Ahoskie Council plans retreat

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

AHOSKIE – What is your idea of a retreat? For some the thought of packing your bags and heading out for a weekend of rest and relaxation might come to mind.

However, if the Ahoskie Town Council is able to work out what they plan for a retreat, it will be anything but rest.

As a matter-of-fact, it may be more work than they normally do in their usual 9-to-5 jobs.

Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn proposed the idea of a retreat during the Town Council meeting Tuesday, saying, &uot;I feel as though we lack a plan for the future and I think the Council needs a retreat to get a plan and to set some goals.

&uot;I’m not talking about what we want to do in the future as to 25 years from now. I’m talking about for the coming year,&uot; she added.

Polling the council members to get their idea of what a retreat meant to them, all agreed it was something that had been needed for a long time, and that was realistic goals.

&uot;I would like to see all council members write down their goals… what they think we need to be working toward,&uot; said Councilman Ronald Gatling. &uot;This will help us, I think, as we look to the future for Ahoskie.&uot;

Other members agreed with Gatling and Blackburn, seeing the current board in need of a &uot;vision&uot; for, not only the upcoming year, but that 25-year road ahead.

&uot;We have to start somewhere,&uot; Blackburn said. &uot;I believe a retreat here at home will be just enough to give us the opportunity to sit down and talk and to meet with department heads to see what it is they want and need as we go forward.&uot;

The board has set a tentative date of February 27 and 28 as the date of the retreat and Mayor Blackburn is looking into getting arrangements set up for a meeting room at the Ahoskie Inn.

With the retreat in mind, several council members asked Town Manager Russell Overman to review the calendar as to the upcoming budget sessions so that various items could be in place prior to the meeting.

&uot;I would like to have the chance to talk with each department head and have them have their budget worksheets complete at that time,&uot; said Gatling. &uot;I think the worksheets should be delivered to them now, not February 12 as is indicated on the calendar.&uot;

Council agreed the extra time would give each department head the opportunity to bring forth their needs during the Friday segment of the retreat.

It was also agreed upon that the retreat would be handled solely by the council and no outside personnel would be called in to conduct or run the meeting.

The meeting will be open to the public and a more definite date, time and place will be released closer to the proposed last weekend in February after all council members are polled and confirm there are no conflicting schedules.