PORTLAND — One of the changes incorporated into the 2010 version of the City Charter is a requirement for an annual goal-setting process. Earlier this year, the Portland City Council held several workshop sessions in which they discussed, reviewed and agreed upon eight goals for the city.

The goals as established are as follows:

Provide increased availability in all segments of the housing market while ensuring that there is a suitable balance of housing opportunities among those sectors.

  Develop a transportation system that advances healthy living, minimizes environmental impacts and promotes the local economy by advancing opportunities for mass transit, bicycle use and walking.

  Promote economic development in the city in a manner that provides for increased property values, diversification across industry sectors and well-paying jobs.

  Advance an environmental program that safeguards our natural resources, promotes a healthy lifestyle and supports a sustainable economy.

  Operate the city government in an efficient and effective manner that is transparent, accountable and responsive to all segments of the community.

  Prevent and end homelessness in the city of Portland by continuing to implement the recommendations of the Homelessness Task Force.

  Implement the city’s revised Tax Increment Financing program, which focuses on the creation of appropriately sized and designed TIF districts and advances other council goals in the areas of transit, economic development, public infrastructure and municipal finance.

  Create a collaborative process for the ongoing establishment of proactive legislative priorities at the regional, state and federal levels that advance the interests of the city.

As you can see, this is an ambitious set of goals. And while this list is not all-encompassing, it does provide a strategic framework and sets the course for the future. Some of these goals will no doubt be difficult to achieve, but we owe it to the people of Portland to begin taking positive steps that will result in a better city for all of us.

To that end, we’ve developed several discrete and measurable objectives that will allow us to implement specific progress on each of the council’s goals.

For example, to increase our housing stock, we will look at ways in which we can enhance the development of affordable housing in the city by completing an assessment of city-owned property that could be developed, and consider a zoning ordinance that would require new developments in the India Street neighborhood to help fund affordable-housing projects.

To improve transportation, we will look to implement the Congress Street bus priority plan, begin planning to link Thompson Point to Ocean Gateway and complete the design process for a revamped Franklin Street.

In order to bolster the city’s economic development, we will heavily market the Portland Technology Park to secure tenants, advance work on our minority- and women-owned business development initiative and re-establish ferry service to Nova Scotia.

When looking at ways in which we can advance our environmental program, we will continue to examine how we pay for the modernization of our stormwater and sewer systems, and we will seek to develop revisions to city ordinances in order to strengthen the Parks Commission in its role as advocates for recreation, conservation, trails and open spaces within the city.

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty things that matter to residents on a daily basis – the day-to-day operations of city services – we’re implementing a number of improved customer service tools so people who live here can interact with us in a more efficient manner. These include a new website, a streamlined permitting process and a more effective system for responding to customer calls.

These are just a few of the highlights. A complete listing of the council’s goals and their related objectives can be found at www.portlandmaine.gov/goalsobjectives.pdf.

City staff are developing work plans to achieve these goals and objectives during 2014 and will report quarterly to the City Council on their progress.

Good municipal government requires transparency, objectivity and accountability. The establishment of council goals and their accompanying objectives meets all three criteria.