Editorial: Public meeting a great way to learn

Feb. 23, 2011

This could be the most informative way to spend your Saturday.

Hood River City Council and staff will hold a goal-setting session from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hood River Hotel.

The community is welcome to attend; while no decisions or actions are taken at the meeting, it does constitute a public meeting.

The city's elected officials are: Mayor Arthur Babitz; longtime council members Carrie Nelson, Ann Frodel and Laurent Picard; Dawna Armstrong and Jeff Nicol, who have been on council three years or less; and Brian McNamara, who was elected in November.

The early goings of Saturday's meeting will give citizens a chance to get a solid overview of how the city works. Following introductions, expect a 15-minute session on city governance, answering the questions: What do Cities Do? and; What do City Councils/Mayors Do?

The council will also discuss "Working together as a board" and then hear a "major issues or projects update" followed by a report on project from City Manager Bob Francis.

The meat of the morning portion will be a scheduled two-hour discussion on city roles and priorities, and visions for the community pertaining to land use and housing, employment and business success, livability and recreation, health and safety, and other topics, followed by a discussion on the city's role in "turning vision to reality."

Following lunch, the council will move to the main event: a look at goals, measures and objectives and ways to support staff in meeting the goals, then supporting the goals via the budget.

The precise schedule is subject to change, but this will be an opportunity to learn about problems and opportunities that are down the road, and ideas our city leaders have for dealing with them.

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