City Council set to attend retreat

KINGMAN­ The mayor and City Council have a date and location set for what is becoming an annual retreat.

Mayor Monica Gates, council members, along with City Manager Paul Beecher and a representative from the City Clerk's office are scheduled to attend a day-and-a-half retreat at the Hassayampa Inn in Prescott on the weekend of Nov. 18.

The objective of the meeting is for the mayor and council to discuss goals and priorities in an informal setting and "to continually understand our role as mayor and council members as policymakers," Gates said.

The city has hired a private consultant, Lance Decker, to facilitate the meeting.

Gates said the city hired Decker to mediate the sessions and to assist in working through standing differences and to improve communication, Gates said.

Decker helps "managers, policymakers and their constituent communities find practical pathways to their collective, long-term futures," according to the Web site of LL Decker & Associates.

"He's highly recommended from everyone I talked to," Gates said.

See COUNCIL, Page 2

Decker will individually interview those attending prior to the weekend retreat, she added.

Gates said that the decision to hold the retreat in Prescott for the second year in a row was out of necessity to get the collective council somewhere free from interruptions and to not rush important discussions.

"You have to be out of your element, a different four walls. It changes your focus," she said.