Public hearings – including town halls or town meetings – are strongly criticized in this chapter in large part due to the design of these events. What are some of the
weaknesses in the way public hearings are frequently structured, timed, and advertised? How can these weaknesses serve to negatively affect deliberation in terms of
the analytical and social criteria? Your response must have 275 words minimum. NO TITLE PAGE.
• For this paper, you must attend a public meeting. Attend or recall a meeting at school or your employment for your paper.
• You will write 2 FULL PAGES pages analyzing the meeting in terms of its design and how well the meeting met the analytical and social criteria of a
• You must describe and support three analytic process criteria (See attached Chapter 7 – fig. 7.1) and three social process criteria (fig. 7.1) using detailed
• In your paper, please propose at least two specific changes to the meetings design (e.g., agenda setting, facilities, timing, invited experts, invited
participants, etc.) that would have allowed for a more deliberative discussion and support these changes with detailed examples.
• You must provide citations/quotes from the text book (chapter 7) for each of the analytical and social criteria that you analyze (six total).
Citizens and Officials
in Public Meetings
One of my fellow council members would occasionally start a public hearing
by announcing that he already knew what position each witness would take.
And he was usually correct. I figure I spent nearly 2,000 hours in formal
public hearings over the last eight years. It was not time well spent.
—A former county council member in Maryland’
Let’s be clear about something at the outset of this chapter: Holding a series
of public meetings can be a complete waste of time. By comparison with
the juries discussed in the previous chapter, participants in a public meeting
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