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New Resources on Council/Commission Meetings and Public Hearings

June 24, 2013  by  Byron Katsuyama
Category:  Legislative Body

New Resources on Council/Commission Meetings and Public Hearings

City council or county council/commission meetings and public hearings provide the settings for councils and commissions to discuss and develop key policies and make important legislative and quasi-judicial decisions. A smoothly-managed and productive council or commission meeting in the right setting does not necessarily guarantee good results, but it certainly helps. MRSC maintains a webpage on Council/Commission Meetings and Public Hearings with information, advice, and examples you can use to plan and conduct more efficient and productive public meetings and hearings. I recently updated this webpage adding several new resources, including a new legal references section, more information on meeting minutes, and several new items providing guidance and inspiration on planning and conducting more efficient and productive meetings.

Legal References

The new legal references section simply provides links to several relevant statutory provisions relating to council meetings and public hearings for easy reference:

Sample City Council Rules of Procedure Relating to Meeting Minutes

Here are some links to city council rules of procedure documents that include sections relating to meeting minutes, including a sample resolution adopting a policy for “action minutes” from the city of Port Townsend:

Sample Meeting Minutes

If you are curious to see how other cities record and publish their meeting minutes, take a look at these council meeting minute archive pages:

Public Meetings and Hearings—Guidance and Inspiration

These new resources offer advice on dealing with disruptive behavior and making meetings more productive, civil, and citizen-friendly:

Additional References

Here are a few more links to resources on meetings and public hearings:

  • Public Meetings Resource Center, Institute for Local Government, California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities
  • Jurassic Parliament, Resources on using Robert’s Rules of Order, Meeting Management, Leadership, and more.

California’s Institute for Local Government has an extensive collection of information on public meetings. The Jurassic Parliament site is managed by Ann Macfarlane, one of MRSC’s long-time Council/Commission Advisors. The MRSC Inquiries page offers answers to questions that MRSC’s consultant staff has responded to on issues relating to meetings and public hearings.

Related Pages

Finally, as part of this update, I also added a few new resources to our Council Meeting Agendas webpage:

Does your city/county have, or are you aware of, any more useful information resources and/or examples to share relating to public meetings and hearings? Please email links or sample documents to Byron Katsuyama, Public Policy and Management Consultant, MRSC.

MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.

About Byron Katsuyama

Byron began work at the Center as a Research Assistant in July 1978. He holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Washington and an M.P.A. from the University of Washington's Evan’s School of Public Policy and Governance. After completing his M.P.A., Byron joined MRSC's consulting staff as a Public Policy and Management Consultant concentrating on municipal administration and policy analysis. Byron is responsible for research in such areas as emerging local government issues, best practices, strategic planning, performance measurement, and local government management. In addition to his consulting duties, Byron also maintains the "Focus" section of MRSC's website and is editor of our "In Focus" and "Ask MRSC" e-newsletters. He also coordinates our HR, Planning, Finance, Government Performance, and Council/Commission Advisors. In his own community of Kirkland, Byron also served for eight years as a member of the city's planning commission. Byron is a member of the Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

VIEW ALL POSTS BY Byron Katsuyama


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