Statewide tour proves to be invaluable
The first few months of 2007 were filled with discussions about where the department and Idaho’s transportation system are headed. Many of those discussions came when we presented ITD’s budget, a special revenue request and our GARVEE program to the state Legislature.
But I realize that our discussions did not end when the Legislature adjourned; they were merely beginning. Several very important steps remained in our process to define the department’s priorities and affirm our role. One was to seek input from the very foundation of the department – from each of you.
Recently I had the privilege, along with Deputy Director Scott Stokes, DMV Administrator Alan Frew and Chief Engineer Steve Hutchinson, to tour district operations in northern and eastern Idaho. Scott and I also have been touring Headquarters and meeting with Headquarters staff. We have a couple of sections yet to tour and also still need to go to District 3. We met many of you for the first time and learned about what you do, how you do it and how we can help you do it even better.
It was important that we had the chance to share with you firsthand, our renewed commitment to customer service and operational efficiencies. Those are fundamentals that will drive the decisions we make and the direction we travel.
Yet, it was equally important to discover how each of you contributes to the department’s priorities. We learned that most of you not only embrace the concept of customer service and efficiency, you have been providing it for a long time. Each of you shares the responsibility of carrying out our mission at the most basic level. You are the ones who interact directly with our customers, and you are the ones upon whom the department often is judged.
The recent tours served as an important reminder.
We also completed another important step in bringing our priorities and core values back into focus last week when we submitted a report to the governor’s office on our interim 2008 Strategic Plan.
The plan reinforces ITD’s mission “to provide high-quality, cost-effective transportation systems that are safe, reliable and responsive for the economical and efficient movement of people and products.”
In essence, it summarizes the same message that each of you heard on our statewide tour: that we are deeply committed to customer service and efficiency. It also acknowledges our core responsibilities and the measures we use to track and assess our performance. The Interim Strategic Plan will serve as an important foundation for a thorough review of our “near-term” (three- to five-year) strategic planning and performance-management process and will help us identify any appropriate improvements.
Again, I want to thank each of you for helping us as we plot a course for the future of transportation in Idaho. It’s fitting, on this eve of State Employee Appreciation Week, that all of us on the Executive Team and Transportation Board offer our most sincere thanks for the terrific jobs you do.