Asheville City Council to discuss process, goals in upcoming retreat

The agenda for Asheville City Council’s annual retreat was released Thursday afternoon, providing insight into the direction the annual event will take. Here are a few highlights:

Included on the agenda is a review of Council’s rules of procedure, such as how items get listed for discussion in normal Council meetings. The two-day retreat will work as a sort of orientation for new Council members Esther Manheimer, Gordon Smith and Cecil Bothwell, as well as a refresher for re-elected Mayor Terry Bellamy and returning Council members Jan Davis, Brownie Newman and Bill Russell. At the retreat, Council members and staff also typically devote time to develop overarching strategies for the next year.

While most procedural briefings like the budget timeline and development of a Strategic Operating Plan will be reserved for Saturday, the retreat’s first day will deal with big-picture items and goal setting, or as stated in agenda items: “Given the issues discussed during this retreat, what should we focus on this year?” and “What reputation do you want to have or legacy do you hope to collectively create for the benefit of Asheville?”

Asheville City Council will meet from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m Friday, Jan. 8, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, in the Gladfelter building on the Warren Wilson College campus. Look for updates from the retreat at

Click here to see the weekend’s agenda (as well as the agenda for the January 12 regular meeting).

— Brian Postelle, staff writer


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4 thoughts on “Asheville City Council to discuss process, goals in upcoming retreat

  1. Whit Rylee

    I hope the decide to put in more sidewalks for Asheville!

    At the current rate of funding it would take 30 years to install the sidewalks deemed as important in the pedestrian plan. That does not include the minor sidewalks that would also be helpful for pedestrians… 30 years.

  2. J

    “I’ve always been concerned with government transparency, and I’m sorry I couldn’t get this sort of policy inititive started earlier. Things in life come as opportunity and energy allow. ” – Gordon Smith, Dec, 2007.

    Maybe Gordon and Cecil will discuss increasing transparency at City Council. If Gordon’s sorry he couldn’t get transparency moving earlier due to lack of opportunity, it seems like being a city council member is a good as opportunity as any.

    Gordon and Cecil should get this year off to a good start, and push for the transparency resolution they co-authored years ago:

    When the County Commissioners did not take up the Bowthwell-Smith authored motion, Gordon commented “I guess they are not interested in transparency”. Gordon should show he’s interested in transparency.

  3. Jon Elliston

    Here are some Twitter dispatches from our reporter, Brian Postelle, who is covering the retreat this weekend and will have a full report in next Wednesday’s Xpress:

    • Smith at Council retreat: Wants review of effects of rescinding minimum housing codes for rentals.

    • Russell priority at Council retreat: Don’t raise taxes.

    • APD Chief to Council at retreat: What Council members say in meetings and to media effects employee morale.

    • Bothwell at Council retreat: city bus passes for homeless to help them access programs around

    • Bellamy at Council retreat: wants new fire station at S. French Broad. Sees partner opportunity with County library.

    • Tomorrow Council retreat will start with staff roundup on all master plans, status, timelines and costs (there’s 16 in the pipe).

  4. Barry Summers

    According to the agenda, Council will be considering applicants for a number of City Boards and Commissions, including the Downtown Commission. I saw Tony Fraga’s name on the list of applicants. That has to be a joke, right?

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