Cherokee County commissioners to have ’13 retreat
by Erin Dentmon
January 12, 2013 12:07 AM | 2430 views | 1 1 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will hold its annual retreat Jan. 17 and 18.

Agenda items include a review of 2012 and outlook for 2013, a strategic plan for the county, an ethics ordinance, Lifelong Communities and economic development.

The retreat will be at 9300 Lisa Circle in Gainesville. It will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday and is open to the public.

The retreat was originally scheduled at Barnsley Gardens Resort in Adairsville, where it was held the last several years.

Tuesday night the commissioners moved the venue to the house owned by Commissioner Harry Johnston in Forsyth County because it was free of charge.

The commission was refunded the money for Barnsley Gardens.

Brian Poole, one of two new commissioners to join the board this month, said he hopes to swap ideas with other commissioners at the retreat.

“I think I’ve got some ideas the other commissioners may like, and they’ve got some ideas I may like,” he said.

With one commission meeting under their belts, the retreat will be one of Poole’s and new commissioner Raymond Gunnin’s first opportunities to meet with the commission as a group.

“I’m looking forward to getting in there and learning more about that inside workings of the county, the rules and procedures we need to be following,” Poole said.

Johnston said building relationships with other commissioners is one of the most important parts of holding a retreat, particularly in years with new commissioners coming on board.

“It doesn’t mean we’re trying to come to an agreement with each other on everything, but we’re trying to develop a way to approach those differences constructively,” he said.

Discussion about Lifelong Communities will focus on senior citizens in Cherokee County. Lifelong Communities provide a range of options to residents of all ages, including senior citizens.

Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens said Cherokee County’s population of adults 55 and older is expected to reach 100,000 by 2030.

“We need to do things now, not later,” he said. Cherokee County started discussions about planning for seniors’ future needs in 2007, but discussions have slowed in the last few years.

As far as a strategic plan, Ahrens said he will present the Atlanta Regional Commission’s model for a strategic plan and see where conversation goes.

Johnston said he sees one issue to be at the heart of where the county should go for strategic planning.

“We have to find the proper balance between low taxes and good services,” he said. “That’s a hard choice that we’ll have to make.”

Commissioners are also expected to discuss economic development.

“I want to see what we can do for the economic development of Cherokee County. I’ll be staying with that over my four years - what can we do to work to get new businesses here?” Poole said.

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Luther Johnson
January 16, 2013
They should be required to pitch tents at the "wonderful industrial site" for which we're already in debt $18 Million and should have been required to pay their own way if it had been held at Barnsley. The level of arrogance is astounding.
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