City Council gathers at team-building retreat

Council members select pictures that define their goals.

The mayor, City Council and city manager gathered in a team-building session at Haystack Gardens Saturday, Feb. 6, for a team-building session led by facilitator Jan Carothers from Portland.

The employees demonstrated camaraderie, a willingness to work together, and a desire to better understand and communicate with one another.

Concerns were raised about the ability of new members to get acquainted with working on a council. As two council members Wendy Higgins and Melissa Cadwallader soon finish their terms on City Council, the possibility of creating resources to guide new councilors was considered.

Many also echoed that it was important to support city staff, which they praised as “qualified.”

Activities included a writing exercise through which council members identified what they wanted for themselves and the Council, such as active listening, mutual respect, stronger relationships, more knowledge of each other, and clear discussions.

Councilors also chose pictures that represented their feelings about themselves and the city, a visual activity that showed how the same images can be interpreted differently by each person.

The council agreed on the need for teamwork in making decisions.

“Our power is only together,” Cadwallader said.

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