Loveland's City Council is planning an all day annual retreat (now called 'Council Advance') for January 26, 2013 at Group Publishing, 1515 Cascade Avenue, beginning at 8:00 AM going to 5:00 PM.
Absent the lights of TV cameras and the formality of a council dais the annual retreat of sorts is meant to spur candid dialogue among councilors with opposing views as they plan their priorities for 2013.
While the intent is to brainstorm good ideas, speakers at these events in previous years have sold the council some of the city's least popular programs. Former McWhinney lobbyist Rocky Scott pitched the council to begin a "jobs incentive" program that resulted in the hasty vNet "investment" and a business attraction program built around subsidizing employers for bringing jobs. The downside is when they didn't the city found itself involved in litigation with a failing company to recover its "investment."
In 2010, a city consultant was paid nearly $5,000 to "facilitate" the meeting while also trying to sell a book he wrote called "JUMP!" that apparently teaches organizations how to achieve big goals. To add insult to injury, that same consultant who was already paid $80,000 by former city manager Don Williams was critical of the city's management in style in general which angered Williams who defended his decision to hire the consultant after a LovelandPolitics story exposed the excessive fee being paid the consultant bringing questions from councilors as to the necessity of the consultant.
In recent years, those seeking council election in upcoming municipal elections are often the only ones sticking-it-out in the audience throughout the day. We encourage our readers to attend the off-site at Group Publishing but don't expect to speak as there will be no public comment. The meetings commences at 8:00 AM and ends around 5:00 PM with a break in the middle of the day for lunch.