Decision Making Patterns and Processes
The process the board use is the parliamentary process. This process was demonstrated by the group only one topic being discussed at a time, one speaker at a time (whether on the board or the floor), and the use of a predictable agenda (Toseland & Rivas, 2012). Decisions were made by a vote between the two board members: Mr. Palmer and Ms. Carnes. At various times of the decision making process, a board member asked for clarification of a certain item of the proposal. Once a proposal by an individual on the floor was made, the president would ask for a motion and one of the members would make a motion, while the other seconded the motion. Once a proposal was passed, they would move on to the next item on the agenda. With the board only having two deciding voters, there wasn’t a majority or consensus vote. The vote was strictly “aye” or “nay”.
Management of Conflict/Differences
During this particular board meeting, I did not observe any conflict or differences of opinion. However, the board had a set agenda which had been revised prior to this session. I am unaware if this was due to conflict or a possible addition/change to the agenda.
I arrived rather early to the board meeting. During this time frame, I observed the members who appeared to relate to one another on a personal and professional level. It would appear this group would be attractive to others and with its members.
Group Goals and Hidden Agendas
The overall goals for the Board of Works and Safety is to create a safe environment for the public, manage matters as they arise for the local fire and police departments, and the board has a primary goal of maintaining a safe and sustainable infrastructure (personal communication, April 7, 2014). These goals were met throughout the session as the board heard issues involving several agencies such as Comcast, St. Joseph Men’s Society and Harborside Heritage Organization requesting assistance with community events. It was the board who suggested complete road closures to ensure the safety of community volunteers and children who may be present. The board heard a proposal for an agreement on the Public Safety Medical Service Agreement for both the Fire and Police Departments. Another proposal the board heard which would support these goals is the bids in regards to the US 421 Bridge over Interstate 94 for aesthetic improvements. There did not appear to be any hidden agendas within the board.
Due to this being the first meeting I have attended for this board, I am unaware of any prior norms. The norms which I assume from my observation are: only one person is allowed to speak at a time, only two members of the board vote, it appears the board looks to the board counsel for extensive clarification and leadership, and the board appears to show very little facial expression throughout the meeting. The process of parliamentary procedure would account...