Code of Governance Work Session Update




Update to Dec. 12, 2007 Code of Governance Work Session




Messrs. Tucker, Elliott, Foley and Davis, Ms. Allshouse, L. and Ms. Jordan







March 5, 2008


     ACTION:                        INFORMATION:   



     ACTION:                        INFORMATION:      X











On December 12, 2007, Mike Chandler, the Director of Education for the Citizen’s Planning Education Association of Virginia, facilitated a “Code of Governance” work session for the Board to discuss operations and procedures that may benefit the Board in the upcoming year.  During the work session, Mr. Chandler presented data from prior Board meetings, discussed Board minutes, podcasting and the County’s current Rules of Procedure. Based on the information presented, Mr. Chandler suggested changes the Board may wish to consider to improve its meeting procedures in the future.


Mr. Chandler observed that Board members are prepared for meetings, are open to different opinions, get along well with each other, and are respectful to the public, county staff and each other.  Mr. Chandler further noted that Board members listen well, work well as a group and explore and study issues before offering solutions.  He did note; however, that the length and number of Board meetings have increased substantially over the years.


Mr. Chandler suggested that Board meetings could be improved if the Board adhered more closely to the agenda schedule and if actions were clearly identified before meetings are adjourned. He further suggested that the Board add a third meeting each month or periodically schedule a day for work sessions, and that the Board consider updates to its “Rules of Procedure,” invest more authority to the Chairman for meeting process as well as identify additional ways to help focus discussions.




This supports the County’s mission “to enhance the well-being and quality of life for all citizens through the provision of the highest level of public service consistent with the prudent use of public funds.”




It is staff’s understanding that the BOS agreed to the following:


1)       Regarding the agenda item: From the Public:  Matters Not Listed for Public Hearing, the Board requested that the Clerk develop clear written instructions to be provided to the public who wish to speak under this item and that these instructions be projected on the screen during this portion of the meeting.

2)       Adopt Small Board procedures and incorporate them into the Board Rules of Procedure in January 2008 with the exception that motions will require a second before voting.

3)       Hold a third day meeting each month on an as needed basis, to be primarily designated for afternoon work sessions.

4)       The Chairman should informally recognize which Board member is speaking, in order to assist with meeting decorum, minute preparation, and podcasting clarity.

5)       Review examples of summary style minutes to determine whether the Board would want to change from near-verbatim meeting minutes to summary minutes now that the Board meetings are podcasted.

6)       At the end of Board discussions on items, the Board Chairman should summarize Board direction to staff.



Since the Code of Governance work session, Items 1-4 have been adopted and/or incorporated into Board meetings. In January 2008, the Board amended its Rules of Procedure to adhere to small Board rules with the noted exception that a second is still required on motions. Staff also made minor adjustments in the agenda format to improve the meeting schedule. Item 5, regarding whether the Board should move to summary minutes now that the meetings are podcasted, requires additional review and discussion.  Improvements in Item 6 have increased staff’s understanding of Board direction.




Changes in meeting procedures and record-keeping requirements could significantly reduce administrative costs.




No Board action is required at this time. A Board work session is currently scheduled in May to review samples of summary minutes and to discuss whether the Board wishes to change its policy for minutes from near-verbatim minutes to summary minutes.


Return to consent agenda

Return to regular agenda