The Guilford County Board of Commissioners held their two-day annual retreat last week and that gave the board a chance to take a “30,000 foot” view of where Guilford County government stands and where it’s going in the next decade and beyond.

Even before the retreat, staff and commissioners had been pondering what major changes they wanted to see in the next decade and a half.

The plans are still being formed – and the county has been taking input from residents to help decide.

 Now, some of the key long-term goals of the county government’s future are starting to crystalize.

Many of those 15-year goals were brought up in a recent presentation to the commissioners at a work session. The presentation had the title “What does Guilford County government look like in 15 years?”

  Well, everyone knows what happens to the best laid plans of mice and men, but, for what it’s worth, here are some of the long-term goals and initiatives your county leaders want to see in the next decade and a half.

One big goal is, by the year 2040, to have a Central Guilford County Government Campus.

 It’s not clear if that would be something between Greensboro and High Point or elsewhere in the county. However, currently, county services are spread all over the map and across two cities – and they are housed in many buildings that lack parking and buildings that aren’t suitable for the needs of the services provided.

One stated goal is to move many county services out of downtown buildings in Greensboro – though not so much in High Point – if that service can be provided better elsewhere.

For instance, the county just moved its Minority and Women Business Enterprise Department to the Nussbaum Center business incubator at 1451 S. Elm-Eugene St. so there would be easy access for the public and ample parking.  One member of the department said those coming down to the office often arrive in big construction trucks and there’s nowhere in downtown Greensboro to park them.

Also, the MWBE Department is now in the same building with budding businesses – many of which are woman or minority owned.  The Rhino Times does not use the word synergy ever, but that is the type of thing the county hopes to promote by such moves.

Another 15-year goal relies on those moves out of downtown Greensboro.  It is to “leverage downtown real estate for private (taxable) development.” The downtown area has become highly desirable and, if Guilford County can vacate some of its property there, the county can sell it to those in the private sector who would add to the tax base.

In the year 2040, county workers are also likely to be working away from the office much more. That’s something that county staff is already pushing hard for.  And one of the goals in the 15-year plan is “Adapt to hybrid/remote work for recruitment retention needs.”

When it comes to new county space built in the next decade and a half, another goal is to “Design a facility for the service rather than just placing a service into a building.”

County officials also say they want to make Guilford County buildings more “welcoming” to residents and other visitors.

Other plans for the next decade and a half include vacating county buildings in bad condition, taking mental health and public service into neighborhoods using outreach programs, and creating a consolidated health campus.  Right now, those health department services are spread across several buildings in High Point and Greensboro.