Dr. Ryan Safner, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at Hood, has been named to the City of Frederick’s Strategic Opportunities Advisory Team (SOAT). Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor has tasked the SOAT with creating and delivering a report to identify the current strengths and challenges facing the City, which will then be incorporated into the city’s strategic plan. The SOAT covers five targeted areas: Civic Engagement, 21st Century Technology and Communication, Economic Resilience, Expanding Opportunity, and City Operations and Organization. Safner is a member of the Economic Resilience workgroup, and writes below…
Since February, our Economic Resilience workgroup has met once per month, and will continue to do so through June. Each meeting is a discrete step towards producing a final report to be delivered to the Mayor by June 30 describing the “strengths, aspirations, opportunities, and results (SOAR)” of the City’s economic resilience. Our current vision is to produce a report or presentation with a simple “scorecard” to summarize how resilient Frederick is across several different aspects. We aim to track both the performance of the city over time, as well as benchmark it against other similar cities, to the extent that the relevant data is available.
Just what is economic resilience? While difficult to define abstractly, it is easy to toss out many attributes or examples of something being “resilient.” We have divided into subgroups, each trying to focus on exploring a particular category of economic resilience and searching for relevant data to measure and report as part of our analysis. My subgroup is analyzing resilience with respect to the quality of the city of Frederick’s governance, transparency, and relationship between the City and its citizens. At our next meeting we will be presenting our ideas to the wider group about how to provide some metrics and data on this admittedly difficult-to-quantify concept.
This is my first experience with local city government, so I have been learning a lot about how the City of Frederick operates, as well as getting to know some of the personalities in the city government and local community. As someone who works and spends a lot of time in Frederick, I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know more about the city and trying to do my small part in ensuring it remains a great place to live and work.
For more information on Frederick’s SOAT, visit https://www.cityoffrederick.com/1081/Mayors-Strategic-Opportunities-Advisory.