Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Gaithersburg mayor and council set strategic retreat next week

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The Mayor and City Council’s annual retreat begins Monday night. The retreat is a forum for city officials to develop the city’s strategic plan after hearing input from city residents and budget needs from city staff.

The first session will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 31 S. Summit Ave. At that session, the city will present results from a citizen survey and accept public input on issues for the retreat.

The Mayor and Council will gather for dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the Casey Community Center, located at 810 S. Frederick Ave. A formal session will start at 7 p.m.

Department heads will present budget needs for FY 2009 and Acting City Manager Jim Arnoult will provide financial briefings and a capital improvement planning overview for fiscal 2009. On Jan. 19, the Mayor and Council will meet all day for the strategic plan review at the Gaithersburg Upcounty Senior Center, located at 80 Bureau Drive. The formal session will begin at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend all three retreat sessions, but public participation is only permitted at Monday’s session.

For more information about the retreat, contact Assistant City Manager Felton at 301-258-6310 or ffelton@gaithersburgmd.gov.

Search for city attorney

The Mayor, City Council and Acting City Manager Jim Arnoult met last month in a closed session to determine the process for hiring a new city attorney.

The Mayor and City Council will meet in a closed executive session on Thursday to discuss selection of a consultant to help in the hiring of a city manager. The City’s Mayor and Council agreed Monday that former City Attorney Stan Abrams will remain on a $24,000 annual retainer to help with land use and zoning issues.

HOA assistance

City staff followed up on a recent request for a Homeowners Association Community Advisory Committee by Walt Sonneville, a representative from the Woodland Hills community in Gaithersburg.

Staff determined that such a committee should be focused on an educational role rather than community association role, according to a Dec. 24 memorandum from Acting City Manager Jim Arnoult. Staff suggested that the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute could serve as a valuable resource.

The Mayor and Council agreed Monday that city staff will alert community associations to the service and host an annual educational seminar.