Entering his fifth month on the job, City Manager Bob Deis is slowly paving a path for City Hall and developing his team.
On Tuesday, he organized an off-site retreat at an Acampo winery for his city department heads to discuss goals and long-term planning issues – to, as he said, “get off the treadmill, turn off the cell phones and have a conversation about where we’re headed as an organization.”
The retreat was held at the St. Jorge Winery. Officials met in a wine barrel room, Deis said, which was free. Deis said he and department heads paid for most everything else (breakfast, appetizers) out-of-pocket except for lunch, which was $405.60. That was billed to the city, Deis said, because everyone worked through lunch. He said there also was a facilitator for the retreat, but he couldn’t immediately provide the cost.
Deis said he didn’t hold the retreat in Stockton because he wanted a free room. And he didn’t want to do it at the Stockton Golf and Country Club, he added, because he didn’t want department heads running into people they know and getting distracted. “I found a room for free, and it was a great location,” Deis said.
Among items discussed Tuesday, Deis said: what it means to be a department head, feelings on how the city operates and what City Hall should focus on in the future.