AUBURN — Building partnerships among city departments and with neighboring communities is one of the top goals for City Manager Glenn Aho.

He wants to make sure that goal and others mesh with City Council expectations.

“When you have new councilors on the board, they come in with new sets of understandings and things they want to accomplish,” Aho said. “But we have two years’ worth of work we’ve been putting in, based on the previous council’s goals. We just want to make sure that we can merge them all without having any accidents.”

Voters elected two new at-large councilors in November, Belinda Gerry and Eric Samson, in addition to Mayor Dick Gleason.

“City staff has a lot to do just keeping the organization going,” Aho said. “So it’s very important we have a good idea of what the City Council expects.”

Aho gave councilors a report on the city staff’s to-do list and long-term goals at Monday’s meeting. That report should be posted to the city’s Web site,, later this week.

It details staff goals for city administration and other departments, broken into four categories: building the public’s trust, lowering taxes, promoting economic growth and being a state leader.

Each department is given tasks under each category. In the public trust category, the city’s economic development staff is asked to identify barriers to private development and market the city’s assets. Each department is expected to make itself more efficient, combining services where possible and sharing equipment.

“This document tells the story of where we think we need to go,” Aho said. “Now we need to hear from the council and find out if they agree, and where they expect us to go.”

Aho hopes to schedule a goal-setting session with councilors in March, before the councilors begin reviewing the fiscal year 2010-11 budget.

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