Lessons from Painful Public Meetings

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 4:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • Realities of the public participation process and how to expect the unexpected

  • How to deal with and diffuse contentious and difficult situations

  • Roles and responsibilities of the various parties in the public participation process

Accusers. Apathetics. Arguers. Attackers. Agitators. We have all been there before—experiencing or witnessing the planning meeting from “heck.” Some will make you laugh; others will make you cry. Painful as it might be at the time, we learn valuable lessons that can help us moving forward. Public meetings are the essence of democracy and an integral element in the planning process. Unfortunately, they do not always go as planned. Avoiding the meetings is not a viable alternative.

In this interactive session, you will hear war stories (and success stories!) from experienced planners that illustrate the types of issues that arise during the public hearings and forums, including how to address angry crowds and project opponents, how to respond to Agenda 21 protests, how to proceed when meeting participants decide your planned agenda is not what they want to talk about, and what happens when your client “throws you under the bus” for political reasons.






Joanne Garnett , FAICP , Sheridan , WY (see bio)
Ralph Willmer , FAICP , Metropolitan Area Planning Council , Boston , MA (see bio)
David Siegel , FAICP , Portland , OR
Anna Breinich , FAICP , Retired , Harrisburg , PA