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City Updates Mission, Priorities for FY 2024

City of Highland Park Updates Mission, Priorities

July 26, 2023 – The City of Highland Park announces an updated mission and core priorities for the 2024 fiscal year, reflecting the outcome of strategic planning discussions between the Mayor, City Council, City Manager, and Senior Staff. This yearly meeting in late spring/early summer marks the beginning of the City’s annual budgeting process. The City’s budget document is a comprehensive policy statement through which the City operationalizes the priorities set by the City Council ahead of each fiscal year. The mission and core priorities are at the heart of the City’s financial and operational planning.

Mission:               The mission of the City of Highland Park, Illinois is to provide high-quality municipal services in an efficient and fiscally-responsible manner through effective, transparent, collaborative, and inclusive governance.

Core Priorities: Fiscal Stability, Public Safety, Infrastructure Investment, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability

“Our goals as elected officials and professional staff are to provide high quality government services, serve our community efficiently and effectively, and enhance the vibrancy of Highland Park through community-informed initiatives,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering. “For the 2024 fiscal year, in addition to our consistent municipal priorities of fiscal stability, public safety and infrastructure investment, we are shining a light on economic development and environmental sustainability. These efforts have traditionally been the focus of our work promoting community vibrancy. Highland Park is passionate about further developing our business-friendly policies and zoning to continue attracting new and exciting investments in our City. We are equally committed to maintaining our tradition of leadership as an environmentally-responsible community advancing climate-friendly policies and practices throughout City operations.”

City Manager Ghida Neukirch stated, “As part of the annual budget development process, which continues throughout summer and fall, the City will align annual objectives, initiatives, and projects with one or more of the core priorities.” Long-term fiscal stability, ongoing public safety initiatives, and responsible, long-range infrastructure planning are essential to the City’s overall operations. These three priorities have been formally identified as cornerstones of the City’s objectives since 2014. The FY 2024 priorities incorporate the addition of “economic development” and “environmental sustainability,” and the removal of “community vibrancy,” reflecting the view that taken collectively, these five priorities will enhance the City’s community vibrancy while focusing on business development and environmental sustainability objectives.

The City’s 2022-2024 Business Development Strategic Plan (Plan) articulates a set of measurable strategies and actions to support the local economy, rooted in an understanding of the differentiators that distinguish Highland Park from neighboring North Shore communities. These include eight diverse business districts incorporating three Special Service Areas, strong service-oriented retail businesses complemented by an active and engaged customer base, and a vibrant arts and culture community anchored by Ravinia Festival, a bevy of seasonal events, and a growing collection of arts-focused businesses. The Plan acts as a guide for purposeful action and planning based on best practices to attract and retain businesses, to encourage investment and reinvestment in Highland Park's unique assets, and to highlight the competitiveness of the city's commercial real estate opportunities. The Plan was developed following an extensive community engagement process, incorporating input from City staff, City Council, the Business & Economic Development Advisory Group (BEDAG), businesses, property owners and other community partners. As this was designed to be a living document, City staff provide regular updates to both the City Council and BEDAG. The Business Development Strategic Plan is available on the City’s website at

The City’s Sustainability Strategic Plan identifies measurable goals that provide direction in specific goal areas, including greenhouse gas emissions reductions, proactive stewardship of the City’s natural environment, climate-friendly transport and mobility enhancements, and green leadership. It also includes actions and additional considerations that provide a baseline for the City's current environmental sustainability practices.  The Sustainability Strategic Plan reflects the City’s ongoing community engagement through the Sustainability Advisory Group, the Transportation Advisory Group, and other community groups, as well as the City’s regional activities with other municipalities and government consortia. The Sustainability Strategic Plan is available on the City’s website at

Archived and current budget documents as well as the FY 2024 planning schedule are available at