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City Council of Peachtree City <br /> Retreat Meeting Minutes <br /> March 11, 2022 <br />9 a.m. <br /> <br />The Mayor and Council of Peachtree City met for a retreat on Friday, March 11, 2022, at 9 a.m., at <br />New Hope Baptist Church South Campus. In attendance were Mayor Kim Learnard and Council <br />Members Gretchen Caola, Frank Destadio, Mike King, and Phil Prebor, along with City Clerk Yasmin <br />Julio and City Manager Jon Rorie. <br /> <br />Member Services Director Pam Helton and Member Services Consultant Michael McPherson of the <br />Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) were the facilitators. McPherson told Council he worked for <br />them and was always ready to assist, as was Helton. He explained that the GMA was helping out the <br />Carl Vinson Institute in facilitating at these retreats because one of the Institute's employees, the <br />greatly respected Gordon Maner, had passed away, leaving a year's worth of facilitating jobs. It was <br />not an ideal situation, McPherson went on, because facilitators should be a third party, and the GMA <br />worked for its municipalities. <br /> <br />The role of a facilitator was to keep the discussion moving and make sure everyone was heard. They <br />would keep a written record. Council would have to reach a consensus on some topics. Perception of <br />what they did was important to the community, and Peachtree City seemed to be a tight-knit <br />community. Each member of Council said they were doing this because they wanted to give back to <br />the community. Today's goal was to figure out goals and priorities. <br /> <br />He noted that the father of Joel Cowan, one of the founders of Peachtree City, was president of the <br />GMA at one time, so Cowan grew up with an understanding of how a city worked. McPherson said <br />Peachtree City was created at a time when counties held most of the power in government. <br /> <br />He told them they would check their titles at the door—everyone was equal. This gathering would <br />focus on the future and broad strategies for the community. Council should look at things from 30,000 <br />feet, and the City Manager and department heads could handle the details. He wanted them to feel <br />confident in speaking out and let go of personal agendas. Council agreed on those ground rules. <br /> <br />The City Council was a team and what they did in the public spotlight had to look like that. They <br />wanted the citizens to be proud of who they picked. He asked them about their favorite part of being <br />an official and to share an interesting fact about themselves. Most of them said, in some fashion, they <br />liked feeling that they had an impact on the betterment of the community and connecting citizens to <br />government. McPherson noted they all wanted to work together, and communication was vital. That <br />required they get to know each other. They did not have to agree, but they had to be civil. They <br />seemed to be close on their opinions, but they needed to understand where everyone was coming <br />from when they disagreed. <br /> <br />McPherson said they were going to go over some things he and Helton found interesting about <br />Peachtree City's charter that were not typical of other municipalities. It said the Mayor would preside <br />over meetings and maintain decorum, but it did not specify that Robert's Rules of Order would be <br />used. If they used another method, it should be stated. Destadio said Julio had stressed using Robert's <br />Rules of Order, so he assumed that is what they used. McPherson said some councils did spell it out, <br />others did not. Peachtree City's charter said the Mayor would be an ex-officio member of all <br />committees, and that was not typical. The Mayor should make sure all funds were properly accounted <br />for and revenues properly collected, the charter read, and McPherson said that was unique.