The Guilford County Board of Commissioners’ retreat is a chance for the board to get a fresh start on the New Year, set priorities, make the collective equivalent of New Year’s resolutions for Guilford County and plot out a course for the year.

Each January, at the start of the New Year, the board gets together and

– But wait a minute; that’s not the case anymore.

A decade and a half ago, the annual retreat – often a two day affair – was held soon after the start of the year, but the date began drifting toward late January, and then in recent years, early February.

The Board of Commissioners has just finalized its official calendar for 2019, with the retreat now nearly in March: In 2019, the board will hold its retreat on Monday, Feb. 25 and Tuesday, Feb. 26.

While that’s not quite summer, it does seem a little late to be planning the year that’s one-sixth over at that point.

Guilford County Clerk to the Board Robin Keller said the late date was in part due to the fact that county staff wanted more time to prepare for the retreat.

Guilford County Commissioner Hank Henning said he wasn’t quite sure of the reason, but he had a theory why the commissioners are fine with that date.  Henning said that the Board of Commissioners, as it is now, is virtually the same board the county has had for years, so there weren’t any big matters to be hashed out before getting the start on a new year.   After all, it’s not like they have to get to know each other or debate things they’ve never debated before.

The only addition to the board in years has been Commissioner Skip Alston, who has been a known quantity for three decades because he served for 20 years on the board, but left before some of the current commissioners even got their start on the board.

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Alan Branson said the board hadn’t decided yet on a location for the post-Valentine’s Day retreat, but he said they had been discussing it.

“I think we’re going to have it in Maui,” Branson said, adding that there were spots in Florida which also had very good weather in late February.

If Branson is not joking, it would not be surprising for the board to hear some feedback from taxpayers on that decision.