Five-Point Star Management System

Roane County Executive Ron Woody’s

Five-Point Star Management System

updated March 2014

During my career of working in and with county governments as either an employee or consultant, I discovered that often times we are overwhelmed by the many different demands and challenges that face us each and every day. It appears to me that our organization frequently became stale in the direction, management and focus on goals and objectives which we hoped to accomplish. With these thoughts in mind, I focused during the 2010 campaign on a Five-Point Star Management System which would give our administration some direction and focus for the future.

The current five points are: (updated January 2017)

1. Budget 2018 (35)

2. Long Term Capital Planning (36)

3. Recreation (8 & 32)

4. Heritage Center Development (Re: Industrialize of K-25) (33)

5. Future Jail Planning (38)

As we place new focus points (30,31,32,33,34) on our agenda, we also review our suspended points. These points were suspended due to either the project being substantially underway, nearing completion or being bumped due to a more significant item taking the respective place.

Under suspension are Departmental Review “The Focus” (25), Capital Planning Review (26), Reappraisal 2015 (27), Budget 2016 (28), and Planning to Go Forward (29). All of these points are still active foci and require a number of hours of attention and work each month. Substantial progress has been accomplished in each of these areas which has allowed us to temporarily suspend their position as a focus point. What has been accomplished?

Departmental Review “The Focus” (25) In August 2015, all the department heads under the County Executive met for a full day retreat. The question, “What are you doing to make Roane County better?” was posed to each director. Powerpoint presentations were prepared and presented by each department which highlighted areas of focus within their departments. These presentations are available here.

Capital Planning Review (26)

Reappraisal 2015 (27) The Roane County 2015 Reappraisal is complete so this is no longer a focus point.

Budget 2016 (28) With the approval of the 2016 Budget by the Roane County Commission, the focus shifts off 2016 Budget and onto the 2017 Budget.

Planning to Go Forward (29) The city mayors, Alliance personnel and the county executive are now meeting on a monthly basis. The city managers, Alliance personnel and the county executive are also now meeting on a monthly basis.

(Focus points that have been worked on and have either been completed or suspended are noted as ended. We are leaving them on the list so that you can see what has been accomplished since September 2010.)

(1) Debt Management (began September 2010, ended March 2011)

Resolution #03-11-23, approving a Roane County Debt Management Plan, was adopted by the Roane County Commission on March 4, 2011.

When I was elected, Roane County was approximately $60 million in debt. In the first six months of my administration, I planned on have a debt management plan submitted, studied and reviewed by the county commission and hopefully adopted. This plan would give Roane County future direction. Policies of debt management include: (1) insuring that debt does not exceed the asset’s life expectancy and which assets the county should not use debt to purchase (computers, furniture, vehicles, radios, etc); (2) not back-loading our debt repayment schedules; and (3) a multi-year (25-30) debt budget, just to name a few.

(2) Capital Improvement Plan/Program (began September 2010, ended March 2011)

Resolution #03-11-22, approving a Roane County Capital Plan, was adopted by the Roane County Commission on March 14, 2011)

In the first six months I planned on have a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) ready for study and review by our county commission. Our CIP goes hand-in-hand with debt management and will give us further direction into the future. We must know where we are going. We continue to replace certain assets, so let’s develop a replacement schedule and understand whether or not these replacement assets influence our debt management plan. Let’s look tot he next decade to help carve a path of where we want to travel.

(3) Department Management (began September 1, 2010, ended March 2012)

Work will continue on departmental management but we are replacing the departmental management focus at this time due to improvements on:

  1. Policies adopted on cell phones and use of county vehicles
  2. Scheduled weekly staff meetings
  3. Communication with commissioners/employees through monthly newsletter
  4. Development of a template of committee minutes reports
  5. Development of system direction policies on capital and debt which has assisted in focusing our administration on some primary goals of managing county programs and finances in the future.

(4) Communication(began September 1, 2010, ended November 2010)

Since September 1, 2010, a monthly newsletter to the Commission has been published and distributed; not only to Commissioners, but also to State, County and City officials and business and community leaders, as well as being added to the county’s website for public viewing. Weekly staff meetings are scheduled and frequent meeting are held with other county officials. Our “Communication” point was taken off during November 2010 for two basic reasons: (1) we have made great strides in improving communication by improving the County Executive’s Report to Commission, monthly Commission newsletters, weekly staff meetings, periodic officials meetings, Executive Summary presentations via power points, written Executive Position papers, and continued work on the county website; and (2) an immediate need came to our attention of sewer expansion needs in the Midtown area related to the anticipated construction of a $65 million hospital, $70$8 million Physicians’ Plaza, and other retail business plans.

(5) Emergency Medical Services Operations (began September 1, 2010, ended March 2012)

The Emergency Services Operation focus has been temporarily suspended. Much progress has taken place over the last 20 months to define operations and begin a more direct focus of emergency management and emergency services. More work will continue on this focus and we could anticipate the service coming back on the five-point system, but in the meantime, we will suspend the focus, noting the following accomplishments:

  1. More formal stability has been obtained for the ambulance service. Issues are not fully solved,but a stable foundation has been establish. The budget has 1 cent property tax to offset indigent care. Ambulance Service is purchasing its own ambulances without issuing debt.
  2. Billing of ambulance service has been outsourced. This has created efficiency in organization on keeping current on Medicare, Medicaid, TennCare and private insurance regulations and contact changes.
  3. Collection rates have improved and are most understandable with a system of reporting payer and collection rates.
  4. Response time is documents and utilization of system resources is monitored.
  5. Unscheduled overtime has been basically eliminated.

Many improvements have been made in the Ambulance Operations and will continue to be monitored. Emergency Services, Homeland Security, and County-wide Fire Protection continue to be reviewed; however, any focus for additional resources are not being explored at this time. There has been much discussion among the Volunteer Fire Departments and Commission related to continuing the county-wide fire concept; however, no action has been taken to either enhance or discontinue the service. Further, the new focus of Risk Management shall also cover various aspects of Emergency Management. Emergency Services could become a primary focus again at a later date.

(6) Midtown Area Development (Sewer Expansion) (began November 2010, ended December 2011)

An immediate need came to our attention of sewer expansion needs in the Midtown area related to the anticipated construction of a $65 million hospital, $70$8 million Physicians’ Plaza, and other retail business plans. Roane County received approval for a State Revolving Loan of over $5 million in June 2011. The implementation process of the Midtown Sewer Construction began in August 2011.

(7) Fund Balance Policy (began February 2011, ended April 2011)

Resolution #04-11-32, approving a Fund Balance Policy, was adopted by the Roane County Commission on April 11, 2011.

As we were completing the drafting and review of the count Capital and Debt Management policies, it became apparent that we should draft our Fund Balance Policy. The Fund Balance Policy deals with how the county should manage the equities balance of each of the county’s individual funds. Basically, this policy will encompass how much money should be carried over at the end of each fiscal year.

(8) Recreation/Tourism (began March 2011)

Recreation/Tourism is a focus we feel will continue for some time during our administration. Currently, recreation focuses on Swan Pond Sports Complex, the Chamberlain Trail, a model remote control airplane field, Riley Creek Campground, and a bridge over Caney Creek to the old campground, just to name a few.

Throughout my travels as a UT Government Consultant, I saw firsthand the benefits various counties enjoyed when the county embraced their recreation and tourism program. Due to the benefits of new dollars being injected into the local economy with little annual cost to deliver the recreational and tourism service, we will focus operations at the Roane County Park, Caney Creek RV and Marina, and the Roane County Expo Center, along with lake and river opportunities. March 14, 2011, the Roane County Commission granted the County Executive authority to operate, under a license agreement, the Riley Creek Campground. Opportunities abound with Roane County’s many recreational and tourism assets.

(9) 2012 Budget (began March 2011, ended July 2012)

Budget Resolutions #07-11-10, #07-11-11, and #07-11-12 were adopted by the Roane County Commission on July 11, 2011.

Although work takes place each day on the county’s financial management and budget administration, it is in the spring of each year that intensive work begins and continues up until the adoption of the new fiscal year’s budget.

We began the 2012 Budget process in January 2011, which included a adoption of financial policies listed in our Five-Point system, and then began focusing on developing our budget around established policies. Work continued in February with mailing out departmental request forms and requesting not only the department budget,but for the first time, a capital budget. During March and April, we started receiving departmental requests and organizing, sorting and totaling all the requests. In April, a consolidated debt budget was prepared and 2012 recommendations approved by the Budget Committee.

(10) Implementation of 2012 Capital Budget (began January 2011, ended July 2011)

With the adoption of the 2012 Budget, the county, for the first time, adopted a Comprehensive Capital Budget. The late adoption of the 2011 Budget established Capital Outlay funding and plans. During the spring of 2011, a capital policy was adopted, and with the adoption of the 2012 Budget a schedule of detailed projects was established. We will prepare an Executive Summary in August of the projects funded and establish preliminary timelines of work activity on each project. Executive Summary #16a- Capital Outlay Implementation Plan- August 2012 is available on the county website.

(11) Sewer Operations/Capital Plan (began January 2012- rolled under (15) Implementation of Capital Plan-January 2013)

Multi-year Operations and a Capital Plan will be developed, studied and reviewed as sewer expansion continues, along with the accounting conversion from Special Revenue Fund to the Enterprise Fund. A comprehensive sewer operations and sewer capital report will be published. Sewer System Operations Dec 2012

(12) Risk Management (began January 2012)

Development of a Risk Management program will be developed that will deal with internal risk of local government operations along with external risks both natural and man-made.

(13) Industrial/Economic Development (began March 2012- rolled under (15) Implementation of Capital Plan- January 2013)

During March and April 2012 we have devoted a lot of time and energy on Industrial/Economic development and, by default, a focus of the five-point system became Industrial/Economic Development. Much work has and will continue to take place with the appraisal, acceptance, and success of the VW recruitment. The county will focus a number of hours on managing the infrastructure improvement for the VW site. As noted in the April 2012 Newsletter, much work took place related to the VW recruitment.

Further, the county worked with various partners to host an Industrial Inventory Summit at Roane State Community College in April. Additional information about the Summit was provided in the May 2012 Newsletter, and a presentation was prepared as Executive Summary #23 Industrial Inventory Summit – April 12, 2012. A position statement #4-Funding Industrial Infrastructure Position Statement- 3-2012 related to funding industrial infrastructure assets is also available.

(14) 2013 Budget (began March 2012, ended July 2012)

Resolution #07-12-04 was adopted by the Roane County Commission on July 9, 2012.

Each spring we begin intensive work on the upcoming annual budget. Work takes place on the budget each week as throughout the year we analyze, monitor and amend the county’s management focus and direction, but intensive work begins each spring. We anticipate that the annual budget shall always become a primary focus of the five-point star management system in the spring of each year.

(15) Implementation of 2013 Capital Budget (began July 2012, ended July 2013)

With the adoption of the 2013 Operating Budget the Commission also adopted the 2013 Capital Plan. An Executive Summary #16a Capital Outlay Implementation-August 2012 is available on the county website which notes the approved 2013 projects along with projects still in planning, development, and/or construction which have been previously approved.

  • Sewer Expansion (11) rolled here in February 2013 (see notes above)
  • Industrial Economic Development Construction[Grants] (13) rolled here February 2013 (see notes above)

Began in July 2012 and worked throughout the fiscal 2013 year, the implementation of the 2013 Capital Budget ended with the establishment of the (19) Implementation of the 2013 Capital Plan.

(16) 2014 Budget (began February 2013, ended July 2013)

Resolution #07-13-17 was adopted by the Roane County Commission on July 8, 2013.

Each spring or late winter, we add to our focus the upcoming budget. We are once again getting started on the development of the 2014 Operating and Capital Budgets, and are anticipating a few issues, and hope to begin the process of multi-year operating budgets.

With the adoption of the 2014 budget the majority of the work ended; however, the final budget reflects an August amendment for education due to continued financial struggle of education operations.

(17) Solid Waste/Recycling (began February 2013)

We have spent a number of hours and days reviewing the solid waste collection and disposal  system but are not satisfied with our operation. Our capital budget has helped to expand the functional operation of our convenience centers as we have developed super centers with more recycling and compacting. We have even closed a center in January 2013; however, we are not where we want to be in our operations and improving our service to our citizens. We pledge to improve the Solid Waste/Recycling Operations.

(18) Education Funding/Finances (began August 2013)

Although Education Funding/Finances has been discussed on several occasions over the last two (2) years, the need for action and broader understanding became apparent during the development and adoption of the 2014 Budget. The 2013 year ending financial reports reflected a loss in the 141 General Purpose School Fund of approximately $1.7 million. The loss was predicted; however, it was not until the adoption of the 2014 that broad-based acceptance and understanding of the problem was realized.

Immediately after the 2014 Budget, which is estimated to lose another $1.7 million in the 141 General Purpose School Fund, was adopted, the School Board and Commission began a concerted effort to address the issue. Going forward, it is anticipated that the School Liaison Committee will meet monthly and joint Board/Commission meeting will be held periodically to focus on the goals and objectives of the committee. Our website will have a specific link under County Commission regarding the activities of the School Liaison Committee and any joint Board/Commission meetings.

(19) Implementation of 2014 Capital Budget (began August 2013, ended September 2014)

With the adoption of the 2014 Operating Budget, the Commission also approved the 2014 Capital Budget. An Executive Summary #16b Capital Outlay Implementation 2014 reflects the 2014 Capital Budget.

(20) Jail Capacity Issues (began August 2013)

On May 2, 2013 the county jail was inspected by the Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) which put the county on notice regarding potential jail decertification. The Sheriff’s Liaison Committee then conducted a meeting attended by Bob Bass of TCI, who presented a partnership agreement proposal. Resolution #08-13-13, adopted August 12, 2013, reflects the Commission approval of a partnership agreement with TCI and University of Tennessee CTAS to analyze, study and make recommendations to solve Roane County Jail Issues.

(21) 2015 Budget (began January 2014, ended September 2014)

As in the past, we add the budget process as a focus as we begin to work with the various elected officials and department heads to prepare an operational budget to present to Commission. Ex Summ #15c FY15 Budget

(22) Industrial/Economic Development (began May 2014, ended January 2015)

This focus point is addressing the refocus, rebranding and remarketing of Roane County for the new economy.

(23)Implementation of 2015 Capital Budget (began September 2014, ended December 2014)

With the adoption of the 2015 Operating Budget, the Commission also approved the 2015 Capital Budget. (Ex Summ #16c Capital Outlay Implementation 2015)

(24)Commission Orientation Program  (began August 2014, ended December 2014)

The Commission Orientation Program consists of a series of presentation prepared for the Commission to address relevant questions, issues and concerns within the county government. The first Orientation program consisted of information directly related to organization, structure and responsibilities of the Commission (Ex Summ #40 Roane County Commission Orientation 2014).

(25) Departmental Review- “The Focus”  (began September 2014, ended January 2016)

Departmental review will include placing master templates for the departments and respective committees on the website.

(26)Capital Planning Review (began September 2014)

The county has made great strides in our capital planning the last number of years; however, our anticipated final phase of capital planning has not been fully addressed. The 2016 budget process anticipates addressing the capital planning in more detail which hopefully will address our capital planning revenue.

(27)  Reappraisal 2015 (began November 2014, ended November 2015)

The 2015 Reappraisal has been added due to a number of issues, including concerns by the State Comptroller’s Office that the program may not be on schedule, the anticipated reduction in property values, and the related impacts of changes in property values. Much work took place in late November 2014 and early December 2014 which can be noted in County Commission minutes. We will continue to work to insure a successful reappraisal and understanding of the reappraisal process. The State of Tennessee, Office of the Comptroller, Division of Property Assessment presented to the Roane County Commission a summary of the work which they performed to help Roane County finish the 2015 Reappraisal. The presentation can be found as Ex Summ #43 DPA Reappraisal Presentation to Commission 8-10-15

(28) Budget 2016  (began January 2015, ended July 2015)

Like most years, the new annual budget also hits our list. Due to the time devoted to having a successful budget, we begin the process for the 2016 Budget in January. (Ex Summ #15d FY16 Budget)

(29) Planning to Go Forward  (began January 2015, ended January 2016)

With a new Alliance CEO, Wade Creswell, and newly elected officials in county and city governments, a new effort is underway to have these new officials (city mayors/managers) and the county executive to meet periodically to discuss common interest, long term plans, and short and long term challenges. The mayors and city mangers meet on a monthly basis to discuss various issues and challenges.

(30) 2017 Budget (began January 2016)

Work begins on the 2017 Budget with Capital and Debt Planning and a new emphasis on two-year operational budgets.

(31) Emergency Management (began January 2016) The focus shifts to the Office of Emergency Management and the TVA-Swan Pond property lease. The property needs to be cleared of trees and cleaned up. The focus also includes understanding trends in rural fire protection with an emphasis in training and first response personnel and equipment. The department has applied for an Aid to Firefighters Grant for the purchase of a new fire truck.

(32) Recreation/Tourism Focus shifts back to Recreation/Tourism with a new pavilion being built at Riley Creek Campground with the aid of TVA funding. We are also opening new tent camping sites at  Riley Creek along with shoreline restoration work around the boat launch/dock area. Swan Sports Complex is also seeing progress. Work on a restroom/concession stand will hopefully start in April 2016. Also, a picnic pavilion and work on the soccer fields and festival field will continue through the spring and summer with the intention of being ready to play in the fall. The county is applying for a Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant to fund part of Phase II at SPSC which includes an adventure playground, play lawn area, picnic pavilion, and restroom adjacent to the soccer fields. The county has also applied for a Natural Resource Trustee Program grant in conjunction with the cities of Harriman, Kingston and Rockwood. This grant application includes new docks at Kingston and Rockwood, shoreline stabilization work at all three cities along with Roane County Park, courtesy docks throughout the county at existing TWRA boat launches, and a new bridge into the Old Caney Creek Campground area. The focus is upon grant applications and activities within the entire park system.

(33) Industrial Development (began May 2015)

The focus of this area has been the construction of a new Jones Road within the Roane Regional Business and Technology Park through funding from a TVA InvestPrep grant. The county is also working to finalize the hand over of the sewer system with the RRBTP to Lenoir City Utility Board. The county is also working to develop an understanding and potential position on the ETTP and CROET’s continued operations.

(34) Administration (began August 2015)

Focus within the area of Administration is on issues and studies, including grant management review and manual creation, internal controls, back tax law and policies, website improvements, building and codes consolidation of activities with planning and GIS. Various studies are under way, including: educational delivery system, vendor trucks, UT-Battelle property assessment, health insurance, 401(k), and focus notebooks.

(35) 2018 Budget

As always we start with our budget development so 2018 Budget (35) is a no brainer. Financial Management and Budgets are our primary focus, that is the reason the Tennessee law refers to the County Executive/Mayor as the fiscal agent of the County

(36) Long Term Capital Planning

Although still important the Emergency Management (EM) has an important role in Long Term Capital Planning (36) which has replaced EM.

(38) Future Jail Planning

development of a Long Term Jail Plan and what the Sheriff/Jail Building that also houses the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will look like in the future and more importantly how they will operate together. Hopefully we will be able to update new points of focus during the first six months of 2018 we have several important focuses including: future delivery of education services, additional industrial development, wastewater utility operations, county-wide fire control, and implementation of 2018 Capital Plan.


Some of the original points may stay on our primary focus throughout our administration but our goal is to solve points identified and replace the focus with an additional point. It is possible that a point can be temporarily replaced as more important points become a focus of the administration.


Itemized Areas of Consideration:

Asset Review and Management– Process continues; however, upon study the Roane County Landfill property has been identified and used for Roane County Sheriff’s Department firing range and planned for use of remote controlled model airplanes. The old jail is being used by the Juvenile Department and the Drug Task Force as office space. The Cawood Property has been assigned to the Roane County Sheriff’s Department as a House of Hope for children removed from meth houses. Executive Summaries: #10, #12, #12a, #16, #17 and #21

Industrial Park Inventory– The County hosted an Industrial Inventory Conference at RSCC and a presentation was made with Executive Summary #23. Based on the conference, Roane County was asked to prepare a presentation and speak at the “Celebration of Success Conference.” Executive Summaries: #23 and #24

Plateau Partnership Park– Executive Summaries #1 and #1a were prepared and presented at a conference at Roane State on February 15, 2011.

Recycling– The Solid Waste Program, along with recycling has been extensively worked on through the Capital Plan and work with the Solid Waste Committee. Executive Summaries: #9, #9a, #9b, #9c, #9d, #9e, #12, #12a, #16, #16a and #16b

Solid Waste Landfill Contract– Roane County bid out and awarded a 5-year landfill contract.

Tourism Opportunities– This item has and will continue to be addressed under the Recreation heading. Specifically, Roane County began in the Spring of 2011 operating the 45-campsite Riley Creek Campground.

TVA Relationship– Roane County continues to work with TVA specifically on recreational opportunities at the Swan Pond Recreational Complex. Executive Summaries: #17, #17a, #17b, #17c, #17d, #17e, #20, #20a, #20b and #20c

Fire Prevention and Loss– Roane County requested and received a 2012 CTAS Fire Assessment Study. Executive Summary #26

Employee Professional Growth– Various employees have obtained the Certified Public Administrator designation. Newsletters have addressed Employee/Employer benefits available. The County instituted a 401(k) retirement program.

Livability Issues– Various news articles have attempted to address livability issues as the county plans its future with much more to come.

Animal and Litter Control

Building Inspection and Long-Term Planning– Working with the Planning Commission and Building and Codes Office, along with the Fire Services, the county continues to focus on keeping our community safe and growing in an acceptable direction. Specifically, improvement in sewer system service area and vision improvement at the Gallaher interstate exit. Executive SummariesL #2, #2a, #2b, #12, #16, #16a, #16b

Existing Business Development– The County explored an incubator and set aside funding if the program was developed. The County operates an EDA Loan program and made various loans the last three years. Executive Summary: #18

Financial Stability and Viability

Employee Total Compensation and Competitiveness

Multi-Year Operational Budgets