Community Council Decision Process

  • 12/02/2017 12:45 PM
    Message # 5610312

    Community Council Decision Process 
    (Essential Dialogue for Balancing Public and Private Interests)

    Community council meetings are often attended by less than one percent of their residents. That should be acceptable and expected since we have chosen to function as a representative democracy rather than a direct or pure democracy.  However, elected neighborhood representatives need to be cognizant of the fact that the few who do attend neighborhood monthly meetings (usually as proponents or opponents of an agenda item) are often representing narrow or special interests rather than the broader public interest.  Even so, people who are passionate enough or angry enough to attend the meeting are sometimes erroneously considered more seriously than the public interest simply because they are present and the public interest is not obvious or not presented.  The public interest is difficult or impossible to consider if not already identified and adopted through a more inclusive or direct democratic process—as enabled in a master plan process and periodic updates. 

    Therefore, in evaluating monthly meetings, community councils need to consider a variety of questions related to the public interest.  For instance:

    • Does our meeting process identify and consider the public interest or just enable a modicum of participants to define it or override it?  
    • Is our meeting process dominated by special interests, or the few who had time to attend, or the few who attend every meeting? 
    • Does our meeting process adequately consider the public interest or is our search for public interest nearly impossible and maybe ingenuous and biased—i.e., based on the few who are present, or loudest, or most influential?  
    • Is our meeting process recognizing the incremental and cumulative effect of monthly decisions?  
    • Is our meeting process actually “pseudo community engagement” that undermines the public interest? 
    Our Oakley neighborhood would benefit greatly if OCC improved its decision process for community council meeting and enabled effective dialogue for balancing public and private interests.
"Oakley Community Council" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Cincinnati, OH 45209 -- Bylaws
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