Allegan County News & Union Enterprise News

Otsego adopts new mission statement and motto

By Aaron Mitchell
Otsego City Manager

The City of Otsego recently completed two significant administrative objectives that are important to keep the expectations high for our employees.
First, I would like to share our new Mission Statement and give provide background information about the specific words chosen to describe what you can expect out of your City of Otsego employees and their actions.
The following is the City’s new Mission Statement:
“The City of Otsego strives to provide excellent and friendly public services to its residents, business owners and visitors. With measures of success being public health and safety, quality recreation, inclusion, innovation, stewardship and economic vitality for all today and tomorrow.”
Looking at the specific words chosen in the statement:

  • Strive: This demonstrates that our work is not perfect and we are always working to improve.
  • Excellent: This is the level of service you should expect to receive.
  • Friendly: Quality, friendly customer service has always been and will continue to be a focus for City employees.
    The second sentence includes a hierarchy of services the City provides:
  • Public Health and Safety: Everything starts here; think of this as the foundation.
  • Public Recreation: Maintenance of the City’s park system and other assets within the City that serve as a draw to others.
  • Inclusion: It is imperative that everyone is and feels welcomed in Otsego and do not feel like the City of Otsego is closed off to them in any way.
  • Innovation: It is important to continue to seek new ways to solve problems and save money and/or time.
  • Stewardship: This discipline allows the City to stretch every tax dollar to its maximum.
  • Economic Vitality: This goal is only possible when the other previous measures of success are already met. That is the expectation for not only the present, but also into the future.
    I am confident that this Mission Statement will help the City to continue to focus on offering the best public services that we can for the today and the foreseeable future. This Mission Statement provides an easily accessible reminder of the standard that all City of Otsego employees are held to.
    Now for our City Motto, which can go in many different directions.
    The City of Otsego’s old Motto is: “Come to Work, Come to Play, Come to Stay…”
    This had been in place for many years and is a bit dated and can use a refresher. Looking at potential mottos, you want to look at what Otsego is known for or what Otsego is proud of.
    That is hard to put your finger on. Not because we have nothing to be proud of, but rather because we have so many different things that we are proud of.
    It all depends on an individual’s experience with the City of Otsego. We have major employers who have been employing generations of residents for decades; quiet well-planned residential neighborhoods to raise a family; quality road and infrastructure systems; a beautiful and relaxing park system; great schools and library; and we are ideally situated between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. And on top of all of those great qualities of Otsego, I am confident that the level of public service we offer is unmatched with experts leading each department.
    That makes me feel like we need a broad and general motto, considering there are so many different great things about Otsego. We threw around some ideas, but it came down to a positive and overarching motto that we fell in love with.
    The new City of Otsego Motto is:
    “The greatest small town in Michigan!”
    It is simple and it is bold. However, I think anyone from Otsego would tell you the same.
    There is something special about Otsego. We are blessed to visit, work and/or live in a town that remains to have a friendly small-town feel. In so many ways it is the same Otsego as it was 25 years ago while remaining relevant in 2023. Not to mention a statewide survey recently found Otsego to be a top-five small town in Michigan.
    Otsego is definitely the greatest small town in Michigan. This new motto will be important for us to expand our marketing in efforts to share all that Otsego has to offer to others.

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