The Warner Robins city council, Mayor Randy Toms and city attorney Jim Elliott attended a working retreat in Athens at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

The first issue discussed was communication among council members.

"We don't do a good job working together," said Post 6 councilman Mike Davis.

Davis wasn't the only one with concerns.

Councilwoman Carolyn Robbins said she thinks communication is a "big problem."

Part of that problem, according to Davis, is that Robbins, councilman Tim Thomas and councilman Clifford Holmes regularly meet outside of council meetings to discuss issues.

"Legally, three of us can get together at a time," said Thomas. "We can kind of compromise down to get to where...three of us go 'hey we like this idea.'"

But Davis said he often feels left out of the loop.

To help solve the problem, council agreed to change the way they meet. Now, their first monthly meeting will be dedicated to discussing agenda items and the second will be all about voting on them.

The goal is that increased discussion time as a full group will cut down on extracurricular meetings and help make sure everyone's on the same page while voting.

Mayor Randy Toms is hopeful the new format will help.

"It'll make the meetings actually mean more when we know what we're talking about beforehand," said the mayor.

Toms expects the new council format to go into effect before the end of the month.

City attorney Jim Elliot notes that the change will not alter the legal framework of meetings.

Council members will still be able to vote on items at either meeting if needed.