values.

In April, Joe Kerby, Benton County Administrator, convened a new working group called the 2040 Implementation Steering Committee (ISC). The ISC is a group of staff, supervisors and directors from across the County. Commissioner Annabelle Jaramillo serves on this committee, as well as three members of the 2040 Council (Not to be confused with the ISC. The 2040 Council is a task group made up of community members that led the Community Core Values process.).

The 2040 ISC spent the first few meetings during spring 2018 gaining an understanding of how the County got to this stage in the process and developed a common vision of where to go from here with regard to operationalizing values into planning, budget, etc.

Currently the ISC is sorting through what level of authority and influence Benton County—as a local government—has to align our services with the Community Core Values, and influence processes external to our organization. After determining what level of alignment and influence Benton County can have, the next steps are to set goals and establish metrics.

“We set a lofty objective but I believe that the ISC is gaining traction. In the near future we will be at a stage where we can set a course for us to operationalize the community Core Values in day-to-day County activities,” said Kerby, Benton County Administrator.

The 2040 Council (made up of community members that spearheaded the Community Core Values process) took a meeting hiatus over the summer and will resume meeting this fall to determine how they can incorporate the Community Core Values into their respective organizations.