City Council members move from yearly planning session to quarterly meeting approach
Washington’s City Council has a two-part meeting Monday: a planning session and its regular meeting.
The planning session begins at 4 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Earlier this year, the council switched from an annual retreat to identify and prioritize goals to a quarterly goals strategy. Under the quarterly approach, the council will set goals for city staff to accomplish then determine three months later if those were accomplished, and if not accomplished find why those goals were not met. In previous years, the council would conduct a retreat, usually about six to eight hours long, early in the budget-preparation process.
Last month, City Manager Bobby Roberson provided the council at list of 10 prioritized items the council indicated it wants to address. Those items are:
- new police station;
- installing larger drain pipes to alleviate drainage problems;
- implement a program to generate the public’s (most, if not all, city residents) buy-in of city business so the public better understands what the council wants to accomplish;
- unified vision of continuity from the council;
- budget to revenue levels;
- unity while working on one project at a time to ensure success;
- improve relationships at the county, region, state and national levels;
- increase jobs.
Those items were identified and prioritized at the council’s 2017 retreat. The list developed by the council includes 50 items, ranging from developing Washington-Warren Airport to continuing to seek county funding for city-provided services and programs used by county residents who do not live in the city.
Councilman Doug Mercer believes the quarterly reviews will be more efficient and productive than an annual planning session. “That way we would have an ongoing list of projects that we had our finger on, that we wanted to see completed within a reasonable time limit so that it wouldn’t be dragging on for two or three or four years, unless it was a project that required that length of time to go on,” Mercer said at the council’s March 12 meeting.
Councilman Roland Wyman concurred. “To me that would be more productive. I’d be fine with giving it a bit more time, if we wanted to make it 4 o’clock or something like that. … That format, to me, is a much more efficient way of exchanging information and ideas.”
The council meets at 4 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St., for a planning session. The regular meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s website at www.washingtonnc.gov, click “Government” then “City Council” heading, then click “Meeting Agendas” on the menu to the right. Then click on the date for the appropriate agenda.