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Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Dealing with Elected & Appointed Official Presented by: Ralph Blakeslee RGB Consulting, LLC www.rgbconsulting.net.

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Presentation on theme: "Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Dealing with Elected & Appointed Official Presented by: Ralph Blakeslee RGB Consulting, LLC www.rgbconsulting.net."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Dealing with Elected & Appointed Official Presented by: Ralph Blakeslee RGB Consulting, LLC Office Phone, Office Fax,

2 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Dealing with Elected & Appointed Officials Official Course Purpose: The purpose of this course is to provide the participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to build a strong working relationship with elected officials and key constituents. Since many elected officials are part time or relatively new to the local government environment, emphasis through out the course will be placed on the need for appointed officials to “educate” their elected partners. Participants will come away from the course with a better understanding of when and how to communicate to elected and public officials.

3 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Dealing with Elected & Appointed Officials Un-Official Course Purpose: Not Get Fired

4 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Introductions Ralph Blakeslee 20 + Years in Local Government Registered Municipal Clerk Undergraduate Degree from Montclair State University Graduate Degree in Public Administration from Rutgers

5 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC

6 Introductions

7 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC What We Are Going Today? A Little Civics 101 – covering the basics Education – for YOU and THEM Communication – Its YOUR Lifeline Participation – It builds trust in YOU Tell War Stories…

8 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC And Now Some History Now that’s too much history….

9 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Quick History of NJ Local Government Originally Settled by the Dutch, Called New Netherland Taken from the Dutch by England King Charles II of England Gave the Land that is now NJ to his Brother James, Duke of York –The Charter Created Two Proprietary Colonies-East & West –The Charter Granted the Holder to Incorporate Municipalities in a General Assembly

10 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Quick History of NJ Local Government

11 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Quick History of NJ Local Government What Did James of York Do With His New Possessions? He Gave Them Away To Sir George Carteret, in exchange for a debt, & his friend Lord John Berkeley They Appointed Philip Carteret, George’s Cousin, The First Governor There Were Many Problems

12 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Quick History of NJ Local Government Disputes Over the East-West Line Attacks by Native Americans Squatters Attempts by New York Leaders to Take Over the Colonies In Order to Attract Settlers Carteret & Berkeley Promised Religious Freedom

13 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Quick History of NJ Local Government In 1702 Queen Ann: Combined East & West into New Jersey Designated NJ a Royal Colony The method of Municipal Incorporation changed from legislative grant to royal charter The First Royal Governor was Edward Hyde –Ineffective and corrupt ruler, taking bribes and speculating on land

14 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Quick History of NJ Local Government

15 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Quick History of NJ Local Government He Got Fired

16 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Quick History of NJ Local Government Fast Forward to the American Revolution We Throw the Bums Out The Power to Incorporate Municipalities Reverts back to the Assembly The First General Law Dealing with Municipal Incorporation was the “Township Act of 1798”

17 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Quick History of NJ Local Government To Summarize, early New Jersey: –Stolen Property (from the Dutch) –A Payoff (Carteret’s debt) –Divided…. –The Subject of Nepotism (My Cousin Carteret, the Governor) –A Haven For Religious Non-Conformist –A Failed Business Venture –Ruled by a Royal Cross-Dresser

18 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC A Now A Word From The Political Science Department: Federalism and State & Local Government –Federalism is a form of government where power and responsibility is divided between a national government and smaller sub-units –State Government is responsible for establishing further sub-division of power and responsibility –Local Government exists and operates only at the pleasure of the state

19 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC The Concept of “Home Rule” “Home Rule” is the concept that sub- divisions of the central government can self-govern themselves “Article IV, Section VII (11) of our New Jersey Constitution guarantees that counties & municipalities will have powers that are both expressly granted & implied by necessity… And the Home Rule Act of 1917 states that it is the intention to give all municipalities the fullest and most complete powers possible over the internal affairs of such municipalities for local self-government.

20 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC So What Happen To Home Rule? Rise of the Industrial Nation Issues of Little Importance Became Important More Demands for Government Services & Enforcement Politicians Grew More Corrupt The Number of Government Employees Grew Government Became More Complex What’s all that mean?

21 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Some Basics… Before We Begin….

22 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Know Your Partners-Motivations for Becoming an Elected Officials The Reformer The Advocate The Single Issue Candidate The Angry Citizen

23 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Know Their Responsibilities Elected Officials Follow the Law (Duh) Stay Educated on the Issues Set Short & Long Term Goals Develop Policy Direct Staff Stay In Touch with the Constituents Stay In Touch with the Staff

24 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Know Your Responsibilities Staff Follow the Law (Hello Mr. Prosecutor) Educate the Elected Officials Help the Elected Officials Stay in Touch with the Constituents Implement Policy Contribute to Policy Development Assist with goal setting

25 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Remember… That individual elected officials have no power to direct, change or adopt policy. Only Governing Body, acting as a “Whole”, can do so.

26 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Know the Rules Personnel Policies One of the most valuable tools to maintain order Should be adopted by ordinance or resolution (if by resolution, then annually at reorganization) Should cover all employees, full and part time

27 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Personnel Policies True or False? Personnel Policies Cover Elected Officials Its True….

28 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC When the Rules Get Broken You Need Grievance Procedures What is a “grievance” A grievance is simply a formal statement of complaint, generally against an authority figure.formal complaintauthority Source: Wikipedia.org Question: Name the most famous list of grievances in American History

29 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC

30 Forms & Types of NJ Local Government Local Government is General Patterned after the other forms of government in country Executive - Mayor Legislative – Committee/Council Judicial – Municipal Court

31 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Forms & Types of NJ Local Government New Jersey Local Government (Municipal) Can Be Categorized in the Following Groups: –Traditional Form –Modern Form –Faulkner Act Form –Non-Standard Form Why Do You Need To Know This?

32 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Forms & Types of NJ Local Government The Type and Form of Local Government will Dictate who is the “Appointing Authority” and under what terms and conditions that authority may make appointments. N.J.S.A. 52:27D-126(a) states: The appointing authority of any municipality shall appoint a construction official and any necessary subcode officials to administer and enforce the code…

33 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Forms & Types of NJ Local Government Traditional Form Township Form Government Is headed by a weak Mayor, which is selected by the members of the Township Committee and acts a the meeting chair. Unless specially empowered by state statute the entire Township Committee is the “appointing authority”. Borough Form of Government Is headed by an independently elected Mayor. The Mayor nominates and, with advice and consent of the Council, appoints all subordinate officers of the borough unless otherwise prescribed specifically by law.

34 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Forms & Types of NJ Local Government Traditional Form Town Form Government Is headed by a Mayor with limited appointment power. With the exception of Municipal Clerk, Tax Collector and Tax Assessor, the Council appoints all subordinate officials. City Form Is headed by a Mayor with limited appointment power. The Mayor can appoint the Police Chief and can appoint, suspend or remove all employees of the Police Department. The Council shall have the power to appoint all subordinate officials.

35 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Forms & Types of NJ Local Government Traditional Form Village Form Government Is Anyone Here From Loch Arbor? Governed by Five Trustees Villages Incorporated after 1/1/90 Conform to the Township Form of Government Note: Three other municipalities retain the use of “Village” in their name, but utilize a different “type” for governance: Ridgefield Park (Walsh Act Type) Ridgewood (Faulkner Act Council-Manager charter) South Orange (Township of South Organge Village)

36 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Forms & Types of NJ Local Government Modern Form Enacted to “Modernize” Local Government during the Progressive Era (1890’s to 1920’s) –1911 Walsh Act/Commission Towns governed by the Commission Form have a three or five member Commission. The Commission on a whole appoint the municipal clerk, court clerk and municipal judge. All other functions, including appointments, are divided amongst commissioners who each head a department. –1923 Municipal Manager Act Manager is chief executive and administrative official of the municipality. Prepares budget. Manager appoints and removes department heads. Attends Council meetings with voice, but no vote. Manager appoints and removes department heads. –Both forms are characterized by having “weak” mayors and non-partisan legislative bodies

37 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Forms & Types of NJ Local Government Faulkner Act/Optional Municipal Charter Law Adopted in 1950 and Revised in % of NJ Municipalities Use This Form Emphasizes Strong Executive & Professional Management Initiative, Referendum & Recall

38 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Educator Yourself Forms & Types of NJ Local Government Faulkner Act/Optional Municipal Charter Law The mayor-council plan gives the mayor strong powers. Each municipality under this plan establishes three to ten executive departments, each headed by a director appointed by the mayor with the consent of the council. It provides for a business administrator to assist the mayor. The council-manager plan places complete responsibility for municipal affairs in the council. The council appoints a municipal manager who is the chief executive with broad authority.

39 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Educator Yourself Forms & Types of NJ Local Government Faulkner Act/Optional Municipal Charter Law The small municipality plan can be adopted by communities with a population of fewer than 12,000. All legislative powers are vested in the council with the mayor presiding over council sessions and having both voice and vote. The mayor-council-administrator system is basically the borough form with an appointed professional administrator added.

40 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Educator Yourself Forms & Types of NJ Local Government Non-Standard Form Special Charters –There are two types of special charters in New Jersey: 1) "Orphan" charters issued by the state legislature in the 19th century prior to the major constitutional revision of 1875, which prohibited "special" or locality specific legislation. Most "orphan" charters are a variation of the weak mayor-council type. 2) Special charters issued by the state legislature under the provisions of the state Constitution of 1947 and NJSA 1:6- 10 et seq. These special charters defy simple classification, and include variations of the weak mayor-council form, council-manager form, township committee form, and the village form.

41 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC What Form and Type of Local Government do you work for?

42 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Remember… That individual elected officials have no power to direct, change or adopt policy. Only Governing Body, acting as a “Whole”, can do so.

43 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Know the Rules Personnel Policies One of the most valuable tools to maintain order Should be adopted by ordinance or resolution (if by resolution, then annually at reorganization) Should cover all employees, full and part time

44 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Personnel Policies True or False? Personnel Policies Cover Elected Officials Its True….

45 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC How to Deal with Elected & Appointed Officials Ralph’s Golden GuidelinesFirst… You must education them Second… You must communicate with them Last… You must participate in governing with them

46 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC First educate yourself…. …Then you can teach others Ralph Blakeslee

47 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Educate Yourself Controlling Statutes, Procedures & Rules New Jersey Statutes Annotated New Jersey Administrative Code Local Administrative Codes By-Laws & Personnel Policies Roberts Rule of Order

48 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Educate Them Ralph’s “Piano Player” Law “Piano Player” by Karl Skaret I am just a piano player. You give me the music, and I play. However my job is just not to play the music. I advise you about the venue, the audience, whether the piano is out of tune and whether or not YOU CAN SING

49 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Educate Them About… The Parameters of Your Job Responsibilities Your Staff’s Roles & Responsibilities The Work Processes in Your Office The Conditions of Your Office The Level of Work in Your Office Issues You Face Their authority…they are elected not to run the town, but to see that the town is run…

50 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communicate with Them One of the basic causes for all the trouble in the world today is that people talk too much and think too little. They act impulsively without thinking. I always try to think before I talk. Margaret Chase Smith

51 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communications with Elected & Public Officials Choosing when and how to communicate with elected and public officials may be one of the most critical decisions of your career. Please note, I did not state whether to communicate, but when and how. Communication is never a bad thing, unless it is badly managed.

52 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communication with Elected & Public Officials Two Rules and Six Tips First the Two Rules…. Know your subject. The better you know your subject, the easier it is to write Know your audience. Remember the your audience does not have the same level of technical knowledge that you do. You will, in all likelihood have to “tee them up” so they understand the point of your communication. Remember you are writing for your audience, not yourself!

53 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communication with Elected & Public Officials Memo Writing Tips 1.Begin with one grain of sand. What is the one single idea that you want to communicate… 2.Give the who, what, when, where, and why. Make sure the reader is fully informed of the circumstances around that single idea 3.Adopt a plain writing style. Clearly state your purpose, use bullet points or lists, use headings and avoid jargon 4.Keep it short. KISS it….Keep it short silly. Avoid run on sentences and long paragraphs 5.Be active. Use the active voice: We will conduct the inspections early next month, NOT, Early next month we will conduct the inspections 6.Cut unneeded words and prune windy phrases No one will be impressed if you use “ascertain” as opposed to “find out”

54 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communication with Elected & Public Officials Top Ten Rules for Netiquette –Write a meaningful subject line. –Keep the message focused and readable. –Avoid attachments. –Identify yourself clearly. –Be kind -- don't flame. –Don't assume privacy. –Proofread. –Distinguish between formal and informal situations. –Respond Promptly. –Show Respect and Restraint. Question: Are s A Public Document?

55 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communication with Elected & Public Officials Oral Presentation s 1.Know Your Audience 2.Know Your Material 3.Know the Time Limit 4.Prepare a Short Script 5.Use Proper Visual Aids 6.Provide Handouts at the Proper Time 7.Rehearse

56 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communication with Elected & Public Officials Your worst public meeting experience

57 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communication with Elected & Public Officials General Components of an Agenda –Open public meetings act statement. –Flag salute, moment of silence, roll call –Public Comment Period – Now Required –Correspondence –Action to be taken Motions Resolutions Ordinance Introductions Ordinance Public Hearing & Adoptions –Reports –Payment of Bills –Executive Session –Adjournment

58 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communication with Elected & Public Officials The Differences between Motions, Resolutions & Ordinances A Motion is the weakest form of action a government body can take It is not reduced to writing before being voted on It does not carry the weight of law It can authorize an action, on a limited basis –Authorize suspension of parking regulations for Annual Street fair It can be used to give direction to an official or employee –Authorize the Borough Attorney to send a letter to the school board

59 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communication with Elected & Public Officials The Differences between Motions, Resolutions & Ordinances A Resolution is more formal then a motion It is reduced to writing before being voted on It does not carry the weight of law It can authorize more formal actions –Award a contract for a new Construction Department computer system It can give direction to an official or employee –Authorize Borough Administrator to apply for a grant It can be a formal expression of the governing body’s sentiment –Stating formal opposition to the Highlands Act Typically “lives” only as long as the governing body that adopted is in power

60 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Communication with Elected & Public Officials The Differences between Motions, Resolutions & Ordinances An Ordinance is the most formal action a governing body can adopt It is reduced to writing before being voted on Does carry the weight of law Must be acted on over two meetings – Introduction & Public Hearing/Adoption Must be advertised in the municipalities newspaper of record Can authorize formal actions Can give direction to an official or employee Is “alive” until repealed or amended

61 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Methods of Communicating with Elected & Appointed Officials How to tell someone they are wrong…Maybe…. Working Group Breakout

62 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Methods of Communicating with Elected & Appointed Officials Problem #1 Your borough clerk calls you with a problem. She has been getting complaints from numerous residents about the condition of a property in town. Pealing paint, broken gutters and an old, broken down, un-registered vehicle on the lawn are some of the conditions that have been reported to her. Now she knows you really don’t handle property maintenance issues, but she asks if you can go over and at the least, take a look at the property. It is a small town, with an ancient and ambiguous property maintenance code. How do you respond?

63 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Methods of Communicating with Elected & Appointed Officials Problem #2 Your municipality is about to undertake a huge renovation of its town park, including re-roofing the picnic pavilion, upgrading the plumbing and electrical systems in the day camp building as well as refurbishing all of the playing fields. The towns elected and appointed officials all worked very hard on obtaining grants from Green Acres and other groups to fund the project. Construction started with a big “silver shovel” event that included the mayor, stated elected officials and town staff. There is one problem….no one ever thought about permits. How do you approach the mayor and town administrator?

64 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Methods of Communicating with Elected & Appointed Officials Problem #3 You receive a complaint that extensive work has been undertaken at a rental home with out permits. The complaint is the president of a neighborhood improvement organization who is very well known in your municipality. You arrange to inspect the property and find that indeed, significant work has been done and no permits have been issued. You return to your office and discover that the building is owned by the Mayor. How do you handle the situation?

65 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Methods of Communicating with Elected & Appointed Officials Problem #4 After much hard work your municipality has finally “inked” a deal with a newly formed non-profit group to building badly needed affordable housing. The town has been under the watchful eye of COAH and this new arrangement will prevent Tollnanian Sisters, a mega builder, from implementing a “builders remedy” development forever changing the town. The non-profit group has no previous building experience and have approached you for technical help. How do you respond?

66 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Participate in the Governance Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand. –"Chinese proverb" Participating in the governance of your municipality is about building relationships based on trust and integrity, in other words its all about…

67 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Teamwork

68 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Participate in Governance by Building Trust How to Build Trust Amongst Staff & Governing Body Members Do not make promises that are hard to keep Follow through on commitments Be honest, but respectful Do not “end run” supervisors Exercise discretion

69 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Participate in Governance by Assisting with Policy Development Seek out opportunities to develop policy Alert Elected & Appointed Officials on Potential Issues Be and agent of change

70 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Ethical Issues What is a “Whistle Blower”? –A whistleblower is an informant, most often an employee, who reports employer misconduct. In order to encourage disclosure, many federal and state statutes prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee who files reports. In the environmental law context, whistleblowers play a significant role in reporting environmental violations by their employers.

71 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Ethical Issues I Ask You: Is Whistle Blowing Worth It?

72 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Adversarial Issues Dealing with Adversarial Situations –Be sure of your facts –Listen, Listen, Listen –Seek to educate, not to humiliate –Document, Document, Document

73 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Conclusion…. What would you tell a new Construction Code Official, Sub-Code or Technical Assistant about… Dealing with Elected and Appointed Officials…? 1.You must educate them 2.You must communicate with them 3.You must participate in governing with them

74 Ralph Blakeslee - RGB Consulting, LLC Conclusion…. The End


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