it is related to Bradley County government, is to improve efficiency and cooperation between officials. Teamwork was a major theme with role and game playing encouraged to reinforce what was being learned. The TPEP is based on the work and set criteria of Malcolm Baldridge towards management practices. According to the Sunstone website: www.sunstoneleadership.org/_wsn/page3.html the criteria encompasses seven interrelated, common sense cycles of learning, they are; leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement analysis and knowledge management, work force focus, process management, and business results.
After the seminar and work session, each of the commissioners present were asked the value of the program and having the retreat in Gatlinburg.
Brian Smith said, "I liked it, it gave us a chance to get away and not be distracted. I think this class will bring us together more as a team, help with teamwork."
Mel Griffith said, "I didn't learn much at all from it and would rather have had the retreat in Bradley County instead of Gatlinburg."
Louie Alford said, "It has its pros and cons, it's good that we were away, we had a lot more time together, I think it will be beneficial."
Jeff Yarber said, "I'm willing to try anything, if Gary wanted to try it and thought it would help build teamwork. As I said, we definitely have a division in the commission, and if he thinks we could do well by it, I'm willing to try it."
Lisa Stanbery said, "It's a big commitment, I think part of the idea is that it's a psychological commitment as well as a physical commitment, because it's a different thought process."
Ed Elkins said, "The retreat being held in Gatlinburg was a good idea because attendance by commissioners was not usually good at previous retreats."
Howard Thompson said, "I'd rather have the retreat where we usually have it in Bradley County. I also feel all the county commission meetings should be held in the court house."
Chairman Michael Plumley said, "I appreciate the opportunity to have a change of environment. It's a benefit when you have a change, there are less distractions."
Roy Smith said, "I didn't mind coming to Gatlinburg if it stopped the bickering among the commission it was worth giving it a try."
The five commissioners not at the retreat were Mark Hall, Ben Atchley, Bill Ledford, Jim Smith and Connie Wilson.
Davis was asked, "do you feel it is a good idea for the Performance of Excellence Program to replace the [citizen's] voice in government?"
He said, "no, it has nothing to do with that. It's a way to help us work more efficiently and accomplish a lot more... to be better. It's a way of bettering us. It has nothing to do with the voice of government. It's a process I think we need to go through to make ourselves better. It's like going to the beauty shop. You don't have to go to the beauty shop, you're still going to be the same woman you are without it, but it's a process some women would want to do to look better. It's not a good comparison because it's not about looks."
At time of going to press the cost of the retreat was not available. Davis said the money would come from the commission line item of the general budget.