The five members of the Decatur City Commission and nine city employees are holding a planning retreat Friday and Saturday in the North Georgia Mountains.
City Manager Peggy Merriss said the retreat will cost about $2,500 total. The costs break down to three meals per person ($70 each) and one night's stay ($110 per room) at the Lodge at Smithgall Woods in Helen, a state park.
The city will also spend about $3,000 for a facilitator.
When asked by Patch why the retreat was not held closer to Decatur to reduce costs, Merris replied in an email:
"Part of the idea behind the retreat is to actually 'retreat' from the normal day-to-day setting and be able to spend intense time discussing the City’s goals for the coming year. Getting a couple of hours away from Decatur provides an opportunity to step away from the minutiae and think about current and future issues on a broader basis."
Attending will be Mayor Bill Floyd and commissioners Jim Baskett, Fred Boytkin, Kecia Cunningham, Patti Garrett.
City employees attending will be Merriss, Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon, Assistant City Managers Andrea Arnold, David Junger, Lyn Menne and Tony Parker, City Attorney Bryan Downs, Planning Director Amanda Thompson and Linda Harris, the assistant director of Community and Economic Development.
The agenda doesn't list any particular subjects, but Merriss said discussion topics might include longterm capital improvement planning, implementation of the strategic plan, annexation, economic trends and the effect of health care and pension costs on the city budget.
The commission will hold its next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 21, in city hall.