The City of Carpinteria is a coastal community with small-town charm valued by residents and visitors. With beautiful beaches, breathtaking mountain views, and amazing weather, Carpinteria has a lot to offer its residents. The City recently seated a new City Manager, Michael Ramirez, who replaced a recently retired city manager who had served in the role for 22 years. 

With the future of the community in mind and budget season approaching, Mr. Ramirez engaged TS Talent Solutions to facilitate a strategic planning process for the Carpinteria City Council in January 2024. After working through interviews and a facilitated public meeting, the City successfully finalized the plan in March, identifying five goals and more detailed priorities under each goal:

  1. Enhance public outreach, education and transparency
  2. Accommodate City growth while maintaining a small beach-side town
  3. Take steps to address the fiscal sustainability of the City
  4. Strengthen community institution collaboration
  5. Invest in a high-performance team at City Hall

“Transitions, especially those following a long-tenured and beloved City Manager, can be difficult. However, they also create opportunities to re-examine processes and build on past success. We have a solid team at city hall who are committed to delivering results for the City Council and community” said City Manager Michael Ramirez. “Aligning our work with the goals of the Council is imperative to our success, however, clarity of direction and creation of staff capacity through a well-informed and rigorous prioritization process is the true work product. TS Talent Solutions’ methodical approach to the process and collaboration with city staff to develop measurable and efficacious outcomes sets an elevated standard and will pay numerous dividends in the years to come.”

Carpinteria’s goal-setting process began with a council member questionnaire followed by one-on-one conversations with each council member to discuss their individual priorities in greater depth. The process also included several meetings with the City Manager, a facilitated City Council strategy session and a report summarizing the Council’s goals, priorities, and key metrics identified by City staff to aid City Council in measuring their progress and remaining accountable.

“Goal setting is fundamental in uniting City Council and City staff through shared priorities that set them up for success and ensure a functional organization,” noted President of Tripepi Smith Ryder Todd Smith. “The Carpinteria City Council were open and good-willed in their desire to help their community members and preserve the best aspects of Carpinteria. I also found City staff who were knowledgeable in their fields and open to digging in to make the City Council’s aspiration become reality. I look forward to my next visit to Carpinteria and seeing the progress they are making.”

TS Talent Solutions (TSTS) is a division of Tripepi Smith. TSTS helps organizations recruit talent, set goals and build stronger team culture.