Name and Purpose of the Group
This is an observation of the Board of Public Works & Safety in Michigan City. The overall purpose of this committee is to handle matters and property dealing with the local fire and police departments. The committee is responsible for making decisions in regards to public safety, street closures, street projects, street solicitations, and property demolitions.
During the board meeting, all members of the committee were present. The norm is for the group to be seated in a semi-circle with assigned seating. This was apparent in the nameplates being present at each station. The seating arrangement the committee has enables members to communicate with one another with minimal difficulty (Toseland & Rivas, 2012). The raised seating of Steve Janus served the purpose in presenting the status he holds within the board. Kim Sliwa served as the recorder and her seating position allowed her to hear what was being stated from the floor. The following is a diagram of how the board was seated in the Common Council Chambers of the City Hall Building.
The Board of Public Works and Safety commission meets every first and third Monday of the month. The Board of Public Works and Safety prior to the start of the meeting had an approved agenda. The board followed the agenda throughout the meeting with no variance. The meeting had no set time on conclusion and lasted approximately two hours. The purpose of the board was apparent during the meeting and the agenda focused around this purpose. The board heard issues surrounding the Michigan City Police and fire Departments, along with possible road closures needed for various community organizations, and construction to a few public properties.
Communication and Interaction Process
President Steve Janus opened the meeting by making a motion to begin. This was seconded by the vice president. During this board meeting there was little verbal or nonverbal communication from the board, except for seeking clarification on a matter or explaining possible issues with a particular agenda item. The norm for the interaction process appears to be a round robin effect. The president of the board would initiate the item on the agenda and the individual who was there to represent the company/group would than approach the podium to present their proposal. Once the proposal was complete various members of the board would then ask questions, seek clarification, or they would state, “There isn’t a need for discussion” and the board would than vote.
One of the first items on the agenda was the rededication of the Daniel D. Bruce Memorial located in Washington Park. The organizing individual began by asking permission from the board to tell the story of Mr. Bruce so that those who were not aware of what had transpired would understand the need for this service. The board president said this would be fine, but to please make it brief. During the speaker’s...