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Port Huron City Council adopts goals for 2023-2024

The Port Huron City Council at its Jan. 23 regular meeting.

By Jim Bloch

In a special meeting held Jan. 17, the members of the Port Huron City Council hammered out their goals for fiscal year 2023-2024. Each council member presented his or her priorities for the year. The council discussed the options, boiled down the list and then voted for its top six.

At its regular meeting Jan. 23, the council formally adopted the six goals as well 15 secondary goals, which are iterated below largely as they appeared in the resolution. The council simultaneously adopted the goals for the city manager.

“Going toward the future, I’d like to do something different with the process of selecting goals, putting more time into it,” said council member Anita Ashford, as heard on the recording of the regular meeting posted on the city’s website. “There is something called SMART goals and I would like to hear a lot from our subject matter experts, our staff out there. They should have been included.”

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SMART is an acronym for how goals should be formulated: Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Relevant; and Time-bound.

Top 6 city council goals

1. Support the continued development of the city’s south side, establish a neighborhood improvement authority and define achievable goals for the authority.

2. Remain dedicated to the police and fire departments to ensure both have the necessary tools to deliver the best service possible.

3. Explore urban agriculture zoning and communicate current rules and regulations with the community.

4. Continue to be diligent and monitor the MDOT Blue Water Bridge plaza expansion project.

5. Review City Council rules, procedures and guidelines for public audience and introduce necessary revisions.

6. Continue to find opportunities to increase/grow revenues.

The second 15 council goals

Among the other goals the council discussed:

1. Focus on blight enforcement, making sure it is equitable and review for possible improvements.

2. Re-evaluate the rental moratorium.

3. Define a specific area for bike traffic in the downtown area.

4. Explore leaf pickup options for the upcoming season and beyond.

5. Continue to hold the city manager accountable for his leadership.

6. Continue to work on ways to communicate with residents.

7. Execute a successful temporary warming station with local neighborhoods and work on finding a permanent location.

8. Create a second beach volleyball court at Lakeside Beach

9. Continue to improve local streets with emphasis in 10th Street and south side areas.

10. Market and finalize the sale of the Municipal Office Center and research relocation options.

11. Finalize park improvements across the city.

12. Develop a strategic plan to revitalize and improve our neighborhoods.

13. Develop a plan for the current central fire station property.

14. Continue to look for investments in the city.

15. Promote the 10th/Garfield Street subdivision.

City manager goals

City Manager James Freed presented his list of goals and priorities, which council approved. Some of them overlap with the council’s goals. In addition to the goals below, council approved two to five goals for each city department — clerk, finance, fire, human resources, information technology, parks and recreation, planning, police and public works.

Freed’s goals and priorities are:

1. Complete a draft of the Conner Street Improvement Authority and deliver it to the mayor and council by fall.

2. Sell all lots in the 10th Street development, with at least three homes constructed this year.

3. On-board a new department head and key city staff to fill retirement vacancies in key positions. 

4. Partner with MSHDA to ensure the Conner Street housing project comes to fruition.

5. Implement neighborhood signage and branding programs.

6. Provide the planning commission with a development plan for the Erie Street corridor between SC4 and McLaren.

7. Create a redevelopment plan for the Municipal Office Center and identify alternative site locations.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at

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