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Environmental Services Strategic Plan 2018-2025

Healthy Neighborhoods + Thriving Puget Sound = A Better Tacoma

At Environmental Services, we believe everything we do supports healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound, leaving a better Tacoma for all.

This WHY statement defines our contribution: "healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound," and the impact we want to have: "a better Tacoma for all.” This is a promise of our commitment to the City of Tacoma. It captures our purpose and defines why we exist as a department.


HOW we Achieve our WHY

These three statements represent the core values of the Environmental Services Department and our clear focus on Customers, Employees and Operations. These demonstrate how we will uniquely fulfill our WHY statement.


Customers:  Partner with our community on customer-values services to meet the diverse needs of our neighborhoods.
Employees:  Foster a safe culture built on trust, conversation and equity.
Operations:  Operate using best practices to meet changing environmental and community needs.


Each of these HOWs include three associated WHAT’s, or strategic focus areas that support the HOW statements and outline what we plan to accomplish together.



Environmental Services why, how, and what of new Strategic Plan


Implementation Team

A cross-divisional, staff-led team with broad representation has been appointed to ensure implementation of our Strategic Plan. Co-led by Jessica Knickerbocker and Josh Knouff, the Implementation Team will be responsible for ensuring that we reach our WHY and represent the HOW’s through prioritizing and implementing the initiatives. 


Nine initiatives, one for each WHAT, were prioritized for implementation and the following leads will take on these initiatives:

Table of Implementation Team members and associated Initiatives


2018-2019 Implementation Team members


Focus Teams

Focus teams for each initiative include staff from all divisions and varying levels of the department as well as a management sponsor. These teams will be responsible for the development of initiatives and identifying the tracking performance measures. 


Membership of the Focus Teams will change as one initiative is completed and a new one is started. Feel free to reach out to the Implementation Team members if you have questions or concerns.


2018-2019 Initiative Rollout

The Implementation Team has identified the approximate timeline for the first nine initiatives:

Gantt chart showing timeline of initiatives rolling out in 2018 and 2019



Plan Development

In 2017, the Director identified 12 Strategic Planning Team members, representing each division, to develop the 2018-2025 Strategic Plan.  This team completed extensive research, listened to feedback from stakeholders, customers, and employees, and worked collaboratively to develop the plan and set the direction for our department.


This Environmental Services Strategic Plan (and Appendix) will serve as our agenda and guide decisions for our department through 2025.


Contact Us

As always, we are dedicated to working together transparently with open communication and contributions from all levels of the department. If you have questions or would like to provide feedback, please contact Josh Knouff, Jessica Knickerbocker, a member of the Implementation Team, or email ThinkBig@cityoftacoma.org


Think Big!