Today, the Prince George’s County Council held the first day of its two-day Baltimore retreat. Council members and their staff are staying at the luxury Admiral Fell Inn on the Baltimore waterfront.
Rooms at the Admiral go for around $200 per night, according to multiple travel websites.
The annual event allows the council to discuss the agenda and legislative goals for the upcoming year.
“As with each retreat,” said Council Chair Andrea C. Harrison in a press release, “Costs have been kept to a minimum and designed to ensure that the retreat accomplishes its sole purpose— the most effective Prince Georege’s County Council possible in the year ahead.”
The Washington Examiner estimated the cost of this year’s retreat at $11,000. A spokesperson for the County Council said she didn’t know about that figure and does not know where they got it. She said accounting for the retreat will happen when the retreat is over.
The council spent about $13,000 for a two-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina in Cambridge last year, according to the Examiner. The bill included over $3,000 for dinners and more than $6,000 spent on hotel rooms.
Harrison says in the press release that the event was held in Baltimore, instead of Prince George's County, in order to “focus away from the distractions often presented at a local site.” Last year, the retreat was held in Cambridge, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
This year the council must address a $125.7 million budget shortfall heading into the Fiscal 2013 cycle.
The Washington Post has reported that the meetings during the retreat will last from 10 a.m. to the early evening on Monday and from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
The retreat is open to the public. However the Post noted that even though last year’s event was open to the public only invited guests, speakers and staff, along with the nine council members attended.
Editor's Note: The original story cited Karen Campbell as the writer of the press release. In fact, the press release is a full statement from Council Chair Andrea C. Harrison. We regret this error.