Effective Local Government
Don’t attack the staff in public
Several local government officials have recently described to us situations where elected officials are criticizing and attacking the staff during public meetings. This must not happen. Councilmembers and board members…Read More
Ann’s podcast interview, “Running Amazing Council Meetings,” with Jim Hunt
I had the pleasure this summer of a lively conversation with Jim Hunt, host of “Amazing Cities and Towns” podcast. Jim is a former mayor and councilmember in Clarksburg, West…Read More
Can the mayor take part in discussion?
What is the role of the mayor in discussion at city council meetings? The answer to this question is a bit subtle. Download PDF In a large council, mayor does…Read More
Nine planning commission and citizen advisory pitfalls
Planning commissions and citizen advisory committees are a key aspect of our society. Whether it’s a library board, a civil service commission, a parks and recreation board, a lodging tax…Read More
Lost the vote? Don’t sabotage the council’s action
We’ve had inquiries recently about elected officials who lost a vote, and then actively worked against the outcome. This amounts to trying to sabotage the council. It is wrong, wrong,…Read More
Are your meetings seven hours long?
This strange time of COVID-19 is producing some strange situations. We hear reports of local government meetings lasting far into the night, in some cases taking as long as…Read More
When public pressure is intense, what can you do?
At a recent workshop, a director from a school board split by pandemic-related decisions asked me what board members can do in the face of intense public pressure. These are…Read More
When should the clerk speak up?
The clerk of a local government meeting or the secretary on a nonprofit board has a high calling. Under Robert’s Rules, two persons must be present for a valid meeting:…Read More
When First Amendment Rights and Public Meetings Clash
MRSC has graciously given permission for us to republish this helpful article. MRSC is a private nonprofit organization, formerly known as “Municipal Resources and Service Center,” serving local governments in…Read More
No debate at all—legitimate, but unwise
A citizen rang me up in some concern about the way his city council had processed a big motion the night before. The land-use proposal was introduced and seconded,…Read More