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Meeting Facilitation for Annual City Council Planning Retreat

Meeting Facilitation for Annual City Council Planning Retreat


The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is for the City of Olympia (City) to solicit proposals from qualified respondents to provide meeting facilitation services to support the City Council’s annual strategic planning retreat in early 2022.

Response to this RFP does not commit the City to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of the response, demonstrations, or any other activities related to this response. All responses and accompanying documentation become the property of the City and will not be returned. This RFP does not obligate the City to contract for services or products specified herein. The City reserves the right to revise the RFP and/or to issue addenda to the RFP.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 4:00 p.m., Pacific Time (PT), Monday, August 2, 2021.


The City of Olympia operates under a council-manager form of government. The City Council has seven members including the Mayor. Councilmembers and the Mayor are non-partisan elected officials. The City Manager reports to the City Council.

In January of each year, the City Council holds a planning retreat to develop its yearly goals and working agreements in order to arrive upon a broad consensus that serves as a framework for Council action in the coming year.

The City hires a professional meeting facilitator to organize and facilitate the Council’s planning retreat in order to maximize the productivity of these retreats and to allow the Council to move through multiple discussions on topics of a complicated nature over the course of two days.

The meetings are open to the public and are planned with the expectation that members of the public will be in attendance, but typically do not attract a large audience.

The selected facilitator will be responsible for working with the Olympia City Council’s General Government Committee and City Manager to develop a detailed agenda for the 2022 City Council Planning Retreat, and for planning and facilitating discussions with the City Council and selected staff in order to deliver a retreat that results in a clear strategic planning direction for the City Council in the coming year.

The selected facilitator(s) will be expected to be available to do pre-meeting research and planning with Councilmembers and staff, to be on-site or virtually (pending status of COVID-19 phases) to facilitate the

Notification of Request for Proposal

Council retreat on January 14 and 15, 2022 and to have the final written work product complete by February 15, 2022.


A successful facilitator will have experience working with a body of elected officials composed of a variety of personality styles, values, life experiences, viewpoints and levels of understanding about local government. The City Council desires an experienced facilitator who:

• Can help build mutual understanding, trust, and transparency among Councilmembers who have a wide range of experience serving as elected officials; ranging from newly elected to 10+ years of service.
• Has demonstrated knowledge of and experience working with organizations navigating issues of social justice and racial equity.
• Has demonstrated knowledge of and experience working with organizations going through transformation, using Change Management concepts.
• Can create opportunities for full involvement and respectful participation in group discussion, keeping in mind various communication styles and personalities and can do so without using personality assessment tools such as MBTI.
• Can help the Council create a targeted set of achievable goals and agreements, given limitations in Council time, budget, and staff capacity.
• Can ensure the City Council and City staff management teams work in sync to create and accomplish the goals and objectives of the City.
• Can form a respectful group dynamic that works efficiently on issues in an open public meeting environment.

Actual local government experience is desired, but not required, as long as the facilitator possesses insight into how policy bodies form, work together, and make meaningful progress toward jointly agreed upon goals and outcomes.


The deadline for submission of proposal is 4:00 p.m., Pacific Time (PT), Monday, August 2, 2021.

To obtain information, please visit either:

1. City or Olympia Goods and services RFP/RFQs Page. If using this option, please review this page to verify any addendums posted are reviewed before submitting.
2. Washington State’s Electronic Business Solution (WEBS). The RFP can be found by in WEBS by searching:

Organization Name: Olympia, City of


Customer reference number: OLY-RFP-006

For questions about this RFP, please contact the RFP Coordinator via email at

Closing Date: 
Monday, August 2, 2021