Pascagoula city officials are in "retreat" mode

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Because millions of dollars are at stake, not to mention tough decisions, elected officials in Pascagoula are hunkered down for two days to get to know each other better, and make wise decisions on spending taxpayer dollars.

They are also learning about different personality traits. The things that make people different can also bring them together.

"We're going to try and understand each other better to try and gather facts about where we are going, where we want the city to go and how we're going to get there." Pascagoula Mayor Rob Maxwell said. "Long range planning and this sort of thing but before we do that, we want to try and understand each other."

Joe Huffman is the new city manager who came on board in March. Moving the city forward in relative harmony is a major goal of this retreat.

"I've never had a problem with city councils, but I've always had retreats every year." Huffman said.  "One of the things you try and do is make sure you're clear on their roles and expectations, what they expect out of a manager. I want to make sure I'm undertaking the things that the council sees as important."

For the past several years, the Pascagoula City Council has basically flown under the radar, creating very little controversy and getting along very well. So why the need for a retreat like this?

"One of the things that makes them so effective is they know they can be better," Management Consultant and retreat leader Amy Whitten said. "These kinds of retreats are when we go away to say ok, what can we do to make ourselves better? Even if we're already good, how can we be great?"

And being great is never a bad thing when it comes to running a city.

City officials said they hope to make this type of retreat an annual event.

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