The Olympia City Council will set its priorities for the new year at its annual retreat, which begins today and continues Saturday.
But the council isn’t retreating very far from its Fourth Street headquarters — only to the offices of the LOTT Clean Water Alliance at 500 Adams St. NE. All sessions are open to the public.
There are several main work items, including:
• Writing a “Realistic Work Plan for 2013.”
• Writing the council calendar.
• Assigning council members to committees.
• Discussing communication and public outreach.
The retreat will begin with lunch at noon, featuring a speech from Gerald Pumphrey, the outgoing president of South Puget Sound Community College.
Then, the council sets to work. In keeping with past practice, a facilitator will lead the discussion; Kendra Dahlen of FIT Consulting will do the honors.
Council members will consider which emerging issues will affect the city in 2013 as well as committee workloads. Members then will break into four groups for about an hour to talk about intergovernmental issues, council committee work, community issues and emerging issues.
Then the full council will hear reports from each group. Members will try to find common themes among the reports.
About 4:30 p.m., the council will begin deciding which members will sit on which committee. That process will conclude Saturday. Today’s work concludes with dinner at Mercato Ristorante, 111 Market St. NE.
The second and final day of the retreat begins at 9 a.m. The council will complete committee assignments and put together its meeting calendar for the year.
From 11 a.m.-noon, the council will set its priorities for the year, and from 1-3 p.m. it will talk about how to achieve them.
Last year’s priorities revolved around the city’s budget, downtown, public safety and improving community outreach.
Lastly, the council will talk about its internal and external communication efforts and how well it’s performing.
The retreat agenda quotes inventor Thomas Edison as saying, “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.”
The council’s capabilities will be tested this weekend.
IF YOU GO
The Olympia City Council retreat is from noon-5:30 p.m. today at the LOTT boardroom, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia. A general discussion will continue at a 6 p.m. dinner at Mercato Ristorante, 111 Market St. NE. Saturday’s session runs from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the LOTT boardroom.Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869 firstname.lastname@example.org @MattBatcheldor