Retreat time for Asheville City Council

It’s that time of year again: this Friday (and part of Saturday), Asheville City Council and city staff will meet to discuss goals and challenges in the coming year at their annual retreat. Topics include the city’s big goals, affordable housing and development, future investments, and the impact of the state legislature.

The retreat starts at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7 in the U.S. Cellular Center ballroom. A follow-up session on state legislation that could impact the city starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8.

These retreats usually serve as a wide overview of Council’s (or individual members’) priorities in the coming year, and what staff are advising. It was at last year’s retreat, for example, that the idea of ending the city’s long-running Bele Chere festival in favor of investment in “creative economies” first publicly emerged.

A potential overhaul of the way the city deals with affordable housing, discussed last month by the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, promises to be another topic of deliberation. A document on the city’s strategic goals, prepared for the retreat, also lists more partnerships, increased investment in transit, outsourcing more services, a new graffiti ordinance and a strategic plan for city schools as among other topics of discussion.

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