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Posted: April 23, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Council: $30,000 too much for strategic planning

After everything was said and done, the city of Covington only spent $2,325 on the three-day elected officials’ strategic planning retreat that took place in March.

In light of that, the council decided spending $30,000 to complete the city’s three-year strategic plan was too steep.

The city will ask the Frank and Alyson Foster of the Centre for Strategic Management, the group that conducted the retreat, to come back with a more palatable proposal.

The $30,000 would have paid for eight planning sessions among the city management to devise the strategic plan, facilitate collaboration between the council and city management and produce a final tangible product, City Manager Steve Horton said.

A $5,000 counter proposal for a three-day strategic planning session with just the elected officials is still being considered, Horton said. So far, councilmen Keith Dalton and Chris Smith have said they are opposed, and Mayor Kim Carter is in favor of it.

"Some questions have been raised about the possibility of us doing the planning without the assistance of consultants," Horton said.

This training builds off the original training received by city employees and department heads earlier this year, which cost $32,125.

The Covington Police Department did not participate in the original training because of budgetary constraints, Chief Stacey Cotton said.

"Over the years we have done more management training for our staff anyway, and we figured with the budget savings we could afford not to do it," Cotton said. "After I went through the directors’ part of it, I saw some value in seeing what the whole city was trying to do, especially for my command staff."

The four-day training will train 18 people and cost $5,000, which will be paid for out of the forfeited drug money fund.

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