Council to decide on out-of-town retreats

A newly elected Red Deer city council will ponder whether to spend money on out-of-town retreats twice a year or hold the meetings for cheaper at home.

A newly elected Red Deer city council will ponder whether to spend money on out-of-town retreats twice a year or hold the meetings for cheaper at home.

Legislative and Governance Services manager Elaine Vincent will be seeking input at Monday’s council meeting from the municipal leaders elected on Oct. 18.

For more than 10 years, council has set aside two days a year to hold retreats where they can focus on topics and other responsibilities.

Most retreats have been held outside of Red Deer and have involved either one or two nights of accommodation away from home.

The last retreat was held in Red Deer so leaders returned home each night.

In a note to city manager Craig Curtis, Vincent said some council members dislike the financial cost of out-of-town retreats.

The differences in cost between an in-town retreat and an out-of-town one relate to hotels and mileage, about $1,800 per retreat event.

“Other members feel that the retreat loses focus and importance when people return home at the end of each day,” said Vincent.

Council has also felt in the past that they are more frequently pulled away by work and other commitments because they are more available in Red Deer.