Batten Surveys Complete (56pgs)

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Hampton Roads Center for Civic Engagement's "Batten Surveys": A Regional Civic Capital Assessment 2008 - 2009 "Civic engagement is more than just attending a meeting or a public hearing. It's not a passive concept; it's an active concept. It's when people actively engage in their neighborhood or community either by doing something or really engaging in the thinking around doing something that allows them to create some positive change." -Chris Gates, Executive Director, Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement

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Batten Surveys Complete (56pgs)

  1. 1. The Batten Surveys: A Regional Civic Capital Assessment 2008-2009
  2. 2. The mission of the Center is to support sustainable deliberative democracy in Hampton Roads and to connect public decision making with civil dialogue and the informed judgment of the region’s citizens. Board of Directors: Program Fellows: Jim Babcock Joshua G. Behr Chris Bonney Carolyn Caywood Mary Bunting Barbara L. Clark Minette Cooper Michael Dingerson Louis Guy Kevin Fairley Clyde Hoey, Ramesh Kapoor Vice-Chairman and Treasurer Ed Maroney Quentin Kidd Nicole Auer McGee Henry Light Ken Wheeler Jim Oliver, Chairman Staff: Bob O’Neill Vivian Paige Betsy McBride, Executive Director Anita Poston, Counsel Susan Sharp, Administrative Director Suzanne Puryear, Secretary Todd Solomon, Program Director Roger Richman Web Master: Mike Rau John Rowe Graphic Design: Sue Curcio Alvin Schexnider Printing: Rocket Direct Bert Schmidt Ray Taylor Sanford Wanner Hampton Roads Center for Civic Engagement 5200 Hampton Blvd. Norfolk, VA 23508 Phone: 757.889.9359 www.hrcce.org
  3. 3. The Batten Surveys: A Regional Civic Capital Assessment 2008-2009 The Hampton Roads Center for Civic Engagement gives special thanks to Jane P. Batten for her generous support of this project.
  4. 4. Report Contents Page Civic Capital . ......................................................................................................................................................... i Batten Survey Interviews ................................................................................................................................... 1 Summary ............................................................................................................................................................... 2 #1. What are the rights and duties of citizens?............................................................................................. 4 #2. What should citizens be able to expect from government and what should government be able to expect from citizens?................................................................. 9 #3. How close to reality are the answers to the questions above, and why?.......................................... 13 #4. What role can/should citizens play in the day-to-day business of governance?.............................. 14 #5. When and where should citizens participate in public administration?............................................ 18 #6. How and when can/should public agencies and departments encourage and aid public participation?..................................................................................................................... 22 #7. What needs to be in place for this to happen?....................................................................................... 26 #8. What could be changed to increase or improve citizen participation?.............................................. 30 #9. What do officials misunderstand about engaging the citizens?.......................................................... 34 #10. What do citizens misunderstand about civic engagement?............................................................... 38 #11. What could be done to improve mutual trust? ................................................................................... 42 #12. Have you received any training related to public involvement? ...................................................... 46 #13-17. Regional Civic Engagement Report Card ......................................................................................... 47 #18. What do you think is the most important public issue for the region?........................................... 48 #19. What do you see as the citizens’ role in this issue?............................................................................. 49 All rights reserved for the interview results.
  5. 5. Regional Civic Capital Assessment Extraordinary Value: In.the.PricewaterhouseCoopers.report,.cities of the future – global competition, local.leadership,.six.forms.of.“capital”.are.identified.as.“essential.assets”.for.the. development.of.a.regional.strategic.agenda.... About.democratic.or.civic.capital,.the.report.says.the.requirement.for.government. entities.is.“To.renew.the.interest.and.activity.of.their.citizens,...develop.ways.to. make.themselves.more.accountable,.increase.the.transparency.of.their.decision. making.and.engage.citizens.directly.in.the.creation.of.policies.and.decisions.” Governance and Mutual Accountability: The.term.“civic”.refers.to.the.duties.and.rights.of.citizens,.particularly.their. involvement.in.actions.and.activities.that.support.a.sustainable.democracy... If.one.accepts.the.premise.that.the.civic.engagement.linked.to.civic.capital.is. of.value,.then.more.of.it.can.be.presumed.to.be.an.appropriate.regional.goal... However,.civic.engagement.requires.the.involvement.of.two.sets.of.actors... Citizens.must.accept.their.ultimate.responsibility.in.a.democratic.system.and. public.officials,.elected.and.appointed,.must.also.accept.their.responsibilities.for. public.processes.that.reflect.the.central.importance.of.citizen.participation.... There.must.be.a.shared.belief.that.citizens.can.be.co-producers.of.the.ideas.and. strategies.that.define.the.future.of.their.communities... Our Focus: The.Hampton.Roads.Center.for.Civic.Engagement.is.responding.to.these.identified. requirements.for.regional.advancement.by.beginning.with.an.assessment.of.the. civic.capital.in.the.Hampton.Roads.region...To.begin.a.regional.conversation.about. where.we.want.to.be.and.what.will.be.required;.we.start.with.where.we.are...In. late.2008,.we.began.work.on.two.surveys.to.benchmark.the.civic.health.and. capital.of.the.Hampton.Roads.region...The.first.is.a.less.formal.personal.interview. survey.and.the.second,.a.statistically.valid.random.sample.telephone.survey,. designed.and.completed.by.professionals....... i
  6. 6. “..liberty.depends.on.sharing.in.self-government”.which.“requires.a.formative.politics,. a.politics.that.cultivates.in.citizens.the.qualities.of.character.self-government.requires.”. ............(Michael.Sandel,.Democracy and Its Discontents) Dear.Neighbors,. we. inders.of.how.much.we.o .surrounded.by.the.rem re In.Hampton.Roads.we.a aid.that. rnment...But.it.has.been.s ossible.our.form.of.gove s,.we.have.rights.but.we. to.those.who.have.made.p ork.of.citizens...As.citizen e.do.the.w we.are.not.citizens.until.w also.have.duties... ts. tion:...“What.are.the.righ s.start.with.a.large.ques iew The.Batten.Survey.Interv ... and.duties.of.citizens?”.. . rom.dying.for.the.country s.for.a.citizen.can.range.f The.obvious.list.of.dutie .must.be. t.to.be.sustained,.citizens . s...But.for.self-governmen ip... .turns.at.active.citizensh to.not.running.red.light .their.time.and.take.their sues.of ns.are. informed.on.the.public.is eadily.available.or.if.citize formation.needed.is.not.r allenge. .in This.is.not.possible.if.the .means.we.come.at.the.ch blic.decision.making...This .and. ,.encouragement,.training not.welcomed.into.pu nd.officials.need.coaxing ens.a from.two.sides...Both.citiz new.experiences... er?..We.don’t.think.so. .high Could.the.stakes.be.any . grand. although.that.would.be.a. ing.the.issue.of.the.day,. This.isn’t.just.about.fix at.would. e.community,.although.th . t.about.strengthening.th outcome...This.isn’t.jus lt... also.be.an.important.resu ple...Democracy.must.be. .or.any.collection.of.peo .us Democracy.isn’t.owed.to d.and.protected. . ocracy.have.to.be.learne he.habits.of.dem practiced...T al.. ore.than.merely.essenti agement.of.citizens.is.no.m The.eng . . Betsy.McBride . irector President.and.Executive.D . or.Civic.Engagement Hampton.Roads.Center.f .
  7. 7. “Citizens.must.convey.facts.that.are.believable.and.in.conversations.that.are. bigger.than.about.just.what.I.want.–.you.must.be.ready.to.say.‘here.is.what.I. am.willing.to.do.’”.(Citizen Leader in interview) “Government.works.best.when.it.is.informed...When.there.is.disconnect,.there. is.dissatisfaction.”. (Elected Official in interview) “Government.is.not.the.enemy;.it.is.the.citizens’.tool.”. (Appointed Official in interview) The Batten Survey Interviews During.late.2008.and.early.2009,.Center.friends.and.board.members.conducted. the.interviews.of.many.individuals.engaged.in.the.public.work.of.the.region,.either.as. appointed.or.elected.officials.or.as.civic.leaders...Each.interview.included.the.same. questions,.but.not.everyone.answered.every.question... We are very appreciative of those who agreed to be interviewed. Each candid interview yielded unique and useful insight. We have included all of the comments but not for individual attribution. A special thank you to the following individuals who generously provided their time to conduct the interviews: Jim Babcock Chris Bonney Minette Cooper Louis Guy Ellis Hinnant-Will Clyde Hoey Betsy McBride Jim Oliver Vivian Paige Bert Schmidt 1 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  8. 8. Summary: Plentiful Common Ground Information and Communication The.matched.set.–.the.citizens’.right.to.be.informed.and.the.duty.to.be.informed.echoed. through.the.interviews.with.elected.and.appointed.officials.and.with.other.civic.leaders...A. citizen.asked.to.be.trusted.with.good.and.bad.news.while.another.worried.that.bad.news. might.be.used.irresponsibly.against.officials...Trust.and.the.sharing.of.information.were.linked. by.many.interviewees.... All.groups.said.that.citizens.have.a.right.to.be.listened.to.and.also.be.accountable.for.using. “facts”.and.providing.“honest.input.”.. There.was.not.any.mention.of.any.problem.from.getting.too.much.information.or.any.specifics. about.information.gaps...All.forms.of.new.information.technology.were.suggested.as.promising. tools.for.more.sharing.of.information.... Process .All.interview.groups.said.they.expect.fair,.open,.transparent.and.accountable.government. that.operates.with.integrity.and.competence...There.was.mention.that.training.to.increase. competence.around.civic.engagement.processes.is.necessary.and.that.dedicated.resources.and. public.involvement.policies.will.be.needed.to.increase.public.involvement.... . Civic.engagement.around.the.big.strategic.decisions.was.called.for...An.elected.official.said.civic. engagement.should.be.used.“often.and.continuously”.and.another.said.there.is.a.“need.to.get. public.input.from.day.one.and.not.after.decisions.have.been.made.”...... . The.duty.to.be.supportive.when.appropriate,.was.added.to.the.often-mentioned.duty.to.speak. up...Civility.and.respect.were.called.for.along.with.greater.understanding.of.decision.making. processes...All.of.the.groups.mentioned.the.misunderstandings.that.follow.the.unrealized. expectation.that.citizen.input.always.changes.a.decision...Officials.and.citizens.said.they. worried.about.the.distrust.that.comes.when.citizens.conclude.that.they.have.not.been.heard. when.a.policy.decision.is.not.aligned.with.public.sentiment...More.than.one.interviewee.said. that.more.communication.after.a.public.decision.would.increase.overall.public.understanding.. Those Engaged . An.appointed.official.said.that.what.is.needed.is.“Willing.citizens.and.open.government.”...A. civic.leader.was.also.succinct.about.what.is.needed,.“First,.a.receptive.attitude;.if.that.does.not. exist,.don’t.bother.with.the.rest.” Trust The.oft-repeated.cure.for.distrust.was.more.information,.more.communication.and.more. work.together...In.other.words,.true.civic.engagement.with.good.information.and.timely. communication. . 2 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  9. 9. Training There.were.calls.for.training.for.civic.engagement.and.also.reports.of.receiving.training... A.review.of.the.comments.describing.training.demonstrates.a.broad.interpretation.of. what.is.considered.public.involvement.training.and.by.extension,.what.is.considered.to. be.public.involvement........ .. Regional Civic Engagement Report Card In.the.same.spirit.as.the.maxim.“all.politics.is.local,”.interviewees.gave.the.highest. average.regional.grade.“B”.to.the.civic.engagement.efforts.of.their.own.groups...Effort. more.removed,.i.e..“civic.engagement.in.regional.issues,”.received.the.lowest.grade.“D.” What do you think is the most important public issue for the region? Three.regional.issues.dominated.“the.most.important.public.issue”.list...They.were. transportation,.regionalism.and.the.economy-.in.that.order...The.order.may.be.different.if. the.interviews.were.redone.now... Of.the.three.most.frequently.mentioned.regional.issues,.elected.officials.and.other. citizen.leaders.ranked.transportation.highest.of.the.three...The.economy.was.the.highest. ranked.of.the.three.top.issues.by.appointed.officials....Regionalism,.the.second.most. frequently.mentioned.regional.issue.overall,.was.not.ranked.as.important.by.elected. officials... The Details Read.the.comments.in.detail...They.contain.great.insight..... The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  10. 10. #1 - What are the rights and duties of citizens? Elected Officials said: To.be.educated,.knowledgeable.and.responsible. All.citizens.deserve.what.is.guaranteed.under.the.Constitution.–.safety,.freedom. and.privacy...Duties;.participate,.vote,.communicate,.don’t.be.apathetic,.have.lots.of. participation.from.the.public.and.faith-based.groups. Rights.–.have.effective,.efficient,.responsible.and.responsive.government...Duties.–. participate.in.assuring.this.will.happen.in.meaningful.and.informed.ways. Rights.–.honest,.transparent.government;.safe.environment;.take.care.of.neediest;.vote... Duties.–.be.informed.and.pay.attention,.offer.opinions.and.suggestions,.obey.laws,.vote. The.rights.of.our.citizens.are.delineated.in.the.Constitution.of.the.U.S..and.the.various. states...Rights.are.further.defined.in.laws,.codes.and.ordinances...Citizen.duties,.as.they. pertain.to.their.rights,.are.to.stay.knowledgeable.of.government.actions,.develop.an. understanding.of.these.actions,.support.the.rule.of.law.and.actively.seek.to.change.laws. that.unduly.infringe.on.individual.constitutional.rights. Participation.and.input. Citizens.have.a.right.to.be.heard.and.to.expect.government.to.listen...Biggest.duty.of.the. citizen.is.to.be.knowledgeable.on.issues.in.the.community.and.to.get.involved. Appointed Officials said: Citizens.have.both.a.“right”.and.a.“duty”.to.participate.in.the.partnership.that.is. government.in.our.country...Citizens.can’t.sit.on.the.sidelines.and.presume.government. will.do.things.the.way.they.want.them.done...They.have.to.be.willing.to.actively.participate. (volunteer,.serve.on.boards.and.commissions,.come.to.meetings,.actively.learn.about. issues,.vote,.etc.).in.order.to.execute.their.part.of.the.“partnership.”..Citizens.are.also. responsible.for.how.they.engage.in.the.process.of.government.which.touches.on.issues.of. how.“civil”.they.are,.to.the.amount.of.time.and.energy.they.invest.to.be.knowledgeable. about.the.working.of.government.that.may.be.of.interest.to.them. This.is.their.city,.we.are.their.employees!..Their.duties.are.to.be.engaged.in.our. proceedings. To.be.aware.and.to.participate,.at.all.levels,.see.that.elected.officials.hear.what.is.important.. . Voting.alone.is.not.enough. Rights.–.To.be.informed,.to.be.heard,.to.be.educated.on.the.issues,.to.know.what.is. happening.and.the.right.to.ask.questions...Duties.–.To.hold.us.accountable...To.vote.with. your.feet...To.question...To.always.be.out.there...Here.that.is.not.easy.–.with.our.tourism. economy,..many.need.two.jobs...And.the.race.issue.is.alive.in.our.community,.some.people. don’t.feel.heard. 4 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  11. 11. #1 - What are the rights and duties of citizens? Appointed Officials (continued): To.pay.attention.to.their.government,.to.vote,.to.pay.their.taxes,.to.give.their.elected. representatives.their.opinions.on.issues.that.concern.them.and.affect.their.well-being. Citizens.have.a.“duty”.to.be.involved.in.order.to.keep.their.“rights.” Although.eloquently.outlined.in.historical.documents.such.as.the.Bill.of.Rights.and. the.Declaration.of.Independence,.the.rights.of.citizens.should.definitely.include.the. ability.to.pursue.a.significant.livelihood.and.one’s.personal.happiness.without.fear. of.persecution,.provided.one’s.own.pursuit.of.these.rights.does.not.hinder.others.or. infringe.in.any.way.upon.another.citizen’s.rights...Among.the.most.important.duties.of. a.citizen:.Pursue.positive.interaction.with.fellow.citizens.and.lend.one’s.talents.to.the. community.for.the.good.of.all,.be.it.in.a.civic.or.governmental.volunteer.position. To.participate,.to.communicate,.to.educate.themselves.on.the.issues.and.alternatives. To.be.law.abiding.citizens.and.actively.participate.and.be.mindful.of.government. functions...Also.be.active.in.civic.organizations. Rights:..To.be.heard.with.fairness,.dignity.and.honesty...Duties:.To.be.informed.and. engaged...System.works.ONLY.with.the.consent.of.the.governed. To.be.actively.engaged.in.their.government.and.the.communities.where.they.live. We’re.all.citizens,.therefore.the.rights.and.duties.need.to.be.transparently.understood. by.all.of.us. Right.to.be.invited.to.the.table...Right.to.be.informed...Information.needs.to.be. readily.available.and.understandable...Duty.to.be.informed...Duty.to.be.involved.and. participate. To.take.citizenship.in.a.democratic.society.as.a.solemn.obligation.to.our.nation. Duties.of.citizens.–.To.participate.in.the.political.process.–.voting,.learning.about. candidates,.donate.-.in.other.works,.voting.plus...To.participate.in.the.judicial.process. –.jury.duty,.you.should.also.know.about.the.court.system.and.how.it.works...Not.to. stop.with.easy,.comfortable.answers.on.complicated.issues.like.global.warming...To. participate.in.law.and.order.and.obey.it,.except.for.civil.disobedience...To.report.crime... To.be.informed.about.public.policy.decisions,.to.keep.up.and.learn.in.depth...To.think. critically.-.don’t.accept.party.lines...To.question.authority,.make.use.of.the.news.and. gather.knowledge.for.on-going.use...To.know.your.municipal.government.structure.–. who.does.what...Rights.of.citizens.–.to.be.let.alone.–.government.should.be.minimalist... To.make.mistakes,.to.be.wrong.or.stupid...To.have.the.paths.of.mobility.open...To. information.–.particularly.about.government.and.what’s.going.on...To.have.government. be.my.information.gathering.agent...To.move.around,.to.travel...To.have.coverage.from. the.Universal.Declaration.of.Human.Rights...To.raise.your.kids. The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  12. 12. #1 - What are the rights and duties of citizens? Appointed Officials (continued): They.need.to.be.told.that.it.is.their.duty.to.participate...They.need.to.gain.knowledge.and.ask. questions.on.issues...Citizens.should.participate.and.ask.questions.before.decisions.are.made. Stay.informed.and.inform.the.elected.officials.of.their.opinions. Other Citizen Leaders said: Right.to.voice.opinions.affecting.themselves;.must.understand.rights.and.then.exercise.them. Right.–.Involvement...Most.people.are.afraid.of.it...They.don’t.think.their.voice.counts...Duties. –.Be.informed,.get.educated.but.not.to.the.point.of.distracting.others,.be.polite.and.civil. Awareness.and.a.right.to.correct.information. Their.rights.are.to.voice.their.opinions.and.participate.in.public.discussions...Their.duties.are. to.gain.knowledge.and.express.their.opinions.to.those.in.a.position.to.make.decisions. Citizens.have.a.duty.to.abide.by.the.laws.of.the.state...With.that.duty,.citizens.have.individual. right.flowing.from.the.first.ten.amendments.to.the.Constitution. Rights.–.numerous...Duties.–.to.be.informed.on.important.issues,.to.participate.in.the. process. Citizens.have.a.right.to.access.meetings.and.information.in.a.timely.way.prior.to.and. after.decisions...They.have.a.duty.to.be.knowledgeable.and.informed.about.community. and.regional.needs,.information.and.pending.issues...They.have.a.duty.to.be.active.and. constructive.in.specific.community.endeavors.whether.it.is.helping.neighbors,.civic.leagues,. churches,.government,.charities.or.some.such. Duties:..Do.what.is.necessary.to.achieve.good.government...Rights:..Depend.on.collective. action;.rights.can.be.lost.. To.care.for.each.other.and.speak.up.to.policy.makers;.advocates.for.themselves. To.abide.by.laws,.to.work.to.change.unfair.or.inadequate.laws,.to.contribute.skills.to. community. Citizens’.rights.include.these:.the.right.to.have.government.respect.our.property;.the.right.to. be.taxed.only.as.much.as.is.necessary.to.provide.the.minimum.government.needed;.the.right. to.be.secure.in.our.homes;.the.right.to.have.adequate.choices.in.elections;.the.right.to.have. confidence.in.our.government;.and.the.right.to.be.able.to.believe.what.our.government.tells. us...Citizens’.duties.include.these:.the.duty.to.educate.oneself;.the.duty.to.provide.for.one’s. family;.the.duty.to.plan.for.the.future;.the.duty.to.participate.in.government.by.speaking,. writing.and.voting. The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  13. 13. #1 - What are the rights and duties of citizens? Other Citizen Leaders (continued): To.have.an.active.role.in.our.government...To.know.what.is.going.on.and.participate. Responsibility.for.a.working.model.for.government...Got.the.best.model.so.far,.but.demand. mutual.respect.and.trust...We.are.all.stakeholders...The.role.of.the.individual.in.society. –.separate.or.sharing...The.public.will.understand.the.global.perspective.on.which.the.region. must.compete. To.participate.in.the.government.process,.to.be.informed.of.the.issues.affecting.them....To. vote.in.all.elections. A.citizen.has.rights.guaranteed.by.the.Constitution...We.have.civil.rights,.rights.to.live.in. a.safe.place,.to.be.educated.and.to.have.a.job...We.have.responsibilities.to.vote,.to.speak. up.when.you.see.something.wrong,.to.participate.in.your.community.–.the.PTA,.your.civic. league,.political.practices,.working.at.the.polls...Duties.–.Government.officials.are.to.make. decisions.and.to.stand.up.and.lead. Government’s..role.is.to.provide.good.public.system,.i.e..schools,.police,.waste.management,. infrastructure...Citizens.should.understand.they.must.fulfill.their.roles.through.paying. attention.to.rules.and.regulations.put.in.place.for.services.to.run.smoothly.(how.to.put.out. one’s.garbage,.attending.their.schools’.functions,.obeying.stop.signs,.etc.).In.other.words,. taxes.don’t.cover.everything. The.rights.and.duties.of.citizens,.beyond.what.the.Constitution.provides,.are.in.the.eye.of. the.beholder...If.civic.participation.is.to.be.considered.a.duty,.it.needs.to.be.taught...John. Kennedy’s.famous.“Ask.not.what.your.country.can.do.for.you,.ask.what.you.can.do.for.your. country”.was.a.call.for.a.generation.to.give.back.to.their.country...The.duties.of.the.citizen. come.from.a.sense.of.purpose,.of.contribution.to.the.whole,.of.participating.in.something. larger.than.oneself...This.sense.of.duty.is.something.that.cannot.be.legislated.or.mandated,. but.must.come.from.within...It.must.be.handed.down.from.one.generation.to.the.next. We.need.to.recognize.we.are.all.citizens.therefore;.we.need.to.inform.and.be.informed. Among.the.most.important.duties.of.a.citizen:.pursue.positive.interaction.with.fellow.citizens. and.lend.one’s.talents.to.the.community.for.the.good.of.all,.be.it.in.a.civic.or.governmental. volunteer.position. Our.rights.are.spelled.out.in.the.Bill.of.Rights.and.the.Constitution...We.have.an.obligation.as. a.citizen.to.participate.in.the.affairs.of.the.community,.the.state.and.the.nation...That.means. becoming.educated.on.the.issues.and.expressing.an.opinion. Citizens.have.the.right.to.be.heard...Citizens.have.the.duty.to.speak.up,.if.they.desire.to.do... To.trust.(or.hope).and.not.speak.up,.is.not.a.fault... The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  14. 14. #1 - What are the rights and duties of citizens? Other Citizen Leaders (continued): These.rights.are.embedded.with.one.another.and.hard.to.separate...They.inform.each. other...You.have.the.rights.you.exercise...You.have.a.duty.to.exercise.them...You.have.a. responsibility;.you.own.it,.whatever.it.is,.you.own.it...In.the.past.there.was.a.sense.of. public.service,.it.is.diminished...We.have.reduced.our.expectations.and.their.performance... It.became.a.tactic.to.diminish.regard.for.public.service....There.is.a.right.to.expect.the. highest.level.of.performance,.of.competency...We.have.a.duty.to.demand.it.and.also.to. recognize.it.when.it.exists...Symbols.matter...There.is.a.willingness.to.forgive,.maybe.we. can.repair.and.mend.the.relationship...State.of.the.relation.now?..Because.of.the.financial. problems,.we.might.now.find.we.need.each.other.and.that.we.have.more.in.common.than. we.thought.. Citizens.have.a.right.to.good,.honest.government.and.to.a.government.that.is.responsive. even.though.the.citizen.may.not.like.the.response...Citizens.have.a.right.to.know.what.their. government.is.doing,.and.in.Virginia,.the.Freedom.of.Information.Act.greatly.facilitates. this.right...The.exercise.of.a.good.citizenship.is.a.major.duty.of.all.citizens...A.significant. component.of.good.citizenship.is.involvement. Citizens.have.a.right.to.get.advance.information.and.a.chance.to.participate.in.important. community.issues...They.have.a.duty.to.speak.up.on.anything.where.they.have.a.strong. opinion.or.special.knowledge. Right.of.citizens.to.have.transparency.in.government...Duty.of.citizens.to.be.well.informed,. not.“bumper.sticker”.informed. To.be.heard.and.considered,.since.they.are.paying! Basic.human.rights.are.declared.in.the.preamble.to.the.Declaration.of.Independence.(life,. liberty.and.the.pursuit.of.happiness).and.civil.rights.are.those.enumerated.in.the.Bill.of. Rights.attached.to.the.U.S..Constitution,.as.amended.from.time.to.time.and.as.interpreted. by.the.Supreme.Court.(the.most.fundamental.of.which.are.freedom.of.thought,.speech. and.assembly)...In.recent.decades,.some.groups.have.asserted.specific.social.rights,.such. as.the.right.to.have.a.job.or.an.education.or.health.care,.which.may.acquire.enough. public.support.to.result.in.legislated.rights...Citizens’.fundamental.duties.include.voting,. obeying.laws.and.serving.on.juries.and.commissions.and.in.the.military...One.can.add. an.implied.duty.to.seek.enough.information.about.public.issues.and.the.performance.of. elected.officials.to.be.able.to.express.informed.judgments.in.the.“Great.Conversation”.that. sustains.a.democracy. Right.to.open.access.to.information.on.a.timely.basis.–.government.probably.tries,.but. things.move.slower.in.a.democracy...Right.to.have.public.leaders.make.their.case.and.be. clear.about.their.preferences...Duties:..Duty.to.act.based.on.facts,.not.emotions...Duty.to. really.hear.details.–.pros.and.cons...Duty.to.use.information...Duty.to.stand.up.in.support. of.issues...Duty.to.hold.officials.accountable...Duty.to.be.reasonable.–.“don’t.ask.for.more. roads.and.not.be.willing.to.pay.for.them.” 8 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  15. 15. #2 – What should citizens be able to expect from government and what should government expect from citizens? Elected Officials said: Citizens.should.allow.government.to.do.the.job.they.are.elected.to.do.and.provide.the. services...Government.should.expect.citizens.to.participate.in.finding.the.answer. Citizens.need.to.be.informed,.understand.government’s.functions. Citizens.should.expect.openness,.honesty,.integrity,.management.of.the.public.trust. Citizens.should.expect.transparency.on.all.issues.and.answers.to.their.inquiries. Government.should.expect.to.listen.to.citizens.and.not.assume.they.are.empowered... Government.should.look.to.citizens.for.information.and.for.citizens.to.get.involved. Citizens.should.expect.core.services...Government.should.expect.the.citizen’s.willingness. to.support.or.pay.for.core.services. Citizens.should.expect.honest.and.good.information;.quality.services;.integrity.from.staff. and.elected.officials...Government.should.expect.citizens.to.educate.themselves.on.issues. and.understand.civic.engagement.processes. Citizens.should.expect.government.to.operate.in.a.fair.and.open.manner,.that.actions.will. be.in.the.best.interest.of.the.entire.community.and.not.just.a.select.few,.that.actions.will. be.based.on.fact.and.informed.judgment,.and.that.a.reasonable.effort.will.be.made.to. provide.notice.of.a.pending.action...The.government.should.expect.its.citizens.to.provide. input.to.pending.actions.and.to.abide.by.the.decision.once.established. Appointed Officials said: Citizens.should.expect.their.government.to.make.decisions.in.the.best.interest.of.the. citizens;.for.government.to.pursue.without.fail.the.well-being.of.the.community.and. of.the.individual.citizen,.within.the.framework.set.forth.in.the.U.S..Constitution,.the. Bill.of.Rights,.and.the.Declaration.of.Independence...Government.should.expect.its. citizens.to.actively.engage.in.the.democratic.process,.offering.suggestions.for.improved. governmental.operations.–and.serving.when.possible.on.citizen.boards.and.commissions. which.can.encourage.and.promote.effective.government. Citizens.should.expect.honesty,.integrity.and.competence...Government.should.expect. civility.and.wisdom.from.citizens. Open.and.unemotional.communication. To.be.good.stewards.of.government.functions...Again,.citizens.should.abide.by.the.laws.of. the.government. 9 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  16. 16. #2 – What should citizens be able to expect from government and what should government expect from citizens? Appointed Officials (continued): Citizens.should.expect.decisions.in.the.best.interest.of.the.citizens.and.to.be.treated.fairly. and.equitably...Government.should.expect.honest.input. Citizens.should.expect.from.government.good.public.purpose...Government.should.expect. from.citizens.honest.reasoned.input. Citizens.should.expect.their.government.to.provide.a.healthy,.financial.and.safe.environment. that.protects.public.resources...Government.should.expect.citizens.to.be.a.part.of.the. solution.when.it.is.time.to.address.community.problems.and.build.the.bridges.that.support. community.sustainability. Citizens.should.expect.less.in.the.sense.that.government.is.not.“Daddy.”..Government.should. expect.to.be.challenged.by.citizens.and.not.see.questions.and.opposition.as.threatening...We. have.to.work.collectively.on.issues.and.problems,.not.just.hand.them.over.to.government. Citizens.should.expect.open.and.transparent.government...Government.needs.to.value.public. participation/involvement. Government.should.expect.from.citizens.–.active.engagement.in.their.government...A. willingness.to.listen,.but.not.to.trust...To.check.on.government.–.government.is.human... Citizens.should.expect.from.government.–.transparency.and.that.government.will.screw.up... To.get.honesty.and.a.structure.that.checks.on.government...Government.is.conducted.by. humans.–.humans.fear.embarrassment,.they.make.mistakes. Prudent.use.of.public.resources.to.serve.the.best.interests.of.the.communities...Dialogue. about.areas.of.disagreement.with.their.government. Citizens.should.expect.honesty,.integrity.and.competence...Government.should.expect.civility. and.wisdom. Government.exists.to.serve.the.people,.to.improve.their.welfare.and.happiness... Other Citizen Leaders said: Citizens.have.a.right.to.expect.their.government.to.respond.to.their.phone.calls,.inquiries,. visits,.etc...Citizens.should.expect.their.government.to.act.in.a.transparent.fashion... Government.has.a.right.to.expect.its.citizens.to.stay.as.current.as.possible.on.the.issues. facing.the.government...Government.also.has.a.right.to.expect.a.courteous.dialogue.with.its. citizens.. Citizens.should.expect.from.government.accountability,.stability,.services.and.education... Government.should.expect.from.citizens.taxes.and.accountability. 10 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  17. 17. #2 – What should citizens be able to expect from government and what should government expect from citizens? Other Citizen Leaders (continued): Citizens.have.a.right.to.believe.that.their.tax.dollars.are.being.used.efficiency,.that.their. neighborhoods.are.safe.and.that.their.voices.are.listened.to.by.policy.makers...Government. should.expect.that.people.should.pay.their.fair.share.for.things.like.roads.and.schools.and. that.people.in.government.are.there.to.provide.public.service... Citizens.should.expect.fair,.honest.and.unbiased.government...Government.should.expect. responsible.participation. Citizens.should.expect.to.be.part.of.the.process...Government.should.expect.people.to.be. reachable.and.that.the.process.must.allow.time.to.reach.agreement. Citizens.should.expect.mutual.respect.and.participation...Government.should.expect.ideas. Citizens.should.expect.government.to.be.fiscally.responsible.and.open.to.review... Government.should.expect.citizens.to.be.knowledgeable. Citizens.should.expect.the.government.to.be.honest,.to.be.fiscally.responsible,.to.provide.for. good.schools.and.to.have.the.vehicles.in.place.and.in.tune.to.hear.from.us...The.government. should.expect.that.citizens.will.participate.in.the.process,.that.we.will.vote.and.express. ourselves,.that.we.will.be.informed.and.know.about.the.world. Citizens.should.expect.government.to.be.open.and.objective...Government.should.expect. citizens.to.be.engaged. Citizens.expect.government.to.listen.to.and.reflect.our.interests.and.requests...Government. should.not.only.listen,.but.give.out.information.and.data.only.it.can.know.before.citizens. undertake.thoughtful.comments...Government.should.expect.many.different.opinions.and. reactions.and.learn.to.sift.which.are.perceptions.which.require.clear.explanations.only,. and.which.are.concerns.which.must.be.fleshed.out.fully...Government.must.also.fill.in.the. large.service.areas.such.as.garbage.disposal,.public.safety,.public.health...These.are.not.well. handled.by.small.initiatives. Citizens.should.expect.the.Constitutional.guarantees.of.life,.liberty,.and.the.pursuit.of. happiness...In.addition,.citizens.deserve.honest.and.open.government,.with.as.much. explanation.for.government.actions.as.possible...Government.should.expect.citizens.to.be. as.informed.as.possible,.be.law.abiding.and.if.they.so.choose,.participate.as.volunteers.or. elected.officials. Citizens.should.expect.open.and.interest.government.officials.and.processes...Government. should.expect.citizens.to.speak.up.and.help.their.communities. 11 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  18. 18. #2 – What should citizens be able to expect from government and what should government expect from citizens? Other Citizen Leaders (continued): Citizens.should.be.able.to.expect.efficient.services,.and.services.that.they.need... Government.should.be.able.to.expect.the.citizens.to.understand.that.government.serves. everyone,.not.just.the.individual...Cited.example.of.retirees.not.supporting.school.taxes. Communication.between.citizens.and.government. Fairness,.rules.apply.to.both.sides...Truthfulness;.govern.with.integrity. From.government.–.emergency.services.for.region.over.local.lines...From.citizens. –.involvement,.participation,.advice. Citizens.should.expect.government.to.listen.to.and.consider.their.ideas.while.the. government.should.expect.the.citizens.to.monitor.their.actions.and.participate.(when. requested).in.finding.solutions.to.critical.issues. Citizens.and.government.need.to.view.“regional”.in.an.historical.sense...Cape.Henry,. Williamsburg,.Hampton.are.a.living.part.of.who.we.are...Citizens.have.to.show.up. when.there.are.opportunities.to.participate...Government.must.provide.safe.adequate. infrastructure,.i.e..roads,.police,.etc...At.the.same.time,.government.should.be.policy. driven...Government.should.have.a.plan.for.land.use,.safety...City.should.provide.a.vision. and.strategic.plans.need.to.be.implemented...Virginia.Beach,.for.example,.is.a.young.city. struggling.to.build.a.vision. Government.should.act.in.the.public.interest,.which.is.what.a.leader.would.do.if.he.saw. clearly,.thought.rationally.and.acted.dispassionately...If.elected.leaders.pursue.the.public. interest,.citizens.should.support.those.leaders.who.are.dedicated.to.the.public.interest... If.they.don’t,.throw.the.rascals.out. Citizens.should.expect.(1).integrity,.and.(2).serious.attention,.and.study.on.those.subjects. for.which.lawmakers.make.their.decisions...Government.should.expect.(1).response.from. the.public,.(2).the.possibility.that.new.and.creative.ideas.may.be.generated.by.and.at.the. citizen.level,.(3).inputs.of.reasonable.quality.as.opposed.to.flippant.inputs,.and.(4).that.it. will.have.to.differentiate.between.inputs.that.are.genuinely.civic-minded.and.those.that. are.advanced.by.lobbyists.and.special.interests. Citizens.look.to.government.mainly.for.physical.security.(national.defense,.police). and.justice...In.modern.times,.most.citizens.also.demand.government.to.intervene.to. support.the.economy,.regulate.commerce,.invest.in.public.works,.and.provide.numerous. other.services.(though.the.extent.of.such.functions.provides.the.content.for.political. debate).–.all.delivered.fairly.and.without.corruption...Willingness.to.be.taxed.is.the. principal.necessity.for.government.to.perform.to.expectations...Government.also.needs. participation.of.citizens.on.advisory.bodies.and.juries.and.for.military.service. 12 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  19. 19. # 3 - How close to reality are the answers to the questions above, and why? The.first.two.interview.questions. asked.about.rights,.duties.and.mutual. expectations...This.question.asked.how. close.to.their.described.ideal.is.the. present.reality. 72%.of.those.interviewed.stated. that.today’s.reality.is.not.close.to. the.ideal.state.when.compared.to. their.descriptions.of.what.should.be. the.mutual.expectations.of.citizens.and. government. The following are a few examples of answers provided by those who thought reality is not close: • Today's.reality.does.not.approach.the.quot;percentage.of.realityquot;.that.is.needed.for.local. governments.to.be.quot;high.performingquot;.organizations...Part.of.the.challenge.lies.with.local. government.in.finding.new.ways.to.engage.our.citizens...Many.of.the.quot;oldquot;.models.like. traditional.quot;town.hall.meetingsquot;.simply.don't.work.as.well.any.more...Today's.citizens.expect. information.and.dialogues.to.be.readily.accessible.at.their.fingertips.at.a.time.and.place. convenient.to.them...So.there.are.challenges.on.both.sides.of.this.equation. • Citizens’.lives.are.busy.and.often.selfish---as.well.as.full.of.distrust.about.government... Government.is.pressed,.short.on.resources.(to.include.civic.engagement.competencies).and. often.overwhelmed.with.complexity.and.ill-informed.stakeholders,.to.include.government. officials.(both.elected.and.staff). • Not.even.close.–.too.much.distrust...Leads.to.apathy...Perception.of.influence.by.special. interests. • Lack.of.trust.by.both.groups.and.minimal.public.engagement.in.the.early.stages...Citizens. spend.all.their.time.fighting.issues.when.we.should.spend.all.our.time.helping.come.up.with. the.best.solutions. The following are a few examples of answers provided by those who thought reality is close: • Compared.to.most.of.the.planet,.we.are.close.to.these.expectations.because.of.our.deeply. held.common.values.and.heritage. • Somewhat.close...I.believe.that.current.laws.make.it.difficult.to.circumvent.open.government.. . However,.I.believe.citizens.are.too.trusting.of.government. • I.believe.the.elected.officials.make.an.effort.to.know.the.citizens’.positions . • Local.government.goes.above.and.beyond.what.is.required...Citizens.-.some.don't.vote,.break. laws...Not.100%.possible,.but.most.are.civil.and.law.abiding.and.care. 13 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  20. 20. #4 – What role can/should citizens play in the day-to- day business of governance? (not government) Elected Officials said: Become.involved...Ask.for.opportunities.to.serve.on.commissions. They.are.needed.as.watchdogs.and.should.demand.accountability. Feedback.from.citizens.as.long.as.they.are.informed...Be.on.commissions,.attend.forums,. and.access.Web.site. Watch.City.Council.cable.channel.for.all.updates.and.votes. Pay.attention.to.neighborhood.and.neighbors...Local.government.functions.best.with.eyes. and.ears.and.neighborliness. Not.much.and.I.wouldn’t.expect.them.to. They.need.to.explain.what.they.want. They.should.provide.information,.be.aware.of.what.the.issues.are.and.voice.their.opinions. Appointed Officials said: Citizens.should.be.regularly.engaged.in.dialogue.and.discussion.surrounding.important. issues...Local.government.needs.to.have.a.constant.and.reliable.source.of.grassroots. feedback.in.order.to.truly.be.successful...Too.often,.citizen.engagement.only.occurs.in. those.instances.in.which.the.citizen.is.personally.impacted.in.a.negative.way. Talk.about.the.issues.with.city.employees. Not.very.much...Keep.issues.in.front.of.us...Tell.us.right.or.wrong. Provide.input.to.elected.and.appointed.officials.on.governance.issues. To.express.their.service.needs.or.opinions.on.what.can.be.improved. Most.of.the.time,.citizens.and.the.city.start.down.a.path,.do.some.pretty.good.things.and. then.one.or.both.let.it.slide.and.do.not.stick.with.it. Citizens.can.exercise.their.right.to.vote.in.local,.state.and.federal.election,.they.can.serve. on.boards.and.commissions.which.work.closely.with.governmental.bodies.and.they.can. offer.constructive.criticism.for.improved.governmental.operations. Let.their.views.be.known...Not.good.to.operate.in.a.vacuum. 14 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  21. 21. #4 – What role can/should citizens play in the day-to-day business of governance? (not government) Appointed Officials (continued): Day-to-day.business.should.be.the.responsibility.of.employees.hired.to.perform.such.functions. Help.shape.broad.public.policy.by.input.and.participation. Citizens.should.once.again.volunteer.to.serve.on.committees.and.boards.and.act.as.liaisons. between.the.governance.structure.that.plays.a.role.in.shaping.policies.and.programs. Citizens.need.to.participate.in.ways.beyond.just.paying.taxes. To.provide.feedback. They.should.stay.reasonably.informed,.offer.advice.if.they.have.it,.volunteer.in.some.way.and. vote. Be.aware.and.volunteer. Say.informed.on.issues.and.communicate.with.elected.officials... Other Citizen Leaders said: Be.informed,.education.is.the.key. Serving.on.advisory.boards.and.commissions. The.citizens.should.not.try.to.micro-manage.the.government. They.should.express.their.ideas.at.council.meetings.and.work.in.forums.to.provide.advice.and. counsel.to.those.who.govern. Be.vigilant.in.assuring.that.the.laws,.rules.and.regulations.are.carried.out. Go.to.public.hearings. Citizens.should.essentially.“delegate”.their.confidence.to.government.for.regular.services.AFTER. governments.make.available.good.and.timely.information.about.the.policies,.procedures.and. programs.that.govern.the.localities’.services...Citizens.have.a.responsibility.to.pro-actively.learn. about.the.services.and.published.expectations...Citizens.should.then.essentially.operate.as. partners.–.providing.comments.to.government.when.the.services.are.not.delivered.properly,.etc. Citizens.should.be.judicious.in.involvement.and.let.people.do.their.jobs,.supported.when.right.and. not.lambasted. 15 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  22. 22. #4 – What role can/should citizens play in the day-to-day business of governance? (not government) Other Citizen Leaders (continued): Not.quite.clear.on.the.question...Like.participation.in.town.halls? Reading.newspaper.accounts.of.what.is.actually.being.done...Keep.a.critical.watch.over. the.governmental.activities. Again,.education.is.the.key...That.requires.time,.so.citizens.must.devote.some. minimum.level.of.time.to.attend.to.what.is.happening.in.their.communities. Citizens.should.take.the.time.to.become.informed...Even.though.most.everyone. has.taken.at.least.one.government.class.in.school,.most.citizens.do.not.know.or. understand.the.day-to-day.business.of.governance...Citizens.must.take.the.opportunity. (make.time).to.educate.themselves.on.the.day-to-day.business.of.governance. They.can.be.“eyes.and.ears”.for.what.is.done.right.and.wrong.with.day-to-day.business. and.they.can.participate.in.the.important.processes.–.budget,.planning,.etc. Citizens.elect.people.to.make.decisions...But.many.citizens.think.that.they.can.direct. the.details.of.government...The.system.doesn’t.provide.for.detailed.management. of.government...As.an.example,.we.vote.on.school.board.members,.who.will.direct. curriculum...Citizens.don’t.lay.out.the.details.of.curriculum. Step.forward.–.public.feedback. In.one.sense,.not.much,.given.the.multifarious.ways.we.now.expect.government.at. all.levels.to.be.involved.with.everything...But,.in.general,.a.responsible.citizen.will. keep.abreast.of.the.main.public.issues.of.the.day.through.perusing.newspaper,.TV,. magazines,.the.Internet.and.by.gossiping.with.neighbors.and.fellow.workers...Then,.the. concerned.citizen.will.speak.up.when.it.appears.necessary.to.“explain”.something.to.an. elected.official.or.bureaucrat. There.needs.to.be.more.of.a.role,.accountability.is.at.stake...There.is.not.enough. diversity.on.advisory.boards,.government.needs.larger.pools.to.draw.and.appoint. from...Could.use.something.as.simple.as.focus.groups...Citizens.must.be.involved.in.the. strategic.planning.for.the.overall.vision. Know.what.issues.impact.your.community...Understand.the.issues,.know.the.best.way. to.contact.your.government,.attempt.to.reduce.work.instead.of.adding.work,.provide. quality.input.at.the.right.time,.as.the.right.questions.without.causing.conflict. Advise.elected.officials,.attend.public.meetings.and.hearings,.keep.elected.officials. informed,.form.associations.of.like-minded.individuals.to.amplify.one’s.opinion,.rally. and.demonstrate.if.necessary. 16 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  23. 23. #4 – What role can/should citizens play in the day-to-day business of governance? (not government) Other Citizen Leaders (continued): Citizens,.those.desiring.and.able.to.do.so,.can.and.should.monitor.the.progress.of. programs.and.study.the.issues...Citizens.should.play.little.or.no.role.in.the.day-to-day. operations.of.public.agencies.or.government.departments. Citizens.can.state.what.is.bothering.them.whether.that.is.potholes.or.bullying.in.schools... Then,.the.infrastructure.for.carrying.complaints.beyond.complaining.must.be.in.place. and.there.must.be.a.sense.that.we’re.all.in.this.together. I.believe.the.average.citizen.has.enormous.powers.to.affect.the.business.of.governance... As.a.former.elected.official,.I.have.seen.firsthand.what.can.be.accomplished.when. citizens.engage.is.issues.of.importance.to.them. One.way.citizens.become.involved.in.governance.not.government,.is.stepping.in.where. the.city.fails.to.act...For.instance,.the.historic.VB.house.properties.required.a.few. committed.citizens.to.form.a.group.in.the.1980s.which.has.guided.the.vision.on.their. value.to.the.City...The.group.moved.on.to.work.with.City.staff.and.although.preservation. remains.contentious.and.has.become.politicized,.it.still.is.a.good.example.of.the. necessity.for.citizen.governance. To.sometimes.offer.themselves.up.for.office. Be.involved.and.keep.knowledgeable.of.the.issues...Participate.in.the.process. Responsibility.–.recognize.their.role.and.take.it. They.should.vote.and.know.what.is.going.on...They.should.speak.up.on.issues.and.be. pro-active. . 17 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  24. 24. #5 - When and where should citizens participate in public administration? In.response.to.“when”.citizens.should.participate,.“early.in.the.process”.was.a.very.common.theme...In. response.to.“where”.citizens.should.participate,.public.hearings.and.boards.and.commissions.topped. the.list...The.following.lists.provide.the.most.mentioned.responses. When Where Public.meetings,.hearings,.council.meetings,..town. As.policy.is.being.developed halls,.committee.meetings Serve.on.boards,.commissions,.committees,.and.task. During.the.planning.process forces As.early.as.possible Talk.with.elected.officials Civic.and.neighborhood.group.functions During.the.concept.period Use.existing.participation.structures.(comment. During.the.budget.process periods,.board.reviews) Anytime.they.are.asked Write.letters.to.the.newspaper.editor E=Elected Official A=Appointed Official O=Other Citizen Leader Citizens.can.participate.in.two.primary.ways...First,.they.can.volunteer.their.expertise. and.serve.on.formal.or.ad-hoc..boards,.commissions.and.committees.that.advise.the. local.government.administration.on.issues.and.policies...Second,.they.can.participate.in. A a.more.“organic”.grass.roots.fashion.to.provide.input.and.advice.into.the.workings.of. local.government...I.don’t.see.a.significant.role.in.actual.administration.beyond.these. types.of.activities. A Neighborhood.Office,.serve.on.committees,.speak.at.public.hearings. A Talk.to.staff.(educate).before.going.to.elected.officials...Use.the.committee.structure. We.have.a.training.academy.and.tell.citizens.they.can.call.directly...Staff.is.always.asking,. A telling.and.talking.to.people...We.share.phone.numbers.and.Neighborhood.Connections. will.run.interference.for.citizens.and.believe.that.citizens.do.have.a.role. A At.public.hearings,.public.meetings.and.op-ed.responses. A It.is.disappointing.that.people.do.not.come.to.City.Council.meetings.. A An.individual.choice.for.each.citizen. A Where.ever.their.comfort.zone.allows,.formal.or.informal. A During.the.planning.process. Role.in.questioning.long.standing.policies.“We’ve.always.done.it.this.way.”.Question.is. A “why?” A Boards.and.committees. 18 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  25. 25. #5 - When and where should citizens participate in public administration? E=Elected Official A=Appointed Official O=Other Citizen Leader Citizens.need.to.have.avenues.which.allow.participation.as.issues.and.problems.and. A expenditures.are.planned. Citizens’.values.should.be.reflected.in.public.policy.decisions.but.without.violating. the.consciousness.of.minorities...Citizens.should.not.be.expected.to.become.experts... A And.clearly,.when.directly.affected.–.like.with.land.use.decisions.or.when.things.have. long-term.implications. A Boards,.commissions,.city.meetings,.public.hearings. A Access.elected.and.appointed.officials.and.at.public.hearings. E Show.up.at.meetings.and.talk.with.elected.officials.before.issues.are.studied. E Apply.for.appointments,.if.interested...Input.is.needed...Voting. E Chat.with.their.elected.representatives. Public.hearings.for.the.planning.commission.and.city.council,.boards.and. E commissions,.volunteerism,.neighborhood.councils. Through.board.and.commissions.as.needed.by.the.government...Parks.and.Rec,. E Storm.Water.Management,.Planning.Commission,.Economic.Development.and.the. Library.are.some.that.come.to.mind. E Public.forums,.committees.and.hearings. E Boards.and.commissions.and.public.hearings. Individuals:.assess.what.is.happening.–.speak.up...Groups.–.powerful.tool,. O organize.to.be.heard. O Not.behind.closed.doors.or.as.decisions.are.made. O Public.hearings,.boards.and.commissions,.public.programs. O At.council.meetings,.study.sessions,.at.hearings.and.commission.meetings. O In.all.government.commissions,.boards.at.all.levels. O Volunteer.for.boards,.etc. Citizens.should.participate.actively.as.policy.decisions.are.developed.and/or.reviewed. for.modification...They.should.also.participate.in.those.services.that.are.essentially. co-produced---say.community.policing.(neighborhood.watch,.etc)...Citizens.should. feel.free.to.suggest.when.and.where.services.should.be.a.partnership.with.the. O community...And.they.should.certainly.participate.in.workshops,.hearings.or.other. forums.where.programs.and.budgets.are.discussed.and/or.decided...Governments. want.responsible.citizen.involvement.and.will.actually.add.more.participation.on.a. voluntary.basis.when.it.is.enjoyed.and.performed.responsibly...“You.can’t.fight.city. hall”.is.wrong-headed...It.takes.very.few.people.to.change.the.direction.of.city.hall. 19 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  26. 26. #5 - When and where should citizens participate in public administration? E=Elected Official A=Appointed Official O=Other Citizen Leader O As.customers,.they.have.a.right.and.duty.to.speak.freely.if.not.being.served. O Advisory.groups,.neighborhood.improvement/civic.groups,.churches. Volunteer.for.boards.and.commissions,.attend.public.hearings,.participate.in.civic. O leagues.and.other.available.groups. Citizens. should. be. willing. to. provide. comments,. positive. and. negative,. to. those. who. O administer. their. governments.. . Be. willing. to. attend. public. hearings. and. speak. out. on. issues. The.short.answer.is.daily.and.at.whatever.venue.is.offered...If.they.do.participate,.then. O most.citizens.wait.until.a.public.hearing.in.city.hall.on.a.matter....This.is.not.exercising. good.citizenship. Anytime.they.see.something.good.or.bad,.anytime.they.have.a.suggestion.for.improvement. O and.each.time.there.is.a.budget.or.planning.opportunity. O Look.for.waste...Cancel.funds.for.programs.proven.to.fail. As.indicated.above,.they.should.be.willing.to.set.aside.personal.commitments.to.serve. formally.on.juries,.commissions.and.in.the.military...They.should.also.be.willing.to.attend. O and.speak.at.hearings.or.other.types.of.opportunities.to.provide.“guidance”—whether. or.not.sought. There. should. be. small. cooperative. groups. given. specific. tasks. –. in. the. spirit. of. the. O volunteer.office...Use.citizens.in.brainstorming.–.“none.of.us.is.as.smart.as.all.of.us.”. . Sometimes,.the.bureaucracy.negatively.impacts.relations. When?. . As. early. as. possible,. preferably. at. the. concept. stage.. . Where?. . . Town. Hall. O meetings,.committee.meetings,.civic.meetings,.public.forums.. Generally,. I. support. a. professional. civil. service.. . Opportunities. to. serve. on. boards,. O commissions,.committees,.and.task.forces.are.excellent.means.to.provide.rational.and. objective.input. Citizens,.those.desiring.and.able.to.do.so,.should.respond.to.any.and.all.public.notice. requests. for. public. inputs;. should. take. advantage. of. agency. or. public. hearing. public. O comment.periods;.should.produce.studied.papers.or.OpEds.on.selected.subjects;.and. should.participate.in.or.monitor,.public.agency.board.meetings.or.other.events. Boards.and.commissions,.neighborhood.groups.such.as.civic.leagues.can.be.very.effective. O when.trained. Citizens.should.participate.in.public.administration.in.areas.they.have.passion.or.expertise.. . O My.experience.is.with.local.government.and.there.are.numerous.boards,.commissions. and.other.efforts.that.constantly.need.the.involvement.of.the.citizens. The.average.citizen.doesn’t.take.advantage.of.the.many.ways.he.can.be.involved...Every. project.(or.most).has.times.for.citizen.input.or.uses.citizen.advisory.committees.to.help. O guide.the.process...VB.Middle.School.is.a.good.example.and.31st.Street.is.an.example.of. how.not.to.engage.the.public. 20 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  27. 27. #5 - When and where should citizens participate in public administration? E=Elected Official A=Appointed Official O=Other Citizen Leader O On.committees,.communicating.with.elected.officials,.speaking.at.a.public.hearing. Passing.buck...You.would.hope.there.would.be.a.channel.for.participation...Takes.a.long. O time.to.get.to.the.table.with.action.from.suggestions. O Boards.and.commissions...Attend.hearings. 21 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  28. 28. #6 - How and when can/should public agencies and departments encourage and aide public participation? E=Elected Official A=Appointed Official O=Other Citizen Leader In.the.broad.context,.public.agencies.should.encourage.and.aide.public.participation.to. monitor.and.evaluate.progress.(i.e..How.are.things.going?).and.when.changes.in.course. are.being.considered.(i.e..change.in.vision,.policy.).This.input.generally.falls.into.either.a. discussion.regarding.“tactical”.issues.versus.“strategic”.issues..Both.are.ripe.for.public. A participation...The.question.of.when.seems.to.me.to.differ.according.to.what.is.the.nature. of. the. desired. participation.. . The. more. “tactical”. questions. warrant. a. more. frequent. structure. of. input. while. the. “strategic”. questions. come. about. less. often. but. generally. require.a.more.intense.collaboration. A We.provide.public.hearings.on.specific.issues.where.we.establish.a.dialogue. A Advertise;.recruit.committees.. A When.public.participation.adds.value.to.the.governance.process. A By.providing.information.freely.and.being.accessible.to.the.public. When?..Always,.but.particularly.during.the.community.comprehensive.planning.process. where.decisions.made.therein.will.affect.the.entire.community.for.many.years....How?..By. A attending.public.meetings,.such.as.City.Council.Meetings,.Planning.Commission.Meetings. and.by.answering.city-wide.surveys.sent.by.government.to.gather.citizen.input.. A Venue.is.important...Make.it.convenient.and.comfortable...Less.formal.settings. During. the. formation. of. governmental. policy. and. regulations. sponsored. by. the. A government. When.setting.broad.public.policy..Should.light.rail.have.been.part.of.the.Midtown.Tunnel. A project.being.advertised? A As.often.as.necessary.and.not.wait.until.there.is.a.community.crisis. Public.agencies.and.departments.must.actively.go.out.into.the.community.to.formally.ask. for.information.and.help.in.solving.difficult.problems.such.as.gang.activity...There.must.be. A an.ongoing.public/civic/.community.dialogue.at.the.conversational.informal.one-on-one. level.as.well. Make. it. easy. technically.. . E-notification,. email,. people. (not. machines). answering. A phones,.publish.phone.numbers.of.officials...But.mostly,.have.an.attitude.that.welcomes. participation. A Public.hearings,.special.forums,.boards.and.commissions. 22 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  29. 29. #6 - How and when can/should public agencies and departments encourage and aide public participation? E=Elected Official A=Appointed Official O=Other Citizen Leader E Encourage.volunteerism,.participation.in.public.events. Have.a.duty.to.notify.citizens,.offer.opportunities.to.comment,.plenty.of.technical. E possibilities,.be.open.as.possible,.build.trust. We.need.to.do.a.better.job.of.telling.what.the.city.has.done...Do.a.better.job.of.creating. E forums.and.meetings...Doing.better.on.the.Web.site...Newspapers.are.not.the.future... City.TV.channel.with.information...Provide.an.avenue.for.communication. E Often.and.continuously. Provide.information.before.a.decision.and.help.guide.the.decision...Desire.to.participate. E seems.to.be.growing. Media.for.announcements.and.public.hearings.or.comment.sessions.are.the.usual. E approach...Elected.officials.need.to.take.a.proactive.role.in.holding.yearly.town. meetings. E They.need.to.get.public.input.from.day.one.and.not.after.decisions.have.been.made. They.should.seek.out.public.comment.before.decisions.are.made.as.to.solutions.for. E issues. O At.very.beginning.in.any.project;.very.thoroughly. Through.the.communication.process...Get.agencies.to.have.people.active.in.creative. O solutions. O Public.settings...One-on-one.visits.with.officials. By.hosting.public.comment.sessions.at.various.times.of.the.day.and.at.all.commission. O and.council.meetings...All.agencies.and.departments.should.encourage.public. participation.in.planning.and.comment.opportunities.. O By.all.acceptable.means.possible,.as.often.as.necessary. Use.on-line.tools..Be.available.for.discussions.in.the.media...Hold.public.discussion. O forums. Anytime.and.anywhere.public.safety.or.health.or.quality.of.life.is.concerned...The.front- O end.is.the.best.time.but.localities.should.review.services.periodically.to.determine.when. and.how.cooperation/participation.can.better.occur. Regularly.and.often;.more.than.“public.meetings”.which.are.too.often.designed.to.mute. O voices...Use.more.creativity.and.sincerity. They.have.a.duty.to.educate.the.public..Collect.the.facts,.analyze,.make.available.on. O Web.site..Meetings.should.be.held.at.a.time.when.people.can.participate.. . 23 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  30. 30. #6 - How and when can/should public agencies and departments encourage and aide public participation? E=Elected Official A=Appointed Officia O=Other Citizen Leader Opportunities.to.volunteer.should.be.publicized...Public.forums.should.have.clear.topics. O and.multiple.occasions.to.participate...Council.and.senior.administrators.should.be. clearly.available. More.and.more.citizens.communicate.through.electronic.means:.email,.texting,.on-line. O searching,.etc. Again,.this.answer.depends.on.the.issue.and.the.situation...However,.public.agencies. O must.take.proactive.measures.to.make.sure.that.citizens.understand.the.issues.and. participate.in.the.debate.of.the.same. Every.issue.should.comply.with.a.specified.public.engagement.component.that.flows. from.a.formal.public.engagement.policy...There.should.be.resources.to.promote,. O educate,.encourage,.empower.and.facilitate.the.public.at.all.stages.of.public.decision. consideration.and.decision.making. Certain.events,.like.budgets,.comprehensive.plans,.big.tax.increases.where.concentrated. education.is.needed...We.don’t.pay.government.enough.to.have.on-line.dialogue.with. O every.single.person...The.public.doesn’t.make.decisions;.they.elect.people.to.make. decisions. O EARLY,.before.decisions.are.made...Fact.gathering.while.approach.is.still.on.the.table. One.of.the.reasons.governments.take.longer.than.businesses.to.make.decisions.and. execute.them.is.the.worthy.effort.often.made.to.provide.opportunities.for.citizens.and. special.interests.to.express.ideas.and.preferences.on.contemplated.activities...Often.this. process.of.public.consultation.is.described.cynically.as.prudent.“cya”,.but.if.new.policy. or.major.expense.is.involved,.the.public.should.be.consulted..However,.the.extent.to. O which.this.should.be.done.can.be.over-emphasized...For.example,.it.may.take.years.for. the.City.of.New.York.to.execute.a.project,.even.just.cleaning.up.a.nuisance.property,. because.of.the.layers.of.process.that.have.been.foisted.on.its.agencies.over.the.years... Ideally,.once.responsible.officials.complete.the.consultation.process,.to.whatever.degree. is.appropriate,.bureaucrats.should.be.free.to.execute.without.interference,.with.results. subject.to.audit.and.disclosure. O Needs.to.be.a.culture.of.openness. Whenever.they.need.to.make.a.decision.that.impacts.a.community.or.individual.... O Whenever.a.decision.spends.a.lot.of.taxpayer’s.money...Hold.public.hearings,.visit.civic. groups,.contact.individuals,.mediate.development.projects. Use.all.means.possible...Read.the.newspaper,.handle.phone.calls.respectfully,.consider. opinion,.especially.that.which.is.critical,.hold.meeting,.hearings,.written.comment. O periods,.attend.community.events.to.listen,.not.talk,.and.in.all.ways.be.open.to. communication. 24 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  31. 31. 6 - How and when can/should public agencies and departments encourage and aide public participation? E=Elected Official A=Appointed Official O=Other Citizen Leader First,.they.need.to.generate.the.idea.that.such.civic.engagement.is.useful...Then.they. have.to.generate.space.and.procedures.for.this.to.happen.and.they.need.to.design. that.process.to.be.one.in.which.the.agency’s.board.members.are.not.made.victims.and. become.the.subjects.of.fury.and.rage,.but.rather.that.the.agency.designs.the.process. in.a.way.that.steers.the.public.to.make.comments.on.subjects.for.which.the.agency. needs.input...For.example,.allow.and.seek.public.comments.on.a.certain.two.or.three. O agenda.items.in.an.MPO.Board.meeting.instead.of.all.topics.on.the.agenda.(or.even.any. subject.not.on.the.agenda)...The.idea.of.a.public.comment.period.at.the.beginning.of. a.Board.meeting.requires.the.public.to.comment.before.being.aware.of.the.agencies. information,.and.a.public.comment.period.at.the.end.of.a.Board.meeting.risks.having. public.comments.put.forward.“after”.a.decision.was.made...All.this,.of.course,.is.not. easy. People.need.to.see.the.process.before.it.unfolds.as.well.as.understanding.the.unfolding... Asking.for.public.input.after.the.decision.has.been.made.has.led.to.public.disinterest.as. O well.as.public.distrust..Asking.for.citizen.input,.then.ignoring.it.by.saying.government.is. acting.in.their.best.interest,.is.one.of.the.worst.habits.our.local.governments.have. Public.agencies.and.departments.should.encourage.public.participation.on.a.regular. basis..Having.gone.through.this.exercise.on.numerous.projects,.I.can.attest.that. sometimes.the.process.is.a.bit.messy.and.laborious..I.can.also.attest.that.involving.the. O public.at.crucial.decision.points.of.an.issue.has.provided.great.insight.that.has.led.to. improvements.not.originally.considered,.as.well.as.winning.the.support.of.people.in. order.to.move.forward.with.the.project..Basically,.the.time.to.keep.the.public.informed. is.during,.not.after,.the.decision.making.process. O Be.as.transparent.as.possible...Encourage.rather.than.discourage.public.participation. Time.-.take.the.time.to.do.their.job...It’s.their.job.to.aide.public.participation.but.many. O seem.bothered.by.it. O Prior.to.decision.time...Newsletters.and.public.meetings.to.educate.the.public. 25 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  32. 32. #7 – What needs to be in place for this to happen? Elected Officials said: An.organizational.plan.on.how.to.involve.the.public. Willingness.to.be.transparent...Can’t.have.things.to.hide...Have.to.be.honest. Internet,.especially.for.young.people. Trust.of.local.government. Commitment.from.staff.and.elected.officials.to.put.these.things.in.place...It.takes.lots. of.staff.time,.so.there.has.to.be.a.commitment. Energy.and.care. Government.needs.to.believe.the.public.will.respond.if.asked.and.will.be.honest.in. their.information. Public.officials.need.to.change.their.negative.attitude.about.public.engagement. Appointed Officials said: First.of.all,.you.need.leadership.that.embraces.and.values.this.kind.of.input... Second,.you.need.the.“infrastructure”.to.successfully.carry.out.this.type.of.complex. information.gathering...This.infrastructure.includes.trained.facilitators,.the.people. necessary.to.handle.the.logistics.and.manage.the.data.collection.and.lastly,.you. need.an.effective.network.of.grassroots.leaders.and.organizations.willing.to.serve.as. partners. The.City.(Hampton).includes.this.in.its.planning.process. Internal.structure,.TV,.Web,.press...Special.interest.areas.assigned.to.staff...Meetings. in.neighborhoods. The.culture,.would.need.knowledge.of.how.to.do.it...Need.to.resist.the.feeling.that. government.knows.best. Local.government.policy.statement.endorsed.by.citizens.defining.expectations. Better.civic.understanding.by.citizens.and.public.servants. Effective.public.communication.between.government.and.citizens. Neighborhood.town.hall.settings. Active.public.awareness.campaigns. 26 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  33. 33. #7 – What needs to be in place for this to happen? Appointed Officials (continued): Change.public.meetings.–.now.only.gripe.sessions...Need.well-planned.preliminary. communications. Support.from.all.levels.of.government.from.the.city.administration.and.elected. officials. Belief.that.these.are.valuable,.not.painful.and.not.a.waste.of.time...Elected.officials. have.blamed.public.servants.in.public.and.it.was.painful...A.thorough.understanding. of.how.to.frame.issues.to.ask.for.input.that.can.be.responded.to.honestly...Ask.for. manageable.input.–.to.frame.the.appropriate.question...Time.to.repeat.processes.until. the.public.believes...Need.to.know.how.to.avoid.loud.citizens.imposing.their.will. The.geographic.area.and.community.of.interest.needs.to.be.addressed.through.better. means...Newspapers,.even.city.pages,.are.not.reaching.many.people..Therefore,.more. outreach.rather.than.always.expecting.citizens.to.convene.for.a.discussion.held.far. from.their.homes.or.requiring.childcare.and.other.special.arrangements. A.commitment.by.government.to.open.up.channels.and.behave.in.an.open.way. Use.of.technology,.public.events.that.encourage.participation. Willing.citizens.and.open.government. Other Citizen Leaders said: Education.system.must.be.restructured.to.include.social.justice.with.math.and.science... Children.need.to.understand.that.citizens.affect.public.policy. Regional.authorities.–.too.many.directions,.fighting.each.other...Problems.–.population. bases.or.power.bases...Need.to.have.a.center.to.be.a.region. Have.a.fair.and.balanced.citizen.organization. Better.advertisement.of.meetings.and.hearings.and.the.encouragement.of.citizens.to. participate.in.open.discussions.about.issues. Boards.and.commission.requirements. The.tools.exist;.just.need.the.desire.to.use.them. Localities.should.establish.“social.contracts”.with.neighborhoods.and.citizens.at.large. regarding.how.and.when.decisions.will.be.made...Local.decisions.at.the.neighborhood. level.require.conversations.at.scales.that.are.closer.and.more.intimate...But.even.large. city.or.county-wide.decisions.should.have.an.explicit.social.contract.that.sets.out. expectations.for.involvement.and/or.adjustments.based.on.performance. 27 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.
  34. 34. #7 – What needs to be in place for this to happen? Other Citizen Leaders (continued): Use.computers;.pick.“best.practices”.for.input.from.others. Email.lists,.electronic.distribution,.Web.presence. Sell.your.Web.site.to.the.public...When.council.members.are.running.for.office.items. should.be.discussed.broadly. Government.could.easily.offer,.for.example,.email.updates.to.those.on.email. address.lists.tailored.to.specific.citizen.interests...Citizens.could.be.asked.to.sign.up. on.the.lists.that.interest.them,.to.keep.current...These.email.lists.are.maintained. today.by.many.organizations.and.companies,.and.they.are.easily.updated.by.those. on.the.list.by.offering.a.place.at.the.bottom.of.each.email.to.change.the.applicable. email.address.or.to.unsubscribe.to.that.particular.email.sequence. Education.on.how.to.do.it.for.both.the.citizen.and.the.government. Dedicated.resources.and.a.well-defined.public.engagement.policy.and.set.of. processes. Tools,.ask.early,.on-line.surveys,.use.public.participation.consultants. As.a.practical.matter,.responsive.government.means.elected.leaders.and.public. managers.who.are.sensitive.to.when.public.consultation.is.appropriate...Has.debate. during.the.election.provided.a.mandate?..Is.the.matter.utterly.routine.and.subject. to.considerable.prior.precedents?..Has.the.actual.plan.been.given.reasonable. public.exposure?..Is.notice.adequate.or.should.hearings.be.held?..A.good.politician,. especially.one.in.opposition,.will.raise.the.hue.and.cry.when.an.important.issue. needs.more.public.involvement. The.public.needs.to.believe.their.input.will.be.taken.seriously...Feels.sometimes.like. we.are.asked.only.because.they.are.obligated.to.ask,.don’t.know.what.will.be.done. with.answers. A.highly-motivated.civic.engagement.mindset.in.the.government.agency...An. understanding.by.the.citizens.that.they.must.participate...A.good.citizen.hierarchy. First,.a.receptive.attitude;.if.that.does.not.exist,.don’t.bother.with.the.rest.... Better.communication.with.open.forums,.Web.sites. Improve.mindset.–.people.aren’t.addressing.job/issue.at.hand. Better.sharing.of.information. People.need.to.be.motivated...They.should.participate.because.this.is.“my. neighborhood.”..Sometimes.it.requires.an.issue.in.involve.citizens. 28 The.Batten.Surveys:.A.Regional.Civic.Capital.Assessment.

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