Public Participation Task Force 

(disbanded June 2014)

Group of citizens

On June 2, 2014 the Public Participation Task Force presented its final recommendations to the City Council.  Although the task force itself has been disbanded since they have completed their work, recommendations are being discussed through Council work sessions. 





COUNCIL GOAL: "By December 2014, the Council will revise its processes and structures into a more effective and efficient citizen engagement program to develop diverse future leaders, enhance communication between citizens and the Council, help connect citizens to each other to strengthen community and neighborhoods, and utilize the expertise of citizen volunteers in solving community problems."

Mayor Manning appointed the following citizens to the Public Participation Task Force:

(The following information was submitted by  Ward 1 Councilor Penny York for discussion at the August 5, 2013 City Council Meeting)

The Council's primary source of input and advice from citizens is through its system of boards and commissions. Therefore the Council is forming this task force to review this system and to bring back suggestions for ways that it can better facilitate communication and enhance decision-making. Additional opportunities to advise the Council and engage in grassroots community leadership include providing direct testimony to the Council through correspondence and oral presentation and through participation in neighborhood associations. These issues are to be considered by the Task Force in the context of the system of boards and commissions. All Task Force meetings will be open to the public.

* 8 to 10 Corvallis citizens, including the chair, to be appointed by the Mayor.
* Individuals with a diverse set of skills, experience with a variety of public boards and organizations, and history of citizen participation.
* A nonvoting City Council liaison, to be appointed by the Mayor.
* A nonvoting staff support person, to be designated jointly by the Mayor and the City Manager.

The Task Force will consider the issues below in their study and deliberations. The Task Force will develop alternative options to recommend to the City Council for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the City's board and commission system.

1. The number and scope of boards and commissions

a. Are there areas of duplication between existing boards and commissions?
b. Are there any boards and commissions whose area of study is so small or narrow that they could be incorporated into another related group or community organization?
c. Are there any significant areas of City Council responsibility where the Council doesn't receive systematic citizen advice? Are there gaps in the board and commission system that would benefit from a change in the scope of a current group or the formation of a new group?
d. Suggest how to combine, divide or otherwise reorganize these groups so that they are as effective and efficient as possible.

2. The formation, evaluation, revision and sunsetting processes

a. What criteria should the City Council use to determine if a new board or commission should be created?
b. Consider how best to define and evaluate effective board and commission operations and outcomes.
c. Consider how to balance the roles of boards and commissions as well-informed and neutral advisors to the Council as opposed to advocates for a particular point of view.
d. What criteria should the Council use to make significant changes in one or more boards or commissions?
e. Consider revising the process and/ or developing criteria to guide Council decisions about ending boards and commissions.
f. How should the effectiveness of staff support be evaluated?

3. Relationship with City operating departments

a. The relationships between individual boards and commissions and the related operating department vary greatly. What should the relationships be?

4. Council liaison role

a. What should the role of the City Council liaison be?  

5. Opportunities to advise the City Council

a. Is access available to all citizens to give thoughtful input and advice to the City Council through the board and commission system? If not, are there ways to improve the board and commission system for better access?
b. Is there adequate access to citizens to advise the Council through means other than the boards and commission system? If not, suggest methods of improvement.

6. Cost factors

a. It is important to ensure that decisions are timely, citizens feel that their efforts are meaningful, and city resources are used well. Identify ways to streamline or reduce the use of staff support.
b. Identify ways to maximize the use of citizen volunteers.

7. Committee for Citizen Involvement

a. Is the current configuration of this group the most effective means of addressing the Oregon Land Use System Goal One?  If not, how might this goal be better met? 

8. Neighborhood associations

a. Neighborhood associations provide opportunities to build community and address issues that affect residents of particular geographical areas of the city. Does the City's public participation system adequately encourage neighborhood engagement and neighborliness? If not, identify methods for improvement. 

Time line

  • The Mayor will appoint the Task Force members, Council liaison, and staff support in August 2013.
  • The Task Force will hold its first meeting in September 2013.
  • Meetings will be held approximately twice per month.
  • In six months (April 2014) the Task Force will report back to the City Council with recommendations for improving our system of boards and commissions.
  • After the April 2014 report the City Council may choose to adopt some or all of the recommendations of the Task Force. It may ask for additional work of the Task Force or declare the work complete.


* 'Effectiveness' means improved communication between residents and appointees with the Council and staff in ways that result in better, more informed decision making.

* 'Efficiency' means purposeful and limited use of city resources, including staff time, volunteer time and other direct costs."

Last updated: 1/30/2015 3:43:39 PM