Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New trial meeting format will feature expected times per issue on agenda

Over the past two and half years, our ABS meetings have always been interesting, fun, and useful, but not always efficient. During the last meeting there was support for Ryan Tew's idea that we set a time at which we expect to address each agenda item, and April Dahm just called me to suggest we try that. I agree. Two points to note, though, as we prepare to try it out at next Monday's meeting:
  1. These would be "expected" times at which to move on to the next agenda, and would make us aware of when time to address another issue is being taken away by the current discussion.
  2. The times shouldn't cause valuable discussion to stop. Robert's Rules of Order (here's a nice simplified version) say that as long as discussion is progressing, i.e., new points are made and it hasn't devolved into repetitive speech-making, discussion should be allowed to continue indefinately, at least until a motion is passed that the discussion stops and the group moves to a vote.
As an example, our new agenda format would look something like this:
  • 6:15 - Approval of minutes
  • 6:20 - Receipt of payments by new voting members
  • 6:25 - By-laws discussion and vote
  • 6:35 - Coates Bluff report and discussion
  • 6:50 - Bike routes street painting and signage report and discussion
  • 7:05 - Review of letter to Mayor's Office requesting bike-ped commission
  • 7:10 - Possible downtown proposals discussion
  • 7:25 - New business
  • 7:30 - Ajurn
I suspect I'm packing this particular agenda too tightly (how does one avoid that??!!) but we can try the timed format Monday night.

I guess we should all come ready to speak efficiently! Well, why not?

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