Council to prepare for its future at retreat

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— The City Council's retreat this Thursday and Friday will begin with a meet-and-eat session at a local restaurant and end with the council defining its goals for the coming year.

New council members have said the retreat will allow them to gain a better understanding of the city and put forth some of their own priorities for next year. And with a new president and president pro tem, the entire council will have to get used to a new power structure.

Newly elected Councilman Loui Antonucci said he will be bringing up a number of issues on Friday, including funding for Emerald City and consolidation of Mount Werner Water & Sanitation and the city's water district. He said he is especially concerned about the lease on Emerald City, which may go un-funded next year.

"Once a child becomes psychologically attached to a certain place, it's harder for them to go to another place," he said.

The annual retreat allows the council to set priorities and talk about concerns in a somewhat less formal setting than Centennial Hall. Last year it was held at the historic Mesa Schoolhouse, while this year it will begin at Harwigs Grill Thursday night and end at the Phoenix Condominiums on Friday.

Among the issues that will be discussed is a potential citywide code of ethics for council members, city employees and commissioners, among others, said City Manager Paul Hughes.

Hughes said a few council members have brought up the idea of implementing a code that might contain a set of city values and behavior standards, among other things.

He said the policy, which has been adopted in a number of other communities, could take many different forms. The specifics will have to be determined by the new council.

"It appears to be a growing trend in the country that cities are adopting codes of ethics," he said.

Councilwoman Arianthtettner said the new council will be able to help craft an idea that has been in the works for a while.

"This is something that we talked about before this election," she said, "and a retreat is always a good opportunity to look at things with new eyes."

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