Meetings are central to democratic decision-making. Not
all meetings have to be boring, long or contentious. The
Institute’s Meeting Resource Center aims to help local officials
and agency staff make the most of meeting time with resources on:
How to Chair a Meeting
Dealing with Deeply Held Views
Dealing with a Grandstander
Procedures and Protocols
Use of Technology
Simplifying Parliamentary Procedure
Open Government Laws
Local officials and staff are the Institute’s brain trust.
The Institute welcomes comments and suggestions for improving its
Please share your suggestions on strategies that work for
your meetings, training materials for newly elected officials on
technique and procedure, or other dimensions of meeting
management that may be helpful to others.
Collaboration among elected bodies and between individual members takes effort. Finding common ground and cultivating respectful relationships early on can make for a more civil and effective governing body.
Public engagement processes are often forums for very deeply held concerns. In some cases, public engagement participants will have very strongly held views about the topics to be discussed; the local (or regional) agency and officials involved; and/or the public engagement process itself.
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.
Many Madison City Council members send and receive emails and
texts during meetings, and the city requires all of it to be kept
as a public record. Some want to explore new rules because such
communications can create the possibility of open meetings