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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for Council-Commission Advisor

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

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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Using the Round Robin Method for Efficient Council Meetings

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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Should Our Council Adopt Robert's Rules of Order?

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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Why Do Our Meetings Take So Long?

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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Nuts and Bolts of Intergovernmental Associations

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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Unintended Consequences of Policy Perspectives and Decisions

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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Less Is More: Action Minutes Serve the City Best

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

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

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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