RALEIGH, NC (NEWSOBSERVER.COM) -- The Raleigh City Council will head to Wilmington next month for a three-day planning retreat expected to cost more than $11,000 – the council’s first out-of-town meeting in more than 20 years.
The council scheduled the Jan. 29-31 coastal trip on Tuesday after a recommendation from new City Manager Ruffin Hall. Hall wants the council to develop a new strategic plan, and he said the meeting will be more productive if council members leave Raleigh behind.
Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said she’s against the plan. “It’s an optic issue for me,” she said, referring to how the expense might be perceived by taxpayers.
Baldwin said she’s not against out-of-town travel but thinks it should be an educational trip. She suggested Charlotte as a possible alternative because the council could check out the Queen City’s light rail and other transit resources – the envy of many in Raleigh.
“I would like to go someplace where I could learn something as opposed to going someplace where I won’t learn something,” she said.