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Council travels to surfing territory

Business wasn’t too bad for the Bremerton City Council last week, as they traveled to the majestic Shilo Inn Conference Center in Ocean Shores for the Association of Washington Cities annual conference.

With serene views of crashing ocean waves on the shore outside the hotel, eight of the nine Council members reveled in an opportunity to talk about city planning ideas, budget tips and leadership ideas.

Hundreds of city council representatives and mayors attended workshops and listened to lectures by 42 different speakers. Council president Daren Nygren was unable to attend the week-long conference.

“It’s tremendously important,” said Fiscal and Budget Committee Chairman Will Maupin, about the conference.

Maupin is council member for District 8.

He was particularly interested in the June 17 session “Creating a Walkable Community: From Vision to Reality.”

“Our vision of what we want downtown to be really depends on it being a walkable city, so people want to be there with their friends and make it an attractive place to be,” he said.

The conference fees and hotel accommodations cost about $4,750 and was part of the council’s travel fund. More council members went to this year’s conference because three of them are new members — Brad Gehring, Dianne Robinson and Wendy Priest.

“I liked a lot of things about it,” said Carol Arends, former Council president.

The conference focused on leadership and forging successful partnerships.

Maupin said a lot of times those are the types of things that are unquantifiable. For instance, he said that he made many contacts in other cities at the conference.

When he approaches a problem during a city council project, he can ring up one of the people he met at the conference and share notes of how they might have handled it.

Additionally, it gave the representatives exposure to more big-picture concepts, such as creating master plans and dealing with transportation or funding issues.

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