5 Steps to Run Great City Council Meetings as a City Council Member

As a city council member, you play a vital role in the governance and decision-making process of your local community. Running effective city council meetings is essential for productive discussions, collaborative decision-making, and serving the best interests of your constituents.

Here are five key strategies and best practices to help you run great city council meetings and ensure efficient, transparent, and inclusive decision-making.

The Goodyear City Council uses the OpenMeeting electronic voting system in their city council meetings.

The City of Goodyear, Arizona, recently upgraded their meeting room and meeting technology to run smooth, efficient, and transparent city council meetings for their community.

1. Promote Public Engagement

City council meetings should be open and accessible to the public. Encourage community members to attend and voice their opinions and valuable insights.

Consider specific time on the agenda for public comment, allowing residents to express their concerns, suggestions, and ideas. Additionally, streaming your meetings online is a powerful way to encourage public engagement and involvement.

2. Foster an Inclusive Environment During Discussion

Ensure that all council members have an equal opportunity to participate and contribute during meetings. Additionally, encourage a respectful and inclusive atmosphere where diverse perspectives are valued and heard. Some local governments utilize discussion management software to ensure fair and orderly discussion. Overall, emphasize the importance of collaboration and consensus-building to facilitate effective decision-making. 

3. Prioritize Public Transparency

Public transparency in city council meetings is of paramount importance for fostering trust, accountability, and citizen engagement. Transparency ensures that the decision-making process is open and accessible to the public, allowing residents to understand and participate in shaping their community’s future.

Posting meeting minutes and recordings of city council meetings online is a great way to be transparent with your community. Ultimately, public transparency is crucial for upholding democratic principles and creating a community where residents feel informed, involved, and confident in their local government. 

4. Use Technology for Efficiency

Leverage technology to enhance the efficiency and transparency of your city council meetings. Explore electronic voting systems, online meeting platforms, and document sharing tools to streamline processes, reduce paperwork, and facilitate remote participation. Make sure that technological infrastructure and support are in place to minimize technical difficulties and maximize engagement.

5. Continuous Learning and Development

Keep yourself updated on local governance best practices and emerging issues. Attend conferences, training sessions, and workshops that enhance your leadership and decision-making skills. Stay informed about relevant legislation and policy developments to make informed decisions aligned with the community’s needs.

A well-run city council meeting sets the foundation for effective governance and serves as a platform to address the needs and aspirations of your community. By implementing the strategies listed above, you can run great city council meetings conducive to productive discussions, engaged public participation, and transparent decision-making. 

Get In Touch

Ready to modernize your legislative meetings? Talk to one of our experts and see if OpenMeeting is a fit for you.