Barney & Worth provided public engagement and communications services for Portland Public Schools’ capital improvement plan for their more than 90 school campuses and facilities.
The school district had experienced diminishing financial resources over more than a decade and was unable to adequately maintain or renovate school buildings. Anticipating a need for dedicated funding and partnerships to address these capital needs, the District hired Barney & Worth to develop communications strategies to engage the community, district staff and other stakeholders.
To inform the communications plan, Barney & Worth researched the District’s efforts to assess building conditions and involve stakeholders. To help determine capital improvement priorities and find the best ways to talk about them, Barney & Worth conducted public opinion research that included focus groups, meetings with leaders of key stakeholder groups, and partnering with school-based groups to hold discussions with parents and school staff.
Public outreach tasks conducted by Barney & Worth included: collaborating with the in-house communications team to develop and implement a public engagement plan, facilitating team meetings to monitor the plan activities and results, focus groups, outreach to key stakeholder groups, developing communication points and strategies, writing informational materials including video scripts, organizing and updating the project website content, and supplying information to the ultimately successful bond measure campaign that funded priority capital projects.
Barney & Worth is teamed with Rick Williams Consulting for an in-depth look at on-street and off-street parking in Everett’s CBD. Development pressure in the downtown, along with new housing, new visitor attractions and business vitality are creating demand for parking. Paid on-street parking is being weighed as a solution. The current project will update Barney & Worth’s team’s earlier comprehensive exploration of downtown parking issues in Everett, assessing parking conditions and customer demand throughout the downtown core, as well as recommending parking system changes that best meet the City’s needs. The consultant team also advised the City on joint development and shared operations of a hotel parking structure (now under construction). Among public outreach and customer survey efforts, the consultant team conducted two well attended workshops and a “Parking 101” forum which provided stakeholders with important background information on parking issues and elicited input on solutions. The result was consensus amount stakeholder and City policymakers that the best solution was implementing a uniform two-hour time limit for on-street parking and increasing enforcement – rather than converting to paid parking.
In May 1996, Oregon City voters approved a City Charter amendment that rolled back water rates to 1994 levels. The roll-back was set to take effect in 2014, threatening the City’s ability to provide adequate drinking water service to the community. Barney & Worth facilitated a citizen stakeholder committee charged with providing a recommendation for sending a charter amendment to a vote of the community to eliminate the water rate rollback provision. Barney & Worth also conducted public opinion research (with DHM Research) and developed a communications plan for reaching customers and key stakeholders through public meetings, informational flyers, and website materials. The citizen stakeholder group recommended moving forward with a public vote, and in May 2013 the City Charter amendment was successfully passed by voters.
When the City of Milwaukie committed to pay for its share of TriMet’s south corridor light-rail project, funding was designated to come from Milwaukie’s General Fund that also supports for the City’s core services such as public safety and the library. In 2014 there was an opportunity for Milwaukie citizens to save money on the light-rail payments and protect core services through the issuance of $4 million in general obligation (G.O.) bonds. This would allow the City to borrow money at today’s low interest rates and extend the payments to ensure future residents who will benefit from the service can also contribute.
Milwaukie retained Barney & Worth and DHM to conduct public opinion research, develop a strategic communications plan, and design public education materials on the bond measure. The proposal was approved by voters in May 2014—Milwaukie’s first successful measure in more than 20 years.
Barney & Worth and DHM Research conducted opinion research and designed a customer engagement strategy for the merger of Oak Lodge Water and Sanitary Districts in Oregon. A financial analysis estimated cost savings of $4.25 million and pointed to opportunities for operational efficiencies. The measure was approved by Districts’ voters (73% yes) in May 2016.
The City of Troutdale is experiencing flat or declining revenues from its share of state gas tax revenues used to support local street maintenance. In response, the City has been looking for ways to increase and stabilize street maintenance funding. Options include enacting a local option gas tax, which would require a vote of the people to enact, or a street utility fee authorized by the City Council. The City understands the need for educating and engaging the public in this important funding decision and retained Barney & Worth to:
Develop a strategic communication plan and public education materials for Troutdale’s street funding opportunity, focusing on clear messages for: the possible funding options; conditions of Troutdale’s streets and maintenance equipment; need for additional funds; and the benefits of properly funding street maintenance.
Conduct public opinion research to gauge the attitudes and preferences of Troutdale voters regarding street maintenance needs and funding options, and confirm effective messaging.
Augment the City of Troutdale’s staff communications capabilities to support the public communication program.
Barney & Worth’s efforts resulted in Troutdale City Council referring a 3¢ per gallon motor vehicle fuels tax approved by voters at the November 2015 election.
Beaverton has a vision for its future, yet lacked a way to communicate with the public how the implementation of the vision has created a livable community. Barney & Worth created a marketing plan that identified actions and strategies to communicate the vision of Beaverton to its residents, business community and the region.
During the development of the action plan, stakeholder interviews were held with the City’s partners (Chamber of Commerce, parks district, city citizen committees) to increase the capacity of the community to participate in the marketing of Beaverton through their actions, activities and communication methods.
For the community of Dallas, OR (population 14,600), Barney & Worth developed a strategy to market Dallas for business recruitment and tourism. The products included a fresh community brand along with marketing strategies for business recruitment and tourism. Also among the deliverables were: promotional themes; graphic design elements to support the brand – logo, colors, typestyles, sizes – that work for print materials and web applications; and guidelines for using the designs for greatest impact.
Livable Hermiston is a community-wide visioning process sponsored by the City of Hermiston and Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce to identify future community liability assets that will continue to make Hermiston a great place to live. The goal is to set priorities for viable community livability assets to be pursued by the community over the next 10-20 years. Barney & Worth has provided community engagement, SWOT analysis, vision statement creation and an implementation plan. More than 2,200 residents from the greater Hermiston area – including 1,200 high school students – participated in online surveys that determined the priorities: a year-round aquatics/community center and a revitalized downtown.
Barney & Worth recently completed a community-wide visioning process called Monmouth Engaged for the City of Monmouth. The plan sets the road map for the city’s future. The project has enlisted a variety of public engagement tools, including stakeholder interviews, two community surveys, a town hall meeting and “sign-up” event for community volunteers. An 18-member citizen Steering Committee guided the process which created a vision for Monmouth’s future, a strategic plan for implementation, a greater understanding of shared community values, and a more engaged and informed community.
Barney & Worth, Inc., established in 1978, is an award-winning firm providing professional consulting services for public agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations.
Barney & Worth and its clients are partners in building better communities, to ensure that infrastructure and services are in place in time to meet pressing community needs.
The firm’s project assignments cover the full range of programs and services for which state and local government agencies are responsible. Barney & Worth contributes expertise in strategic communications, public involvement, program assessment and planning.
Multnomah County voters approve Troutdale gas tax
“Gas tax: Troutdale voters were approving a 3-cent-a-gallon gas tax, phased in over three years, to pay for street maintenance…”