PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN LARIMER COUNTY GOVERNMENT
want to be heard, want to participate, want some control over
The Larimer County Board of County Commissioners
places a high value on open, participatory government. Effective
public participation ensures:
- Timely, complete and simple information
reaches the public.
- Those who want to participate are given
- A staff that values a robust and open debate
on public policy.
- Respect for our partnership with the media
in our shared responsibility to inform the public.
- The Board of County Commissioners endorses
the use of Systematic Development of Informed Consent (SDIC) as
a philosophy and guideline for public participation in the decision
- GUIDELINES: For all decision effecting
the citizens of Larimer County, staff shall use the following
- EIGHT KEY STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL PUBLIC
- IDENTIFY ALL OF THE POTENTIALLY
AFFECTED INTERESTS (PAI'S) IN YOUR PROJECT:
Any group, business, individual, organization
or agency that could in any conceivable way be affected should
be identified. It is better to identify too many affected interests
than to miss just one critical interest.
- IDENTIFY ALL THE ISSUES SURROUNDING
No matter how insignificant, each issue must
be identified. Many projects have been vetoed because the officials
in charge overlooked an issue that was critical to the interests
of one particular group.
- DEVELOP A PLAN OF ACTION TAILOR MADE
TO INVOLVE EACH OF YOUR POTENTIALLY AFFECTED INTERESTS AND TO
ADDRESS EACH ISSUE:
There are many techniques to effectively reach
each potentially affected interest and address each specific issue.
Don't limit yourself to public hearings, citizen advisory committees,
and blue ribbon panels. Research different techniques. Specialized
training in public participation techniques and theories can be
invaluable. Become an expert in public participation.
- GO TO THE PUBLIC WITH YOUR MESSAGE:
Don't wait for the public to come to you.
Aggressively involve those affected by your project. Beware of
any group that actively works not to participate in the
process, they may be positioning for eleventh hour opposition.
- WORK WITH THE MASS MEDIA. BECOME THE
SOURCE OF INFORMATION ON YOUR PROJECT:
Lack of information creates a vacuum that is
quickly filled. If you don't fill the void with the accurate
information, someone else will fill it, possibly to your detriment.
- GAUGE, MEASURE, AND UNDERSTAND PUBLIC
OPINION ABOUT YOUR PROJECT:
You must actively listen and follow the opinions
about your project from many diverse groups in the community.
Don't be lulled into security because your circle of acquaintances
agrees with your opinion. Every community has a diversity of opinion.
- DEVELOP A COMPREHENSIVE CONTACT LIST
OF COMMUNITY LEADERS AND POTENTIALLY
Make direct mail contact, customized to the
interests and issues affecting each group. Actively and publicly
ask for input. No potentially affected group or individual should
be able to claim they were not given the opportunity to participate
in the process.
- LISTEN, REALLY LISTEN, TO THE PUBLIC'S
IDEAS AND CONCERNS:
Don't take so much pride in your solution
that you cannot adjust your ideas to the needs of the community.
Respect the intelligence, creativity, and ingenuity of the citizenry.
A manager of public projects must serve as facilitator of the
process, not controller.
- PUBLIC PARTICIPATION CHECKLIST:
- IS THE ISSUE OF ENOUGH INTEREST TO THE
GENERAL PUBLIC OR TO CERTAIN GROUPS TO REQUIRE A PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
- HAVE YOU ATTEMPTED TO IDENTIFIED ALL OF
THE GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS POTENTIALLY AFFECTED BY THIS ISSUE?
- HAVE YOU IDENTIFIED ALL THE ISSUES SURROUNDING
THE PROJECT ?
- HAVE YOU DEVELOPED A PLAN OF ACTION TO
INVOLVE EACH OF THE POTENTIALLY AFFECTED INTERESTS AND TO ADDRESS
- HAVE YOU REACHED THE PUBLIC WITH YOUR MESSAGE?.
- HAS THERE BEEN ADEQUATE MEDIA COVERAGE
- DO YOU HAVE A FEEL FOR PUBLIC OPINION ABOUT
- HAS THERE BEEN ADEQUATE NOTIFICATION OF
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE PUBLIC AND POTENTIALLY AFFECTED INTERESTS
(PAI's) TO GIVE INPUT ?
- IS THERE A NEED FOR NEIGHBORHOOD OR COMMUNITY
MEETINGS OUTSIDE OF THE COURTHOUSE TO DISCUSS THIS ISSUE WITH
THE PAI'S ?
- HAVE ALL THE LEGAL NOTICES AND TIME LIMITS,
IF ANY, BEEN COMPLIED WITH ?
- DOES THIS ISSUE WARRANT NIGHT, EVENING
OR WEEKEND MEETINGS RATHER THAN MEETING DURING THE DAY ?
- HAS THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS BEEN
ADEQUATELY BREIFED ON THIS ISSUE ?
- GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC MEETINGS:
- Notice Requirements:
- MINIMUM SEVEN DAY PUBLIC NOTICE
- APPEAR AND HIGHLIGHTED IN AGENDA
- PUBLISH IN THE EXPANDED PRESS AGENDA
- DISPLAY ADS PLACED A MINIMUM OF
SEVEN DAYS BEFORE THE MEETING IN THE PAPER(S) SERVING AFFECTED
- LETTERS SENT TO HIGHLY AFFECTED
- POSTING OF FLYERS IN PUBLIC AREAS
THE COURTHOUSE AND , IF NECESSARY, AREAS VISIBLE TO THE PAI'S,
OUTSIDE THE COURTHOUSE.
- TIME OF MEETING: The
time of the meeting shall be set to allow the greatest number
of PAI's to attend. This will vary with the issue. Issues requiring
PAI's to participate as part of their jobs should be conducted
during working hours and scheduled whenever possible, to minimize
conflicts with other government public meetings. Issues that would
require the majority of the PAI's to be absent from their places
of work if done during the day, should be conducted in the evenings.
- PLACE OF MEETING: Meetings
should be held in the most convenient place possible for the PAI's.
Items of general County interest shall be held at the Courthouse,
or in a series of geographically dispersed locations. Meetings
will be held in specific communities for .issues affecting only
a specific area of the County outside of the Fort Collins area,
- DAY OF THE WEEK: Meetings during
the day may be held Monday through Friday. Evening meetings will
be held Tuesday through Thursday. Weekend meetings will be held
only when it is the only and best choice for PAI participation.
- DECORUM: Meetings will be held in
an atmosphere that encourages participation of all the affected
parties, regardless of opinion. Intimidation or any acts that
discourage full participation of all interested citizens cannot
and will not be tolerated.
- In meetings where there are large
numbers of citizens desiring to speak, speakers may be limited
to 3 minutes each and limited to one opportunity to speak in the
Adopted this 10th day of
John Clarke , Chair
Larimer County Board of County Commissioners
Larimer County Bulletin Board
Signed Copy/Records Management