John Krauss to Present at National League of Cities Seminar

April 14, 2009

Nan Stager and John Krauss will present Engaging the Community in Dialogue: Conducting Effective Public Meetings at the National League of Cities Leadership Training Institute June 28-30, 2009.

Deliberative democracy, public dialogue and collaborative governance are all terms used to describe a new movement that has changed how elected government officials utilize public input. The traditional public comment period at the end of a public meeting's agenda has proved ineffective in producing meaningful input from the public and often exacerbates a public conflict. It promotes arguments and comes too late in the decision-making process. The result is a frustrated public, equally frustrated elected officials and a public policy conflict.

The current state of the economy means that tough choices need to be made. Public deliberation of the costs and benefits of different approaches to address economic challenges is an effective way to educate the community on the complexity of the issues, reach common ground, and provides elected officials with direction when they are faced with difficult decisions. An added benefit is that, due to their direct participation in the solution, the public is more likely to support the decision rather than fight it.

Elected officials and public managers need negotiation, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills in order to be effective leaders. Learning how to frame issues for public dialogue, engage in collaborative problem-solving techniques with stakeholders and facilitate dialogue with the public over contentious public issues are key skills for today's elected leaders.

For additional information on the seminar or to register please click here.