City Council retreat to be held locally Friday, Saturday

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | 6:10 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The annual City Council retreat will take place in the City Council chamber on Friday and Saturday.

Items planned for discussion include the results of citizen and employee surveys, a vision update, health care reform, storm water, the airport, transportation funding and the Short Street parking garage, according to the current agenda, which might change slightly.

Items not on the agenda include public safety, job creation, sewage and parks and recreation.

"What I want to focus on are those things that we haven't solved yet — those things that are still open issues," City Manager Mike Matthes said.

Matthes said unemployment in Columbia is on the decline, citing IBM and VA Mortgage as examples of job creation.

The location of the retreat is a departure from previous years when the retreat was held outside of Columbia.

Toni Messina, director of public communications, said that last year city council members expressed concerns about conserving resources. Making the retreat local was "a cost-saving measure initiated by city council members," Messina said.

Messina said this would save several thousand dollars of expenses by cutting out lodging and travel costs.

The retreat will be from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 7:55 a.m. to noon Saturday.

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