Postponed City Council retreat starts Tuesday

Editor’s note: This article has been changed to reflect an updated agenda for the City Council planning retreat.

SALISBURY — After a February snowstorm forced City Council members to postpone their 29th annual strategic planning retreat, the event will take place this week.

The retreat Tuesday and Wednesday at the Rowan Museum, 202 N. Main St., is open to the public and will include public discussion while council members set goals for the coming year.

Council members will hear presentations on neighborhood revitalization, downtown living, public transit, economic development, fiber optic broadband, animal nuisance issues and more. They also will hear about city finances, with a budget outlook for the coming year.

The retreat agenda includes:


• 8:30 to 8:45 a.m. — Opening remarks by Mayor Paul B. Woodson, Jr. Invocation by City Clerk Myra Heard

• 8:45 to 9:00 a.m. — Opening Video: Two Years in Review by City Manager Doug Paris

• 9 to 9:45 a.m. — Ramping Up Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization by City Planning Director Janet Gapen, Code Services Division Manager Chris Branham and Chanaka Yatawara, executive director for the Salisbury Community Development Commission

• 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. — Downtown Living: Turning More Lights on Upstairs by Gapen, City Planner Catherine Garner, City Utilities Director Jim Behmer

• 10:30 to 10:45 a.m. — Break

• 10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Growing Transit – Connecting People and Places by Rodney Harrison

• 11:15 to 11:30 a.m. — Council discussion, followed by luncheon at City Hall

• 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Slow Democracy by author Susan Clark

• 3:30 to 3:45 p.m. — Break

• 3:45 to 4:15 p.m. — Financing Livability by Assistant City Manager John Sofley

• 4:15 to 4:30 p.m. — Discussion and wrap-up by Paris


• 8:30 a.m. — Call to order and invocation

• 8:30 to 9 a.m. — Taking a Bite Out of Animal Nuisance Issues by Gapen and Branham

• 9 to 9:45 a.m. — Building a Digital City: Chattanooga’s Experience by Danna Bailey, vice president of corporate communications for EPB Fiber Optics in Chattanooga

• 9:45 to 10 a.m. — Break

• 10 to 11 a.m. — A City-Specific Economic Development Focus: Raleigh’s Story by James Sauls, Raleigh economic development manager

• 11 to 11:30 a.m. — Council discussion, followed by luncheon at City Hall

• 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. — Bringing a School Back From 69th to First by Carol R. Naughton, senior vice president for Purpose Built Communities in Atlanta

• 2:45 to 3 p.m. — Break

• 3 to 3:15 p.m. — Financial State of the city by Sofley and budget Director Teresa Harris

• 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. — Review Council 2013-2014 Outcomes and Goals

• 3:45 to 4:15 p.m. — Reflection and development of one-year tactical plan

• 4:15 to 4:30 p.m. — Session wrap-up and exit interview by consultant Warren Miller

The retreat also will include invitation luncheons at City Hall both days. Tuesday’s luncheon will feature “Slow Democracy” author Susan Clark; Wednesday’s will feature Clark and Shirley Franklin, chair and CEO of Purpose Built Communities.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.