Location of City retreat draws questions



Some in the community are questioning the decision to hold the City’s strategic planning session in Fredericksburg last week.

The meetings, scheduled for a half day Thursday and all day Friday, took council members and city staff to the Hangar Hotel. In previous years, the planning sessions have been held in Liberty Hill.

“The thing that is different about this scenario, versus doing it at a school facility and it being a one-day event, we had the ability to come here, to have meals together and socialize together,” said City Administrator Greg Boatright. “Getting to talk on a personal level with fellow council members and staff members, and being able to understand and get to know on a personal level – what they’re involved in, what their thought process is – gives us a better relationship with one another. Building a relationship with a council member over a day and a half period, versus over a two-hour meeting twice a month is very important to me.”

The cost of the planning session was about $7,500, an amount Boatright said was worth the investment for the benefits gained.

“What I wanted more than anything was for our council members to see and get a better understanding of what we’re going to be looking at, the things we’re undertaking as a city and the short-term demands on our city. From that standpoint I think it’s been very good,” he said.

He didn’t hesitate to say that, while it was nearly two days worth of back-to-back meetings, this opportunity served as a deserved break for council members.

“This is the first time our council members have been able to participate in something like this,” Boatright said. “These are volunteers, they’re not compensated. To offer them something that is in a nice setting, a meal where they can bring their spouse and enjoy that, that’s a good return on the city’s money for the time that they give to our city over the term of their service.”