Boards and commissions play an important role in cities and townships. They are the partners of city council members in decision-making. And there lies the idea.
During a recent meeting of the St. Joseph City Council, Mayor Rick Schultz announced an upcoming meeting or retreat-like gathering for all council members and board and commission members. The meeting is slated for later this month, and the goal is not only to get to know one another but to create a common ground. Schultz described it as an informal gathering.
Cities continue to evolve and St. Joseph is no different. With the addition of new businesses, improvement projects within the community and future plans, a united front is always a good idea.
Some commissions gained new leadership recently. The planned meeting is one way to meet and welcome them. Newcomer Gary Osberg was appointed to the economic development authority, city council hopeful Troy Goracke joined the park board and council hopeful Matt Killam and Chad Hausmann were additions to the planning commission. The park board also gained new leadership with the addition of Jodi Keehr. While boards and commissions have their own meeting times and agendas, the idea of coming together to learn more is a good idea. It’s something that used to be done but faded throughout the years, according to officials. It can’t hurt to bring it back. Often interaction between officials is fleeting or comes in the form of a report from the city administrator or council liaison providing an update on a board meeting. This informal gathering will allow officials to speak to one another directly.
Companies that hold retreats do so with goals that include improving productivity, gaining more cooperation, and building morale and improving communication. Studies and media reports show those areas can be positively affected after successful retreats or gatherings of staff. Cities have staff members and leaders who are charged with the tasks of governing and keeping order. While the city is not a company, these areas are relatable when it comes to running a city. And to that end, we commend city officials for extending their time and effort to move the city forward on a positive note.