Steamboat Springs City Council to set future goals at facilitated retreat |

Steamboat Springs City Council to set future goals at facilitated retreat

The Steamboat Springs City Council deliberates during a meeting.

— Local musician, motivational speaker and business coach Todd Musselman soon will spend several hours helping the Steamboat Springs City Council hash out some goals and a long-term strategic vision.

It will be the first time in recent years the council has turned to a facilitator for help with such planning.

"I think it’s a vital tool for a lot of groups and businesses," council member Tony Connell said Thursday about a facilitated strategic planning session.

Connell is one of the council members who was most supportive of turning to a facilitator for the help.

He said his experiences with facilitators at his own business and through his work on the board of directors for the Yampa Valley Medical Center have been very valuable.

"Casey’s Pond really happened pretty quickly, and it really came out of strategic planning and vision sessions," he said.

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Musselman, who has helped to coach companies ranging from Coors to SmartWool, will meet with the council during a public retreat next year on a date that has yet to be determined.

To prepare for the retreat, council members will be interviewed and asked to fill out an extensive questionnaire.

The city has budgeted to spend as much as $2,500 for the planning session and the prep work.

Musselman is the head of Timberline Leadership, a strategic planning organization. He has more than 25 years of experience, according to his resume.

The decision to hire a facilitator came after the council debated whether such a retreat would be useful for a body that has the potential of heavy turnover every couple of years.

The planning retreat will come during what is shaping up to be a potentially busy year for the newly seated council.

Early in the year, the council is expected to continue weighing the city’s plan to build a new police station.

The council also will appoint the new lodging tax steering committees that will help to prioritize the spending of millions of dollars on trails and the Yampa River Promenade in coming years.

Longer-term, steady gains in sales tax revenue could present new opportunities and challenges for the city and the current council.

Connell said he is hopeful the strategic planning can help the council "get ahead of the curve" on some issues instead of "waiting for the next emergency."

"I think if we frame things with the taxpayer and our guests in mind, and we’re always looking at the reason we’re doing it, I think we’ll make the right decisions," Connell said.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

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