On Tuesday, March 15, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners released the agenda for the board’s two-day retreat that will be held on Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18.

Those plans call for the board to address a very wide variety of county issues including some things the board has been working on for years and some new items for the new fiscal year that starts July 1, 2022.

The plans call for the board to get down to business at 9 a.m. and work until 5 p.m. on Thursday, and start again at 9 a.m. on Friday to complete the remainder of the work.

This year the board is holding its annual retreat at Bur-Mil Clubhouse in Greensboro – the same place it did two years ago.

One of the first topics of discussion will be the progress made on the priorities the board set at the board’s retreat one year ago.

The 2022 retreat will then include an “Access to Healthcare” panel led by the county’s health director, a representative from Cone Health, and Jim Albright,  the county’s Emergency Services director.

Another panel discussion will follow. That one, titled  “Healthy Childhood Environments,” will include Sharon Barlow, the county’s Social Services Division director as well as  Charisse Hart, who’s overseeing the county’s  “Ready for School Ready for Life” program.  That initiative helps young kids get a good start in life.  Wendy Poteat of Say YES Guilford will also participate in that panel

The county will also address behavioral health and substance abuse in Guilford County, as well as delve into a panel-led discussion on “Small Business, Local Economy & Workforce Development.”

At past retreats, the board has often had outside speakers, however, this year’s frequent use of a panel format is something new.

On Thursday, the board will hold a discussion on arts, culture, parks and recreation in Guilford County.  Last year, the county created a stand-alone Parks Department and, ever since, parks development and rec expansion has been a real point of emphasis for county staff.

On Friday, the board will address a number of other issues and will do a deep dive into the current budget numbers as well as hold a workshop on “Inclusivity Communications” led by Janet Carlson of NC A&T State University.

A Friday working lunch will look forward and will be used to help determine new priorities for the upcoming 2022-2023 fiscal budget that the board will adopt in June.

Usually, the annual retreats are dominated by discussions rather than board actions, but Friday afternoon, the board is scheduled to conduct quite a few housekeeping measures such as approving several service contract agreements and a  memorandum of understanding with the City of Greensboro.