Public Meeting Analysis. To complete this assignment, you will need to attend or view (online) a government meeting such as a city council meeting, county supervisors meeting, legislative committee meeting, or school board meeting; a non-profit organization meeting does not satisfy this assignment. If time permits you really will get the most out of attending a live meeting; however, you may also view a public meeting on-line (live or archived) if your schedule and the summer timing makes attending a meeting in person difficult or impossible. The goal is to observe the interaction between the public administrators, elected officials, lobbyists, and general citizenry at the meeting. After attending/viewing the meeting you will write a 3 page paper analyzing your experience along with how it relates to the course theories. Be sure to include at least three (3) direct references to the course theories minimally and also to additional research, if applicable, in APA format. As usual, include an APA title page and APA formatting (paper layout, citations, and references).
Your paper for Essay 3 should provide the following:
* Name of the meeting attended
* Date of the meeting and where it was held
* Brief summary (no more than a paragraph) of the meeting agenda (this can sometimes be short – some meetings discuss only one subject; and other times, this can be quite lengthy)
* The role of the administrator(s) at the meeting (e.g. did they present materials, were they there just to answer questions, etc.?).
An example: A City Treasurer is often asked to present a budget, and then s/he will need to answer questions brought forward by Council members or members of the public regarding various aspects of the budget.
If you attend a Zoning Commission meeting, a City or County Engineer might present and explain proposed plans.
* The role of the public or interest groups at the meeting.
For example, were members of the public allowed to speak at the meeting; what procedures were in place to allow their input (most meetings require individuals to fill out a ‘comment card’); etc.?
* An assessment on the operation of the meeting, as well as the democratic nature of the meeting.
For example, was the meeting well publicized; did it start and end on time; was the meeting well organized or did it seem to drag on; etc.?
[Be sure to explain your assessment – i.e. do not just write “The meeting seemed unorganized.” Explain why you had that impression.]
* How did the elected council members and the administrators interact (i.e. was the interaction formal, or did it seem relaxed)? How did the administrators interact with the public (i.e. did they seem to value the public’s input or did they merely seem to tolerate it)?
[Again, be sure to provide analysis – place your connections to the course theories up front and explain your impressions – i.e. do not just write “The council members and administrators really seemed to value the public’s input.” Explain why you had that impression AND how your observations relate to the course theories.]
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