It’s not surprising to hear of his objection as he stated it over and over during his campaign.I do not share his belief that the same bonding can be achieved on-site, and hence why off-site meetings as a tool for team bonding is common. The following two books explore the subject: The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470189827?ie=UTF8&tag=refreshercom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0470189827 Retreats That Work: Everything You Need to Know About Planning and Leading Great Offsites
http://www.amazon.com/Retreats-That-Work-Everything-Professionals/dp/078798275X/ref=pd_sim_b_1 From the council meting I attended I understand from the C.A.O that the cost is $5000. I’d say that is a more than acceptable rate for securing the prestigious Kingbridge center ( http://www.kingbridgecentre.com/ ) which once hosted the insidious Bilderburg Group..but don’t go telling Heidi-Ho Stoekelin that. When councilor Ballard objected to the motion, he also inquired if town staff had investigated finding the same facilities within the town. The response was that they had and they were unable to find the same amenities. Read : “we don’t have a hotel you dumbass!” Unless you are trying to suggest that Howard Johnson in town is acceptable accommodations for anything but cockroaches. It isn’t. Maybe if council and staff as a whole ventured outside the gates every now and again they’d find the grapes elsewhere are not so sour. Maybe they could bring back the fruits of their labor and let the whole town have a taste of what teamwork really is. I consider that money well spent. It’s interesting that some are squawking about $5000 when a sum of $43,000 has been brought to our attention regarding the town funding the ex-mayor’s personal lawsuit. Hardly a comparison.
As for having an empty town hall on the weekend, perhaps Mr. Kean is right, there might be a better use for the building.After recently seeing the art gallery and the upstairs I see no reason that the town hall not be used for cultural events. Maybe then the Church Street School could be freed up to house the museum as per its original plan and funding. Concerts could be held in the council chambers, the acoustics are designed for it and would be much better than the old school building. Town hall has adequate parking and amenities, is more accessible than the Church Street School and the proximity to the Seniors Center is a huge plus. I think this deserves some more thought. As for lost revenue just because our town doesn’t hold our meeting here doesn’t necessarily preclude any of our neighboring towns from using us as a destination. Perhaps more time could be spent on real Economic Development in going after business tourism opportunities like this instead of the “we’ve tried that and it doesn’t work” better known as the Chris Ballard approach. I don’t recall either Mr. Kean or Councillor Ballard making any initiatives to this end during their time on council and committee. Finally, I know I’m not alone in tiring of Nigel continuously beating us over the head with the councilor Buck, councilor Wallace incident. Not only is it old news, literally, it has nothing to do with the town’s business. All this is is sour whine from sour grapes. Mr. Kean, How about you roll up this week’s copy of the Auroran and hit yourself over the head with it and we’ll call it even. Who knows, according to this book it may even make you more creative in your thinking: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446404667?ie=UTF8&tag=refreshercom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0446404667 I have no doubt the off-site meeting will inspire creative thinking and team building using some much needed distance from the recent drama at town hall. To the councilors who have made the conscious decision to not attend the off site meeting for whatever reason feel free to join Mr. Kean for some of his home made whine. I think you will find it sour enough for your tastes.