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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Council-Commission Advisor

Should Our Council Adopt Robert's Rules of Order?

March 1, 2012  by  Ann G. Macfarlane
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

We believe that Robert's Rules still provides the best and most useful set of rules of order for civic bodies in our state - provided that folks are willing to do a little work and learn how to use Robert's Rules properly.

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Using the Round Robin Method for Efficient Council Meetings

March 1, 2012  by  Ann G. Macfarlane
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

The simplest way to make city council meetings more efficient is to use the round robin method of discussion. Sometimes, however, it's harder to employ this method than it seems. These are our tips for successful use of the round robin.

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How Much Should a Mayor Talk at Meetings?

March 1, 2012  by  Ann G. Macfarlane
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

One of the challenges that faces newly elected mayors is knowing how much they should speak at meetings. It can be a challenge to adapt to the requirements of running council meetings.

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Balancing the Council's Right to Manage Meetings With Expectations of Citizens

March 1, 2012  by  P. Stephen DiJulio
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

Many city and county councils may be unsure about their ability to respond to disruptive conduct for fear of violating their citizens' First Amendment rights to free speech. A recent decision from the Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights and provides guidance on these issues.

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Why the Government lawyer may not be the lawyer of the Council or Commission

March 1, 2012  by  P. Stephen DiJulio
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

This column focuses on the need for communication among government clients and their lawyers and summarizes the foundations for what is generally understood as the "entity" approach to legal representation of municipal  corporations.

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"The Future Isn't a Gift. It is To Be Achieved."

March 1, 2012  by  Carl H. Neu
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

This quote, allegedly from Robert Kennedy, really rings true today given the daunting challenges facing our nation's federal, state and local governments.

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Unintended Consequences of Policy Perspectives and Decisions

March 1, 2012  by  Carl H. Neu
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

As public officials, elected or appointed, all of us assume we are dedicated, well-intentioned and hard working. But the realities and pressures of governing, managing and politics can invite or pressure us into making decisions that produce consequences or results other than those we intended.

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Nuts and Bolts of Intergovernmental Associations

March 1, 2012  by  Marc Greenough
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

The recession and voter-imposed restrictions on increases in taxation as well as the urbanization of formerly rural areas are leading local governments to pool resources in various forms of intergovernmental associations.

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Why Do Our Meetings Take So Long?

March 1, 2012  by  Carl H. Neu
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

Frequently, I hear the lament, "Why do our meetings last so long?" This guest author's experience and observations lead him to conclude there are usually three main reasons.

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Less Is More: Action Minutes Serve the City Best

March 1, 2012  by  Ann G. Macfarlane
Category:  Council-Commission Advisor

If your council, commission or committee takes detailed minutes of your meetings, our guest author recommends switching to action minutes, which record what is done at a meeting and not what is said.

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