Presentation on theme: "Citizen Participation"— Presentation transcript:
1 Citizen Participation Public Policy GroupApril 20, 2007
2 Contents 1 2 3 4 5 Introduction Midland case T. N. T Exercises Conclusion5
3 Why does Citizen Participation matter? Represent the public betterReduce the possibility of corruption by increasing transparencyKnow the interests of the people betterEmpower and educate peopleEnhance legitimacy, thus, compliance, and implementation (effectiveness)Resolve public dispute betterCorrect injustice situationsHold public institutions more accountableUse local, indigenous knowledge from citizens
4 Definition of Citizen Participation Sherry R. ArnsteinThe redistribution of power that enables the have-not citizens to be deliberately included in the future.- "A Ladder of Citizen Participation,” Journal of the American Institute of PlannersJames V. CunninghamThe process of exercising power on decision making in the regional community by non-experts/citizens- "Citizen Participation in Public Affairs" Public Administration Review
5 Concepts related (Amsler) Civic engagement: All the many roles and activities through which people take an active part in community lifePublic participation: Subset of civic engagement that informs the public and involves residents in shaping the policies that affect themCollaborative governance: Subset of public participation that involves the general public and others in informed and reasoned discussions that seek to influence public sector decision-making
6 The Ladder of Citizen Participation (Arnstein) Citizen ControlDelegated PowerPartnershipConsultationInformingTherapyManipulation1234567Placation8NonparticipationTokenismCitizen PowerVarieties and gradations of participation
7 The Key: Understanding the Levels of Public Participation InformInvolveCollaborateConsultEmpowerIncreasing Level of Participation in Decision Making34521
8 Democracy Cube (Archon Fung) How could we sort out various practical citizen participation methods?Democracy Cube (Archon Fung)
12 Why Engage The Publics? (Peter Sandman) You need the help of the publicsYou need the advice of the publicsYou need the buy-in of the publics☞ Consensus Building to prevent & addressconflicts
13 Consensus ProcessA process in which stakeholders engage in discussionsand negotiationsThe purpose of consensus process is reaching a decision that everyone can live with* Source: Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, “What is Negotiated Rulemaking? “, The University of Texas School of Law
14 Consensus Building Process (Susskind) Conveningresponsibility ClarificationDeliberationDecisionMaking AgreementInitiate discussionSpecify roles of each stakeholderStrive forTransparencyUnanimity on package of gainsRatification by constituenciesIssue assessment & Identify stakeholdersSet agenda and ground rulesUse expert, professional neutralAdhere to decision-making processPresent approved proposalDecide to commit to a processAssess optionsSeek to maximizing joint gainsKeep a record of commitMonitoring of implementation
15 Recommendations for effective public participation (Widditsch) Start early & Plan carefullyKnow what you want, Be flexibleKnow who is doing whatProvide useful informationMake meetings convenientGet lots of publicity
16 Sewage Treatment Conflict: Conflict Overview (Wagen & Pfeffer) Onondaga County recommended the construction of a Regional Treatment Facility (RTF) to be located in the Midland Avenue Southside community. When discharges occur from this facility they will flow into Onondaga Creek and eventually into Onondaga Lake. A small group of citizens in the neighborhood have resisted the County’s attempts to construct the RTF. Local citizens object to many proposed features of the facility.
17 Timeline of Events1991 County Swirler (sewage technology) plans originated1998 Amended Consent Judgment sets milestone dates for the County to meet1998 Public Participation begins after firms had been contracted for the project and key plans developed and submitted to the countyResidents request details of location - Community already burdened and disrupted by multiple industrial facilities in addition to public and private projects1999 Oxford and Blaine residents organized themselves as Citizens for Fair TreatmentSyracuse University Public Interest Law Firm
18 Timeline (cont’d)2000 Southside advocacy organization Syracuse United Neighbors helped form the Partnership for Onondaga Creek (POC).2001 County supports planning storage system in Schiller Park as alternative.City of Syracuse Common Council voted to refuse to sell necessary City-owned and controlled land to the County.2002 U.S. District Court rules that Onondaga County may condemn property owned by the City that is needed for the Midland project.Onondaga County Dept of Water Environment Protection
19 Timeline (cont’d)Engineers begin preliminary design for the County’s preferred option.2003 Revised and updated facilities plan submitted to NYSDEC for the Midland Avenue RTF project.Onondaga County Legislature authorized acquisition of property for construction, operation, and maintenance of Phase II Midland Avenue RTF.2003 Federal district court judge supported Onondaga County's right to use eminent domain with just compensation to acquire a City-owned property. City files appeal. County proceeded to purchase needed private properties and assisted property owners in finding new homes and provided compensation for moving.Lane and Heath
20 Timeline (cont’d)2003 NYSDEC approved updated facilities plan and engineering design report.2004 Demolition contract awarded. Site demolition begins.2004 County officials meet with area residents at a meeting of SUN-Tallman Action Council. Questions are asked and responded to regarding construction and the proposed schedule of construction activities.Currently in Phase II of construction.Lane and Heath
21 The Partnership for Onondaga Creek (POC) “The Partnership for Onondaga Creek is a voice for the Midland Community and the environment advocating for better, non- polluting solutions for Onondaga Creek.”- POC websiteAs Tara mentioned in the timeline, the process of the proposed Midland Ave sewage treatment facility began in 1991.However, public participation didn’t begin until 1998 when the Partnership for Onondaga Creek (POC) organized concerned citizens of the Midland area. As shown in their mission statement, they have served as a voice for the Midland Community in the proposal process.
22 POC (cont’d)Helped to bring about negotiations which created 2 viable alternatives (Peace Council)Meetings took place from December 2001 – August 2002City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, NYSDEC, Atlantic States Legal Foundation, the Onondaga Nation, and POC were all “at the table”Consensus on alternatives was nearly reached but unilateral decisions spurred controversyGrassroots efforts and research of alternatives by the POC helped to bring about meetings in which the major stakeholders were present.These meetings were conducted over an 8 month period and were intended to create viable alternatives that all parties would agree too.Aside from technical issues, this group also developed common ideals to make the solution acceptable for the entire group that includes making the solution compatible with creek restoration and reducing pollutants going into the creek.By July 2002, there were 4 cost effective DEC approved alternatives which the other stakeholders agreed to as well, with underground methods being the more acceptable means.Unfortunately in August 2002, the County Executive, Nick Pirro stalled the process claiming that extra funds might be needed.This created an impasse amongst the stakeholders that was only fueled even more when in November 2002 a Federal Judge and the County gave the green light to buy land in the Midland area for an above ground plant instead of the more popular underground ones. This unilateral approach by the county has added to the controversy.
23 Title VI Administrative Complaint Filed in April 2004 on behalf of POC by SUto challenge the collective actions of Onondaga County and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) in selecting and approving the placement of an above ground, regional treatment facility on Syracuse’s Southside.- Several years after the end of promising meetings between various stakeholders in this situation, a complaint was filed against the County and DEC against their actions during this decision making process.
24 Administrative Complaint (cont’d) Also addressed claims of inadequate public participationOffered only after a method had been selectedComment occurred on uncertain phases of the projectTimeframe for comment and search for alter- natives was shortened by CountyInformation was presented in a confusing mannerThis complaint paid particular attention to the lack of public participation that occurred throughout the entire process dating back to 1991.In 1991 the County developed plans for the treatment facility and began to contract key firms for its construction. However, public participation didn’t occur until 7 years later in 1998.Secondly, comment periods were used on phases that were not yet finalizedThe county shortened the time frame in which the public could comment as well as the amount of time allotted for a search for alternatives.Finally, the information was presented to the community in a way that was not easily understood.All of these factors led to ineffective public comment on the proposed project.
25 “Environmental Justice for All Tour” Took place in Syracuse Sept. 24 – Oct. 1, 2006Led a tour of the Midland area highlighting the environmental injustice, including lack of public participation.“All levels of government must make it their number one priority to include members of affected com- munities in the planning and design of new projects prior to completion of the planning and design phases.” (Poindexter of POC)Unfortunately, public participation continues to be an issue in this decision making process and more recently has resulted in a walking tour of the Midland area. Syracuse Residents, politicians, and media were invited to join the tour which highlighted the various environmental injustices occurring during this process including inadequate public participation.The simple take home message from this tour was that people want to be involved and included in this decision making process since it affects their community.
26 Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT) Official citizen participation process in the City of SyracuseDivides the City into eight neighborhood planning areasEach area has an assigned staff person, but the meetings are completely citizen drivenCity officials from various operational depart-ments attend to address questions and concerns
27 TNT (cont’d)Each planning commission maintains a 5-year neighborhood planCommissions submit annual requests for Capital Improvements Projects (CIP)A small amount of CDBG money is set aside for escrow projectsSpin-off - Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative
28 TNT Strengths Fosters relationships Identifies community needs Increases accountability“We turned the lights on … and we turned the heat up for everyone else.” Peg Stroman, TNT founderProvides an outlet for community dialogueInstitutionalized by City Ordinance
29 TNT WeaknessesSelf-selecting - not representative of the public at largeCommunity divided by arbitrary linesInadequate staffing/resourcesNo guarantee that ideas will be implementedNot well designed to withstand changes in administrationCurrently underutilized
30 Sample: Southside TNT Agenda Call to OrderReview/Accept MinutesQuestions for city officialsMidland RTFGenerate criteria to evaluate recommendationsBrainstorm ideas that the negotiation team can take to the DEC led meetingsEvaluate ideas based on pre-determined criteriaAnnouncementsAdjourn
31 Questions to Consider What concerns you about the RTF? What solution would you like to see implemented and why?Determine the best solution from your group and nominate a representative report back to the class.
32 Conclusions Citizen participation and conflict prevention Raises critical concerns during the early stages of a project or policyProvides mutual understanding of community needs and goalsCitizen participation and conflict managementRedirects focus to interests rather than positionsCorrects misunderstandings in policy and processGenerates creative solutions to public policy problems