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City looking to move forward

Communications training is on the docket for staff and council members.

At City Hall, New Year’s resolutions have already been established.

Priority one: Get along.

Accomplish that, said Mayor Darlene Kordonowy, and government work will be smoother in 2008 and beyond.

“Without the possibility of starting the new year on a different kind of foundation than currently exists,” she said, “there would be a lot of anxiety. We need a new beginning.”

To that end, Kordonowy, the new City Council, department heads and other senior staff will participate in five days of communication training with island consultant Amba Gale, of Gale Consulting Group.

The sessions will take place over the next month at a cost of $24,000. Neither the public nor the press will be allowed to attend, though Kordonowy said none of the meetings will involve actual city business.

Instead, the group will aim to establish better lines of communication that Kordonowy hopes will lead to better relationships between leaders and improved productivity.

Two councilors – Bill Knobloch and Debbie Vancil – won’t be in attendance.

Knobloch will be out of town; Vancil declined the invitation, saying she would prefer to focus on the budget and other pressing council work as the year draws to a close.

“I’m all in favor of this type of human development training,” Vancil said. “I would have to have some lead time. I feel like I have one foot on the boat and one foot on the dock and someone’s cast off the lines.”

Kordonowy said she’d prefer to have every council member present during the work, but because of scheduling conflicts, it was now or, at the earliest, next spring.

“A lot of important business happens between the first of the year and March,” she said.

Kordonowy said the door remains open should either councilor decide to attend.

Knobloch said he regrets not being able to join his current colleagues and those that soon will join him on the Council, though he’s already optimistic.

“I see things going in a different direction,” he said. “I sense my future colleagues really understand the importance of how the community feels.”

Council Chair Chris Snow shares Knobloch’s optimism.

“One of the good things about those coming in is that they’re seized with a need to do things differently,” he said. “And I think those of us who are still members of the council realize we need to do things differently.”

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