The Greensboro City Council yearly retreat on Monday, Feb. 24 is entirely different this year from the past few years.

Last year the city councilmembers spent the morning listening to reports that they either had heard or should have read before the meeting.

At the end of the meeting when everyone, but especially the councilmembers, were tired and ready to leave, they spent a little time setting goals.

For Council Retreat 2020, there is not a single long, boring, heard it before report on the agenda. What is on the agenda is strategic consultant Meredith Powell.

The agenda consists of five items after the introduction; the next four are “Meredith Powell and City Staff,” “Strategic Planning ­– Meredith Powell,” lunch, “Strategic Planning – Meredith Powell.”

Item 5 is “Next Steps”

How well the retreat goes seems to be entirely dependent on Powell and what kind of job she does getting the city councilmembers to follow her directions. Powell got a taste of what to expect at the City Council work session on Tuesday, Feb.18, when city councilmembers immediately objected to the idea that someone else was going to tell them how to plan.

The outline for the retreat makes a lot of sense. First the City Council will have to select and agree on three long-term goals. Once those goals are ,established then the council comes up with the steps to achieve those goals, and finally a method of measuring progress on completing each step.

The City Council is giving this a try because Powell worked with the High Point City Council and the strategic planning actually seemed to get the majority of that City Council working toward accomplishing measurable goals.