Strategic Planning Consultant RFP: Q&A

This set of questions summarizes questions received prior to the RFP submission deadline. This webpage will be updated until the submission deadline.

Does the Town have a budget or budget range for these consultant services? Is there a budget that can be shared?

The Town does not yet have a budget range established. We anticipate that costs will be determined based upon services provided. For frame of reference the Municipal Planning Grants through ACCD range from $25,000 to $40,000. We anticipate a budget within that range but actual budget will be determined by the scope of services covered under the contract.

Has the Town previously undertaken a strategic planning process?  If so, is any documentation resulting from that initiative available?  

Not exactly. In 2013-14, Guilford participated in the Community Visit program of the Vermont Council on Rural Development.

Further describe the role of the Planning Commission via-a-vis the Town Selectboard in the planning process and in the ultimate approval of the plan.

The Planning Commission is charged with overseeing and managing the Town’s planning activities. The Selectboard, at the recommendation of the Planning Commission, will adopt the final plan. The Selectboard approves any expenditures (for planning and implementation).

Does Guilford coordinate its planning with, draw resources from, and rely on data from any neighboring counties, cities, or other, larger entities? If yes, which ones and to what extent?

Most Vermont towns collaborate with regional planning commissions and regional development corporations. In Guilford’s case, we work with the Windham Regional Commission.

How does the Town envision the role of municipal employees in providing input and information into the planning process and feedback on the plan itself?

Municipal employees will be invited to engage in all public meetings. We do not anticipate that special weight will be given to any single voice or group of voices.

Does the Town envision that planning meetings with the Selectboard and Planning Commission would be conducted in accordance with Open Meetings requirements?

Yes. All public meetings will be conducted according to Vermont Open Meeting Law.

Clarify the meaning of “future priorities.” Are these priorities meant to be enacted after the current town plan expires in 2030, or is the intent to have the priorities be more for the next three years that provides increased focus and clarity on the priorities currently outlined in the Town’s various plans and documents?

For the purposes of this project, the Planning Commission seeks clarity on a set of shorter-term actions (well before 2030) that are also informed by the community’s sense of its longer-term interests. 

The 2022-2030 Town Plan is aspirational and replete with multiple goals. The preferred outcome of the strategic planning process would be to clarify priorities that promote smart growth in the 10-20 year time frame 

Are there specific current challenges or opportunities that the consultant should be aware of as it relates to Town elected or appointed leadership?

As can be seen in any community, Guilford has divisions that can manifest as lack of trust in Town leadership. The Selectboard and Planning Commission are committed to proceeding in a manner that respects all residents, is transparent and allows for all voices to be heard. 

What impact on the planning process, if any, does the Town anticipate, given that Town Meeting Day in 2023 will occur in the middle of the planning process?

At this moment, we do not anticipate any ballot questions that would impact the planning process. Nor should this planning process work to develop ballot questions for March 2023.

Is this project grant funded? If yes, which entity(s) did the grant come through? Is this project to be funded with ARPA funds and if so, are there ARPA requirements for the Strategic Plan?

The Guilford Selectboard is exploring the use of ARPA dollars for this project. We are not aware of specific requirements for such a use of ARPA funds.

Are there any events that have been identified as potential venues for Community Forums (ie – annual events, etc).


Does the Town have any results from its ARPA Community Survey available?

Not yet. The survey closes on Oct. 20, results may be available in early November.

Does the Town currently make use of any social media, and if so, using what platforms (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, etc.)?

The Town does not have social media accounts. We do make use of Front Porch Forum and a privately managed Facebook page.

Is there an anticipated or desired number of Community Forums to be held?

3 – 5.

Preference will be given to proposals that include opportunities for in-person community meetings. Virtual meetings may be used for preparation and check-in meetings.

Must meetings be conducted in Guilford?

Proposals that seek to engage the community in person will win the day.

There may be a certain set of planning activities that can be accomplished from a distance, but not all.

Are there any points counted or a preference for local or in State consultants? Are out of state firms encouraged to apply?

Preference will be given to consultants or firms that demonstrate an understanding of and appreciation for Guilford-centric engagement as well as Vermont statute and law.

Are there any points, preferences, or considerations for minority owned or women owned businesses?

The Guilford Selectboard has a policy of inclusion. While no points are accorded to specific groups, proposals are encouraged from all qualified consultants.

Can companies from outside the USA apply? (like, from India or Canada)

Yes. Preference will be given to qualified local or regional applicants.

Can we submit the proposals via email?

Yes. Submit materials to Subject line: Strategic Planning proposal submission

The RFP indicates proposals may be mailed or hand-delivered. How many hard copies would you like us to submit?

Five, please.