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Thread: How late do your meetings go?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    How late do your meetings go?

    It's 12:26 AM or is PM, the City Council meeting started at 7:30 PM, and no end in site. At least I can watch a web stream and use the internet. But, I may have to rush into chambers if there is a planning and zoning question. Planning Commission isn't so bad, they usually end by 9:30 to 10:30 PM. How late do your meetings go?
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    1:29 AM and still going.
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I had one last night. Started at 7:00Pm I was out of there by 7:45PM. Unfortunately, it is a 45 minute drive each way from the office to the hall I had to go to. So add another 1.5 hours of lieu time to that.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    The longest I've ever had was a Zoning Board meeting from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am. All the bars were closed when we got out
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    My latest planning & zoning meeting was a 12:30 AM adjournment courtesy of a Home Depot proposal. Since I also serve as the secretary for P&Z, no cruising the web during the meetings for me

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    My latest meeting was 11:30pm however it was in the central time zone so it was really 12:30 am my time, than there was a 1.5 hour drive home so by the time I crawled in bed because the bars wer closed it was 2:00 am

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    "Curfews"

    At my last place of work we had lots of meetings that went relatively late and a few blockbusters. I remember a couple of times that staff cited a "12 am. curfew" on City Hall in part to get out of there but mostly to force the hands of political folks to vote and get on with life. It worked really well- no one every questioned the existence of the supposed curfew, which as far as I can tell was made up.

    The problem with shorter meetings is that items get carried over and then everyone has additional energy to drag the issue out longer when the reconvene.

    Quote Originally posted by Mark
    It's 12:26 AM or is PM, the City Council meeting started at 7:30 PM, and no end in site. At least I can watch a web stream and use the internet. But, I may have to rush into chambers if there is a planning and zoning question. Planning Commission isn't so bad, they usually end by 9:30 to 10:30 PM. How late do your meetings go?

  8. #8
         
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    My historic architectural review board meetings only last about 1 hour...but our PZ and CC meetings go on till around midnight. Glad I am not the liaision to those boards anymore

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Most communities I work in recognize that after 11pm on a weekday after a full day of work, its tough for appointed / volunteer board members to focus effectively. Those that have not established a curfew time will adjorn the meeting to be reconvened at a date / time specific.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I think my community is the only one in the world where our meetings are scheduled during the day!

    Historic Preservation - 8:30am
    ZBA - 1:30pm
    PC - 1:30pm
    Zonning Commission - 1:30pm

    :P
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Steps to fix the long meetings....

    If your meetings are going that long....that's not good.....After about 11 years of this type of work, I now think there is no excuse for meetings to last that long.....
    Possible problems:
    1. Staff is not empowered enough to negotiate items down to the least common denominator, decreasing the amount of negotiations that take place at the hearing...(City Management Problem in my opinion) Or the code is not specific enough to "nail" down the issues prior to the hearing.
    2. Too many conditions to consider at the hearing (see above)
    3. The Commission needs to let staff know what they want out of development before the hearing and not change their minds every month....
    4. Consent items are being pulled faster than funding for the arts in the Bush administration....(he he he) for long drawn out discussions (see City Management problems....) Obviously these should be worked out in advance.....
    5. Citizen firebrand time limits....I've worked at places that let people talk for 20 minutes.....point made in first 2 or 3, the rest being history lessons about why they distrust their government or something similar....
    6. Planning Commissions that go this long may not be well trained and/or need new members that know how to run a meeting.
    7. Staff spends way too much time on a presentation....(Done this too )
    8. Not enough consent agenda items.....
    9. Commission or Board doesn't conduct a study session prior to the meeting (can't be done in most states without advertising it as a meeting of elected officials) These things are great and get the elected officials questions out on the table prior to the hearing....legal issues currently prohibit its use where I work now....
    10. Consultant presentations last too long......
    11. Citywide issues (New Comprehensive Plan, New Zoning Code) deserve a dedicated session on a night that doesn't include regular work. Nothing worse than having a 1st reading of a Comprehensive Plan adoption with 19 other items on the agenda....

    Oh yeah, our meetings start at 6:30PM and rarely last past 9:30PM.
    Skilled Adoxographer

  12. #12
         
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    If your meetings are going that long....that's not good.....After about 11 years of this type of work, I now think there is no excuse for meetings to last that long.....
    Possible problems:
    1. Staff is not empowered enough to negotiate items down to the least common denominator, decreasing the amount of negotiations that take place at the hearing...(City Management Problem in my opinion) Or the code is not specific enough to "nail" down the issues prior to the hearing.
    2. Too many conditions to consider at the hearing (see above)
    3. The Commission needs to let staff know what they want out of development before the hearing and not change their minds every month....
    4. Consent items are being pulled faster than funding for the arts in the Bush administration....(he he he) for long drawn out discussions (see City Management problems....) Obviously these should be worked out in advance.....
    5. Citizen firebrand time limits....I've worked at places that let people talk for 20 minutes.....point made in first 2 or 3, the rest being history lessons about why they distrust their government or something similar....
    6. Planning Commissions that go this long may not be well trained and/or need new members that know how to run a meeting.
    7. Staff spends way too much time on a presentation....(Done this too )
    8. Not enough consent agenda items.....
    9. Commission or Board doesn't conduct a study session prior to the meeting (can't be done in most states without advertising it as a meeting of elected officials) These things are great and get the elected officials questions out on the table prior to the hearing....legal issues currently prohibit its use where I work now....
    10. Consultant presentations last too long......
    11. Citywide issues (New Comprehensive Plan, New Zoning Code) deserve a dedicated session on a night that doesn't include regular work. Nothing worse than having a 1st reading of a Comprehensive Plan adoption with 19 other items on the agenda....
    COMPLETELY AGREED!! When I started here, the Landmarks Meetings (we have a very large historic area) were dreaded by everyone and took hours. I began to work with the Board to figure out what it was they were looking for and began to streamline the process. Somewhere during that time ALL signage in the city began to come to the Board but at this time has still not increased meeting time. The Board members trust Staff (imagine that!!) and rarely pull anything from the 20 item consent agenda.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    We are fairly lucky, since our new Council is very efficient and also allow limited meetings during the day. We can usually start a special Council meeting at 3:30, which means we'll be out by around 8 or so. Our Municipal Planning Commission starts at 4:15 and never really goes later than 8. Regular Council meetings, however, can get quite late... especially at the end of the year (budget). The latest I've been at this job is 12:30 a.m. The worst offender I've worked for is Davis, where meetings regularly lasted past midnight.

  14. #14
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Planning Board meetings here used to routinely go until midnight. When I came aboard in 2000, worked on the submission policies and formal application procedures in our regs. Nowadays, we rarely go past 9:30 (meetings start at 7).

    The ZBA this past summer was having lots of late meetings, the Town Manager directed me to work with the board on thir processes, and meeting procedures.....they're doing better, but still sometimes go as late as 11....which is a big improvement from the 2 AM meetings they were having.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    We finished up at 2 AM. I stopped by a gas station to buy a gallon a milk. This guy remembered me from my 8:15 to 8:40 PM rezoning and street vacation public hearings. He was driving from the northern Detroit suburbs to Shaker Heights, a 3 hour drive, plus the possibilty of lake effect snow. I don't know how he did it, my contacts were dried to my eyeballs.

    It's not always that simple. When there are 75 people signed up to speak on an item the meetings go on for ever. Council insists that everyone gets 5 minutes to speak. Plus we already have 3 City Council meetings and 3 Planning Commission meetings a month. Perhaps Council doesn't want to fix the effectiveness of their meetings.

    The energized minority takes control of the meetings and City Council let's them get away with it. We advise council all the time how to control the meeting length, but they want the meetings to go on forever, most of them don't have jobs to deal with the next day.
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Oh and....

    I forgot to add one to my list above....
    A good city/county attorney can and should keep a meeting moving....lucky to have that where I work now....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  17. #17
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Usually 1/2 hour or less. Sometimes they stretch to a little over an hour. Most development review items are staff issues. It was very different under a different board.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Curfew

    At my last job it was actually within the By-law establishing Council that any meeting going after 10PM needed a special resolution of council passed prior to 10PM to be permitted to continue.

    There were a few instances where a certain council member would grandstand around 10PM so that the meeting could be declared invalid as he would refuse to give up teh floor for the motion to be passed. this usually occurred when he did not like the decision that was going to be made.
    Last edited by donk; 21 Dec 2004 at 11:15 AM. Reason: typos
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  19. #19
    Cyburbian GISgal's avatar
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    Longest meeting I ever attended went to 4:00AM due to a public hearing where 275 people showed up in protest.

    That community also had meetings (council and planning) that would go to midnight.

    The community I work in now planning meetings generally last about an hour. The counicl meetings are about 2 or 2.5 hours.
    “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” - Thomas Edison

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    I'm lucky, I guess. Longest PC meeting was about 3 hours (Wal-Mart rezoning request). The planning commission gets antsy at anything over an hour.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  21. #21

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    I had a community development commission meeting that started at 2pm and had two controversial public hearings. On an agenda that was listed alphabetically A-W, I was item S and T.

    I got in front of the commission at 11:30pm, and the meeting was over at 12:30am.

  22. #22
         
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    Of the subject. When you have to attend late meetings like this (from 2 p.m. until midnight) are you required or do you on your own, go into work the next morning on time or do you take a few extra hours. I know it depends on your work load for the most part but are these "comp" hours or does ti just go along with the territory??

  23. #23
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    Of the subject. When you have to attend late meetings like this (from 2 p.m. until midnight) are you required or do you on your own, go into work the next morning on time or do you take a few extra hours. I know it depends on your work load for the most part but are these "comp" hours or does ti just go along with the territory??
    Before I was salaried, I got OT (time and a half) for night meetings. Now I get "admin time" that I can use as time off.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  24. #24
    In re: late meetings -- I'm in the office at 8:00 every morning, regardless of how late the meeting went the night before.... and no comp time or OT. suxxxx
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  25. #25
         
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    In re: late meetings -- I'm in the office at 8:00 every morning, regardless of how late the meeting went the night before.... and no comp time or OT. suxxxx
    Is this by choice or mandated???

    I am in the office at 8 pretty much no matter what as well but its by choice more than anything...some of the other Staff around here comes in at 10 no matter how long/short the meeting is the night before or even that night.

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