Video: September 25 Best Practices Meeting; Forum on Smith College Overlay District to be Considered

Here is a complete Vimeo video of the September 25 meeting of Northampton’s Best Practices Committee. The committee is to issue a report within a few months on how to improve the city’s decision-making processes and better integrate public opinion. The meeting took place in the Human Resources Department Conference Room of Memorial Hall. The video is 84 minutes long, and was shot by Lachlan Ziegler.

Some Highlights:

2:00… A Senior Forum could solicit input from senior citizens. Do other segments of the population merit their own forums as well?

12:20… Should the Best Practices Committee be a permanent body?

15:50… Consider a case study of the genesis of the new Senior Center. Where did that process work well, and where not so well?

47:30… Some cities have electronic bulletin boards to complement their physical bulletin boards that announce public notices, meetings and events.

57:15… More people might come to public meetings if they were better aware of the specific topics that would be discussed at each.

70:30… When analyzing the Meadows Forum, it was helpful to be able to access a video recording that could be paused and rewound.

75:50… Lisa DiPiano will work on a proposal to hold a forum about the Smith College Educational Overlay District [related to the construction of Ford Hall in the Green Street neighborhood]

See also:

Gazette: “Smith zoning approved despite protests” (9/8/06)
Amid a throng of protests, the City Council Thursday approved a special zoning district that will allow Smith College to construct buildings 85-feet-tall on its campus with limited city involvement over the next 30 years…

‘It’s very clear that the citizens do not feel represented in this agreement,’ [City Council President Michael] Bardsley said. ‘This is a distinction from all the other agreements we have worked on.’

He added: ‘In this I see a growing division between the city’s interests and the citizens’ interests and that alarms me.’

Web Home of Ad Hoc Committee on Best Practices in Northampton Decision-Making

Best Practices Meeting Minutes

Research on Best Practices in Other Communities

Video: Best Practices Forum Studies Evolution of Meadows Plan

Video: Best Practices Workshop Evaluates Public Forum; Hotel Decision-Making Process Scrutinized; Wanting More from Local Media

Best Practices: Pictures and Video from the May 13 Public Forum

Transcribed Public Comments from the Best Practices Forum of May 13