Town retreat set for Saturday

BLYTHEWOOD – Town Council’s annual day-long working retreat will be held this Saturday, March 10, at The Manor in Doko Park. According to Mayor J. Michael Ross, this year’s retreat will be larger and different from past retreats in that he and Council are making an all-out effort to include resident participation this year.

“The public has always been invited to our retreats,” Ross said. “But not many of them ever attend. This year, we want them to attend. Even if they cannot come for the whole day, maybe they can stop by for a few minutes and make their voices heard. We can’t do what the people want if we don’t know what they want.” Ross said.

“We’re going to have a citizen’s comment section after each discussion item during the day. And, as always,” Ross said, “there will be ample time during the meeting for open citizen comment, so whether a citizen comes for morning session or afternoon session, they will be encouraged to engage with Council.”

The retreat will be held from 9 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m. and will include a Taste of Blythewood, a special luncheon, from 12 – 1 p.m., prepared by the town’s restaurants.

Council has sketched out a preliminary list of topics.

“We’re going to talk about the plan of Columbia and Richland County to form a consolidated government and what that will mean for us,” Ross said. “It might be beneficial to our 29016 Blythewood neighbors to annex into the Town so they can vote and to pre-empt Columbia’s and Richland County’s plan that could possibly force their annexation into Columbia,” Ross said.

Ross said he also wants to discuss other topics including creating a new baseball/softball complex in the town to host tournaments, a multi-use trail plan, a vending stand ordinance and perhaps an economic development report on potential development of businesses in the town.

“We hope folks will let us know if they are coming to the retreat so we will know how to plan. But please plan to attend,” Ross said. “We’ll be shaping the next year and years to come.”

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