Wyoming leaders plan retreat, sans mediator

Council chooses to avoid $6,000 cost

Alice Pickering
Wyoming Reporter

The Wyoming City Council at its Feb. 5 meeting made plans for a council and staff retreat, but it will be doing so without the leadership of an independent mediator.

The purpose of the council and leadership retreat is to review and update the city’s 2011 strategic plan while improving leadership and performance. A proposal for the retreat was prepared by Authentic Leadership Action, Inc.

Mayor Eric Peterson believed the council and staff benefited from the 2011 retreat. An outside person could help with discussions and “course correction for the city, mission, vision, and goals.”

Joe Zerwas believed the council and staff should be able to work together to evaluate the 2011 plan. He was concerned about the cost of the mediator and his services at $6,000. Linda Yeager agreed.

Steve Zerwas thought the 2011 session was valuable and council got to know each other better. But he noted that there has not been a lot of change in the council over two years.

“We know what needs to be done,” he said, noting a concern with the expenditure for a mediator. “I think we can do [the planning] without a third party.”

Craig Mattson, city administrator, is to make arrangements for the site of the retreat. Department heads, as well as the city council members, will take part.

Other Business

Council members approved the purchase of a building permitting and property zoning software package for the city’s building department. To date, the department has maintained a database for properties in the city, but there has been no connection with other departments.

The new software will integrate the operations of the building and finance departments. Results will include an automated permitting process, improved customer service and a direct link to the document imaging system the city is implementing. The council unanimously approved the $6,830 expenditure.

Members also unanimously accepted the resignation of Chase Cofell from the city’s public works department. Cofell resigned for personal reasons, but expressed appreciation for the work environment and his colleagues.

Jason Windingstad, public works director, told the council that he will check with other department heads to determine the skills a new employee would need. He believes the job description will be ready for discussion for the council meeting Feb. 19.

In other business, the council learned that results of the 2013 Street Improvements Feasibility Study will be completed by mid-February, and postponed a discussion of dog licensing and fees.