Some months, like July of each year, the Guilford County commissioners don’t exactly put in a great deal of work on county business.

However, March is an extremely busy time for the board, and, on Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18, the commissioners were clearly earning their pay.

On Thursday, the commissioners joined Guilford County department directors and other staff at 9 a.m. at the Bur-Mil Park clubhouse to discuss a wide variety of county issues.

Thursday morning, to kick off the annual retreat, the board heard a progress report on the county’s goals for the past 12 months from Guilford County Manager Mike Halford.

The board also discussed finances, since the commissioners are looking for the best ways to pay for upcoming county projects like making needed repairs on the county’s courthouses and funding planned programs that enhance mental health in Guilford County.

Much of the first morning of the two-day commissioners retreat was devoted to discerning the wants and needs of Guilford County residents. Earlier this year, Guilford County surveyed residents to see what county actions and services residents most appreciated, as well as which ones weren’t priorities for the general public.

There was also a focus on health care and an attempt to look forward as the county finally starts to come out of a two-year pandemic that took up most of the county’s health-related attention.

Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann said COVID-19 showed the county the weak links in the health care chain, but she added that it also showed the county that the health of this community can be advanced greatly by working well together with all the stakeholders in the health care field.

Guilford County Emergency Services Director Jim Alright said that the last two years were the most difficult in his 35 years of service in emergency management.  He too said one key to the solution was everyone working together well.

“It is our relationships that have carried us through this,” Albright said.