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Subject: Need Help with format for Town Hall meeting
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JoyceS1
(Indiana)

Posts:140


08/26/2006 7:01 AM  
Awhile back I posted a topic regarding my initiating a Town Hall type of meeting. I received a great deal of valuable insight as to how to conduct the meeting i.e. setting ground rules....soliciting topics for discussion. Now, I'm seeking additional support and ideas.

My board is supportive and believe it is an excellent idea, but have been no help to me at all as to providing input for the format. We have solicited topics from homeowners and should be getting those in the mail soon, I hope. The ground rules have been published in a newsletter.

My thoughts are that a presentation needs to precede the topics for discussion. Input from posters on this site have emphasized the need to stay positive.

Here is where I have problems. I have so many issues to address that are myths or misunderstandings, that I cannot come up with positives......

I thought perhaps the great minds reading this board can put my thinking on track for what to emphasize before getting into the negatives.

As I said, my board has provided next to nothing in the way of input, so you guys are all I've got right now. The content rests entirely on my shoulders.

I sometimes think I need my head examined for having initated this meeting, but it is so very necessary that I'm willing to take the plunge and see where it takes us.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


08/26/2006 8:04 AM  
Joyce, I would listen to the homeowners rather than address issues myself. Perhaps the myths and misunderstandings which you feel a need to clarify could be accomplished by a written handout. This could be provided before the meeting begins. As the moderator, if it is obvious that some topics are much more important than others, I would create an agenda and place those items at the top. With several items it is easy to run out of time. You may need to limit speakers to one time per topic for so many minutes.

As moderator I would give everyone a chance to speak. Also, I would try to determine whether there is a consensus among those present on problems presented and the potential solution to each problem.

Hint - try to limit the meeting to no more than 2 hours.
JoyceS1
(Indiana)

Posts:140


08/26/2006 9:19 AM  
RogerB

You have given me some excellent insight previously, and once again you have with this inquiry.

Hmmmmm. I wondered about whether or not to do anything separate from the topics submitted by the homeowners. I'll wait to see what comes in and then decide whether anything additional is needed. Thanks.

On my earlier posting, someone recommended sticking with the topics which are required to be submitted in advance. What would you advise if the homeowners end up using this event to attack the board ... Do we end the event, or go ahead and address the topics which were not submitted in advance? I'm torn as to how to handle that situation. We have a very undisciplined group and I foresee this occurring. Not to address unsubmitted topics will cause discontent, but doing so only allows for a free for all.

We have some hostile homeowners who don't like any rules.

I'm a little nervous about hosting the event. However, homeowners are not helping the community with their misinformation resulting in discontent. I felt driven to use this event to perhaps enhance communications.

I recently heard a quote from Mark Twain that indirectly fit our situation...it went something like this: "Lies can travel around the world before truth gets its boots on."

Hearsay is given more weight than facts in our community. Typical, I'm afraid for a small community in a small town.

Thanks RogerB for giving me some direction. It helped.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


08/26/2006 10:22 AM  
Joyce, I would try to control the meeting. At the start you can establish rules of conduct. Such as, the purpose of this meeting is to provide suggestions on how to improve the neighborhood. Complaints may be submitted at any time in writting for consideration by the Board.

The the person submitting the topic will be given first opportunity to speak. If there is time additional topics beyond those submitted can be discussed.

Follow Robert's Rules of Order - make sure everyone knows in advance that they must be recognized by the chairperson before they have the floor to speak. For those hostile homeowners who will not obey the rules the chairperson does not have to recognize them a second time. Do not accept motions as a Town Hall meeting is only an unofficial discussion group not an association meeting.
JosephW
(Michigan)

Posts:882


08/26/2006 8:43 PM  
One of the condo's I work with has both an annual and then a town hall type of meeting. Go to this link:

http://www.riverpinescondominiums.com/committees.htm

and click on any of the meeting links to see a PowerPoint they put together. If you have the ability to do this, it sort of focuses the attendees attention whenever you change a slide, allowing you to move the meeting along, change the subject, or use it for educating members about a specific subject.

Just a thought.

Joe

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JoyceS1
(Indiana)

Posts:140


08/27/2006 1:19 AM  
THANK YOU, JOSEPH!

What an excellent presentation via powerpoint!!!

Wonderful idea for our annual meeting AND the town hall meeting.

Thank you for sharing.

Very professionally done!

Joyce

LisaP
(Florida)

Posts:32


08/28/2006 7:49 AM  
Joyce:

To give yourself a bit of an edge, ask for your community members to submit questions/concerns to you/the Board prior to the Town Hall. This will help you prepare, although do not exclude anyone or any questions who didnt submit.

Be open to concerns addressed and dont be afraid to admit that you might not know all the answers. If you dont, just say you'll work to find an answer/solution. Thank everyone for their concern/question, even if you dont agree.

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