City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter put the kibosh on what was supposed to be the last discussion of the City Council retreat on Thursday, Feb. 2.

Rachel Yost, the out-of-state consultant hired to facilitate the two-day retreat, had set aside time for the City Council to develop a “vision statement.”

After going into some detail about what a vision statement was and how it should be “the North Star” guiding City Council actions, it was time for the City Council to discuss developing a vision statement for the city.

Abuzuaiter said, “We did this three years ago.” Then Abuzuaiter read the vision statement, “Building on our history as a diverse and forward thinking city, Greensboro is a community with endless economic opportunity and exceptional quality of life.”

It’s on the city web page under “About Us.”

Yost had to backtrack.  She said, “Is there a framework that goes with that vision?”

Yost also noted that Charlotte incorporated its vision statement “into all of its documents.”  It’s hard to imagine how a Charlotte resident getting a notice that their water is going to be cut off is going to be inspired by reading the Charlotte vision statement on the notice or how that benefits the city.

Yost also asked, “Now that you have your vision statement, is that being held up as your guiding north star?”

In sports, Yost’s coach would have called a timeout.  Instead she said, “Do you have a framework on how you are going to get there?”

Abuzuaiter said, “A lot of that is in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.”

City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba noted that in GSO 2040 the vision is “to be the best mid-size city in America.”

Yost asked, “Is that the guiding north star?”

Yost added, “What I’m hearing is we don’t have that framework.”

Abuzuaiter said, “The GSO2040 Plan lays out that framework. It won major awards.”

Friday, Feb. 3 is the final day of the City Council retreat.