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Legislative Public Meetings

File #: 24-219    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Public Hearing/General Business Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 2/14/2024 In control: Council and Authorities Concurrent Meeting
On agenda: 3/25/2024 Final action:
Title: 2024 City Council Priority Session #1
Attachments: 1. EMC Research, Inc. Community Survey Presentation, 2. City Council Priorities and Referral Matrix, 3. POST MEETING MATERIAL
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2024 City Council Priority Session #1





Periodically, the Santa Clara City Council meets to establish Priority Areas of Focus and key initiatives for the City organization. The City Council’s last Priority Setting Session was held on February 8, 2022. Since that time, progress has been made on many initiatives and the City Council has taken formal action to refer potential new initiatives to its 2024 Priority Setting Session(s).

The goals of the Priority Sessions are for the City Council to establish Priority Areas of Focus and key initiatives for the City organization. These priorities generally set the policy framework for budget decisions and how City resources are aligned to support these objectives.

The City Council established specific priority areas at previous Priority Setting Sessions as follows:

1.                     Deliver and Enhance High-Quality Efficient Services and Infrastructure

2.                     Manage Strategically Our Workforce Capacity and Resources

3.                     Promote and Enhance Economic, Housing and Transportation Development

4.                     Enhance Community Sports, Recreational and Arts Assets

5.                     Ensure Compliance with Measure J and Manage Levi’s Stadium

6.                     Enhance Community Engagement and Transparency

7.                     Promote Sustainability and Environmental Protection

The 2024 City Council Priority Setting sessions are scheduled to take place with the first two sessions on March 25, 2023 and April 3, 2023 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. A third session will be scheduled as needed in the coming months once the City Council has finalized its priority suggestions. City staff will review and conduct an analysis of the priorities including determining budget allocations needed and timeline estimates for priorities and initiatives.

Session Meeting Facilitator
The City issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) 23-24-28 Professional Services for Strategic Planning and Meeting Facilitation in Fall 2023. Through a competitive process, the City selected Raftelis as the consultant to provide meeting facilitation for the sessions. The Raftelis team includes Julia Novak, Executive Vice President of Raftelis and Nancy Hetrick, Vice President who will lead the City Council in the 2024 Priority Setting sessions.

Julia has vast experience as a thought leader in the areas of governance and administration with more than 15 years of active service to local governments, including Fort Collins, Colorado; Lexington, Massachusetts; Rockville, Maryland; and as the city manager of Rye, New York. Julia and Nancy both combine over 30 years of extensive experience as local government management consultants and facilitators, working with both elected and appointed officials from jurisdictions throughout the U.S. to conduct goal setting, develop strategic plans, and prioritize service delivery.

Community Survey
In addition, the City issued a RFQ #24-24-27 for Professional Services for Community Survey Development in Fall 2023 to conduct a survey on citywide priorities. Through a competitive process, the City selected EMC Research Inc. to conduct a community survey for to identify community priorities.

EMC Research, Inc. has nearly 30 years of experience conducting research on behalf of public agencies and governments in California. The team includes Jessica Polsky-Sanchez, Principal, and Brendan Kara, Vice President of EMC Research, Inc. who led the efforts to develop and conduct the community survey in Santa Clara.

The 2024 Priority Setting Session agenda for Day 1 includes the following sections:


1.                     Agenda Review and Workshop Norms

2.                     Context Setting

                     Community Survey Results

                     Summary of pre-interview themes

                     Organization Update from City Manager 

3.                     Public Comment

4.                     True in Ten Years

5.                     Individual Council Priorities

6.                     Public Comment

7.                     Process Overview and Next Steps

8.                     Adjournment


Community Survey
As part of Day 1, EMC Research Inc. (Consultant) will present to the City Council the results of the community survey. The presentation from EMC is attached (Attachment 1).  The Consultant conducted the community survey in February 2024.

To obtain feedback from a scientifically valid, reliable sample of residents in the city of Santa Clara, the Consultant implemented a mixed-mode study among a random, representative sample of 600 residents over the age of 18. Interviews were conducted by telephone on both landlines and cell phones, and online by email and text invitation. The questionnaire length was approximately 15 minutes. The multiple contact methods allowed the ability to obtain data from a broad cross-section of voters because those who may not answer their phone may take the survey online, and those who do not respond to the email or text message survey invitation may take the survey over the phone.

The overall survey sample included a demographic and geographic representation of adult residents in Santa Clara. In addition, to provide access to the diverse community in Santa Clara, the survey was also offered in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese (Mandarin).

Council Priorities and Referrals
Attached to this report is a City Council Priorities and Referral Matrix (Attachment 2) which includes the following categories of items:

Table 1: Potential Initiatives Referred to Priority Setting Session (8)

Table 2: Initiatives Referred for Further Action (46)

Table 3: Items Completed or Requiring No Further Action (24)

This matrix has combined the City Council referral log with the Council Priority Area Matrix for ease of review. The facilitators will be addressing how to prioritize Table 1 items as well as some of the referrals categorized under Table 2 that have still not been addressed due to staffing and prioritization.

The City Manager will also provide a brief overview of the status of some of the above items during the session.

This is an information report only and no action is being taken by the City Council and no environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) is required.


Not applicable at this time.



This session has been coordinated with all City Departments.



Public contact was made by posting the Council agenda on the City’s official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall Council Chambers. A complete agenda packet is available on the City’s website and in the City Clerk’s Office at least 72 hours prior to a Regular Meeting and 24 hours prior to a Special Meeting. A hard copy of any agenda report may be requested by contacting the City Clerk’s Office at (408) 615-2220, email <> or at the public information desk at any City of Santa Clara public library.



Approved by: Jovan D. Grogan, City Manager


1.                     EMC Research, Inc. Community Survey Presentation

2.                     City Council Priorities and Referral Matrix