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updated: 7/24/2012 5:37 PM

Buffalo Grove hopes to boost community involvement

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Buffalo Grove trustees are continuing their push for a strategic plan for the village that will address issues both internal, such as employee training and mobility, as well as external, including renewed efforts to boost community involvement.

Officials discussed the plan at Monday's committee-of-the-whole meeting, where trustees also heard updates about ongoing capital improvement projects.

As part of a discussion of community and economic goals, Village Manager Dane Bragg outlined development of the village's volunteer corps, which today includes the citizens fire and police academies. Further development of the program could include creation of a liaison position to streamline and coordinate volunteer activities.

Another possibility is creation of a "Buffalo Grove University," expanding on the citizens academy programs and perhaps incorporating the park district and surrounding townships and library districts.

In terms of economic development, Bragg discussed establishing a business ambassador program to reach out to local businesses, particularly larger institutions.

Human Resources Director Art Malinowski acknowledged that developing middle management is one of the issues the village needs to address, and said formal training for employees should be a priority.

"We really want to continue to develop all levels of employees within our organization," he said.

The renewal of the village's health and wellness program, which was started two years ago but has been on hiatus for the past six months, would include incentives for smoking cessation, which Trustee Michael Terson said should be encouraged for village employees.

Finance Director Scott Anderson tackled the area of revenue growth. He said the village should set a goal of 35 percent in cash reserves for its operating fund. That was the level maintained prior to the economic downturn, but it has since fallen to 25 percent, he said.

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