A packed room of city managers and county administrators listens to speakers at an Institute-organized session on “Dealing with Deeply Held Concerns When Values and Beliefs Collide” at a recent conference.
This article provides strategies that leaders can employ to maximize the likelihood that public meetings on controversial issues will involve constructive exchanges that contribute to the best decision being made.
Local officials often find that only a relatively small number of community members actually take part in public conversations and forums. A failure to involve a cross-section of residents limits the effectiveness of these public engagement efforts and negatively impacts the breadth and quality of ideas contributed. It can also reduce community support for the final decisions. This publication provides ten essential strategies to extend participation and increase the views and voices in a community’s public engagement activities.
Although the Institute endeavors to help local officials understand technical and legal concepts that apply to their public service, these materials are not technical or legal advice. Officials are encouraged to consult technical experts, attorneys and/or relevant regulatory authorities for up-to-date information and advice on specific situations.