Adairsville civic leadership finds first retreat productive, effective
by By Matt Shinall
Apr 04, 2012 | 903 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Matt Shinall

matt.shinall@daily-tribune.com

Adairsville staff and city council members recently attended the city's first retreat of its kind for a visioning and planning session.

The March 24 event was designed to produce goals and objectives for the city as well as defining a vision and a mission for city government.

Adairsville Mayor Evan King, councilmen Buddy Bagley, Erwin Holcomb, Connie Morrow and Alan Towe met with City Manager Pat Crook, Community Development Director Ben Skipper, Police Chief Robert Jones and City Clerk Nicole Jones for the day-long planning session. Conversation at the retreat, held at the Colonnade Center in Ringgold, was facilitated by Georgia Power Community and Economic Development Manager Chuck Scragg.

"We got a lot of things accomplished," Morrow said. "It was a very, positive, constructive atmosphere -- very laid back atmosphere which was great. We were all, the mayor, the council members, the city manager, the economic developer, the city clerk and the police chief -- all of us, everyone of us were on the same page. We were unified in the things we want to see accomplished in Adairsville.

"We went over our SWOT -- strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And what we want to achieve, which is getting our infrastructure taken care of and pretty much clean up our town to make it more desirable for growth and for business."

Listed during discussion were positives and negatives for the city of Adairsville. Negatives included economic conditions, deteriorating property, drugs and public communication. Positives of the city included natural resources, strategic location between Atlanta and Chattanooga, historical significance, stable financial condition and a characteristic emphasized by many of those at the retreat -- strength in cohesive leadership.

"It was a very positive thing," Jones said. "It's good when you know that you all have the same goals in mind. It develops a sense of ownership among the department heads and the city council."

Jones brought with him goals and objectives specific to the police department to discuss with those at the retreat. He found his vision for the department was in line with what the mayor and council wanted to see.

Goals for the police department include the promotion of highway safety, emphasizing teamwork with the community, promoting teamwork within the department and ensuring inner-agency cooperation on state and federal levels.

"It gives the council a chance to see what my vision is for the department and see what my goals are, my opinions for the city and how we intend to make those desired outcomes come about," Jones said. "We're really blessed that we have a team the way we do. We don't have a lot of problems that other cities have. We all have the same goal in mind."

Bagley saw progress made in the way of planning for the city's future. He pointed specifically to the area of infrastructure, economic development, beautification projects and parks. Bagley, along with other city officials hope to make planning retreats, which are open to the public and no votes are taken, an annual priority for city council and staff.

"We're looking to have a retreat each year and get together and sit down just like we did this year and see how much progress we made and look at it and see if we're going in the right direction we wanted to go and see if we did go in the right direction. And see if we did fill some of the goals that we had in mind and see where they're at," Bagley said.

The city government's vision as penned at the 2012 retreat is, "An Adairsville where our citizens can safely live, work, play, raise a family and retire in a healthy, clean, and prosperous community."

The city's mission statement is, "To serve our citizens through ethical governance, fiscal responsibility, efficient and effective operations, community involvement, and to provide quality service for our citizens and community."