Class, consulting help build new habits
It takes knowledge to change old habits of engaging the public. Consensus offers a class on the fundamentals of good engagement, as well as pro bono consulting to help municipalities move beyond the public hearing.
Civility Class shows how to design meetings that bring out the best in people. The class covers productive new ways to approach the problem, the people and the process. It provides clear instructions and small-group practice.
Consensus also provides pro bono consulting to municipalities who seek to move beyond the public hearing model. For example, we helped the Wyandotte County legislative delegation reshape its annual town hall meetings. We helped Mayor Mark Holland with his “listening tour” with meeting design and training facilitators to help groups decide how to spend a $12 million windfall. When Roeland Park faced the loss of one in seven dollars in its general fund, we worked with local leaders to switch to small-group discussions. Those meetings asked citizens to agree on the right balance between raising taxes and cutting services.