Municipal Meeting Agenda Template

A board meeting agenda can do so much more than list the topics to be covered. Ideally, it provides visual clues that impose structure in three ways:

  1. It identifies the action to be taken on each point. A highly useful agenda indicates not only each topic, but where it is in its life cycle – from motion to discussion to vote. Simply identifying the stage of each topic is a game-changer for boards with a history of endless, aimless discussions; it creates the expectation that each discussion will reach an endpoint, at which time a decisive vote will be taken.
  2. It directs readers to relevant documents and past actions. These directions often appear highlighted or in a different color ink so a reader can glance at the agenda and see all of these orienting directives.
  3. It announces time limits. Municipal meetings have earned a reputation for hosting long-winded diatribes. On the agenda, the chair can set a start time for each item, which clarifies when the prior section must conclude. She can also set a time limit for each item of public input, such as 10 minutes per speaker.

As the agenda serves as public notice of a meeting, it can also invite requests for accommodations, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The resulting agenda will set the stage for an uncommonly productive meeting. It’s easy to set one up by following this template:


MUNICIPAL AGENDA TEMPLATE

HEADING

Name of the School District.

Date. Time. Location.

Statement of ADA compliance, with invitation to request particular accommodations.
BODY

  1. Call to Order – 4:00 p.m.

General Welcome

Roll Call

[Some districts have the Pledge of Allegiance here.]

  1. Consent Agenda – 4:05 p.m. A consent agenda saves time by consolidating voting on routine approvals, such as the minutes of the last meeting and the reports of the committees of the board. The minutes and committee reports should be predistributed on the school board’s website, with instructions to read them before the meeting. Do not take up meeting time to read those documents aloud. If a posted item is more controversial than anticipated, any item on the consent agenda can be removed for separate consideration.

Vote on: (1) minutes of the last meeting; and (2) reports of the committees of the board – e.g., Personnel, Finance, Security. Acknowledgment that minutes and reports were predistributed.

  1. Superintendent’s Report – 4:10 p.m.

IV. Business of the board4:30 p.m. Each item in this section must be ushered
through the stages of discussion, motion and voting. The agenda should clearly
indicate if each item is up for preliminary discussion or resumed discussion in light
of new information from committee investigation or outside expert input. If the

school board needs to vote to approve a measure, that fact should be indicated on

the agenda. Some boards require that votes be taken in a later meeting than the

meeting in which it was discussed. Whatever the case, the agenda must clarify

the action(s) to be taken on each item.

A. Old Business. These items are taken from past agendas. Any business that
was tabled or sent to committee should receive discussion here. Any business
that was discussed but not voted on should be up for a vote here.

1. Item a. Discuss. (History of board action on issue and location of related
documents)

2. Item b. Resume Discussion in Light of Committee Research. (History of
board action on issue and location of related documents)

3. Item c. Vote (History of board action on issue and location of
related documents)

B. New Business. These items have not appeared on previous agendas. Most
will be at the discussion stage. Some boards allow them to proceed from
discussion to vote within a single meeting.

1. Item a. Discuss (Location of related documents)

2. Item b. Discuss (Location of related documents)

3. Item c. (Location of related documents)

Discuss

- Vote

V. Public Testimonies – 5:00 p.m. If the public is invited to meetings and
permitted to speak, preregistration to speak on specific topics can keep mayhem at
bay. It is the chair’s prerogative to impose time limits on each speaker. Posting time

limits on the agenda makes it far easier to cut off a speaker in the course of the
meeting without appearing biased. This section of the agenda then looks like this:

  1. Speaker 1 – Topic 1. Up to 10 minutes.
  2. Speaker 2 – Topic 2. Up to 10 minutes.
  3. Speaker 3 – Topic 3. Up to 10 minutes.

CLOSE

VI. Adjournment – 5:30 p.m.

AGENDA

April 4, 2018. 4:00 p.m.

Town of Emerald City, Land of Oz

Board Meeting

Town Hall: 525 Yellow Brick Road, Emerald City

Emerald City is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you require assistance in participating at a public meeting due to a disability, as defined under the ADA, reasonable assistance, adaptations or accommodations will be provided upon request. Please contact the City Secretary’s Office, at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled meeting date, at (201) 555-1111 or Town Hall at 525 Yellow Brick Road for additional information; TTY users route through Relay Oz at 711.

I. Call to Order – 4:00 p.m.
A. General Welcome to Audience
B. Announcements

C. Roll Call
II. Consent Agenda – 4:05 p.m.

Vote to approve:

  1. Minutes of March meeting
  2. Finance Committee Report
  3. Curriculum Committee Report
  4. Security Committee Report
  5. Minutes and reports posted on board portal with agenda 3/10/18)

III. Mayor’s Report – 4:10 p.m.

IV. Business Action Items – 4:30 p.m.

  1. Old Business

  1. Revision to Policy 537: Landscaping license. (Vote) Approval of this item would grant a revocable license to Over the Rainbow, LLC, to enter into contracts with the city to provide planting and irrigation services on behalf of the city. (Discussion concluded in March 10, 2018, meeting. Related state law and copy of Policy 537 are filed on the board portal under “Legislation.”)
  2. Radiation Detection Authorization. (Vote) Approval of this item would authorizea Performance Agreement between the Town of Emerald City and Trouble in Paradise, Inc., to perform radiation detection services in all public buildings. (Proposal was sent to committee February 3, 2018. Committee report was reviewed in the March 10, 2018, meeting. It is posted on the board portal under “Facilities Issues.”)

  1. New Business – 5:00 p.m.

  1. Proposal to Adapt Playground Structures in Paradise Park. (Introduction and discussion.) Constituents representing the minority group “Tall People Stand Proud” have requested that play structures in Paradise Park be rendered usable to citizens over 4’0” in height. This policy would authorize the mayor’s office to solicit bids from construction firms. The budget and source of funds are yet to be determined.
  2. Proposal to Tighten Border Controls. (Discussion.) Pursuant to the consultants’ report submitted December 2016, the Board will discuss the feasibility and advisability of increasing town border security to screen applicants for entrance. (Final version of consultant’s report is posted on town’s board portal under “Policies and Procedures.”)

V. Public Testimonies – 5:15 p.m.

  1. Dorothy Gale: “Leash Laws Unconstitutional.” Time limit: 10 minutes.
  2. Glinda: “Free Health Care for All: A Moral Imperative.” Time limit: 10 minutes.
  3. Tin Man: “Emerald Regional Hospital: Tomorrow’s Heart Transplant Hub.” Time limit: 10 minutes.

VI. Adjournment – 6:00 p.m.

With such an agenda, a meeting is virtually destined to cover all the business facing a town or county, moving each issue closer to completion. A fully informed board and audience will give needed attention to each issue before them, neither suppressing discussion nor losing control as bellicose participants try to derail the conversation. By following this detailed template, a board chair sets herself up for a smooth meeting that really takes care of business.


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