Madison alders … learn how to run a meeting!

Brother Mike Blaska chaired the Dane County board Supervisors for four years. He said people appreciate a well run meeting. Here is Greg Humphrey on the marathon meeting Tuesday/Wednesday that droned on from 6:30 p.m. 04-19-22 to 4 the next morning. Greg Humphrey has some good advice at Caffeinated Politics:

[Alders] need to attend a class on how to run a meeting.  Taxpayers would be well served if alders would trim their excessive chatter and learn to communicate with more precise and tightly framed comments. No one needs to hear an alder fawn over another about how wonderful it is to see such a commitment on this or that issue. Likewise, no one needs to have lofty tributes paid to city staff who are on hand to answer questions. 

[It has] perplexed me for years …. [all] the questions alders ask of the staff. While I recognize that issues get placed in a fuller context and become more illuminated in meetings, I am also mindful that city staff is always accessible to alders who wish to be brought up to speed on an issue.  Better use of everyone’s time might be for alders to come to council meetings prepared to do the work in front of them instead of needing to assemble the facts in front of the camera.

CAFFEINATED POLITICS – Opinions And Musings By Gregory Humphrey

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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16 Responses to Madison alders … learn how to run a meeting!

  1. One eye says:

    My theory is this is the only social time some of them get.
    Someone should check on Verveer.

    I also don’t get the inability to mitigate the barking dog.


  2. Montgomery Scott says:

    After reading your commentary on how the Madison mayor’s office and city council operate over the past year since I stumbled on this blog, Dave, it sounds like the way the city is run is ripped straight from a Marx Brothers’ movie. However, that would be an insult to the Marx Brothers as they could actually make the city run (and run well) while still getting laughs…



  3. Special K says:

    I didn’t watch any of the meeting, but I’m sure alder Mike Verveer was one of the worst offenders. I’ve had the experience of being in meetings with him when I was a City of Madison employee. He LOVES to hear himself talk. Windier than a bag full of a**holes…!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    If the CommonSenseLess Council desperately seeks examples of how NOT to run meetings, have them audit any of the one-sided MMSD board melees from ~3 1/2 years ago for lessons in feral, unbridled THUGOCRACY, courtesy of the virulently RAYcist Free DUMB Inc, et al.

    Despicably violent Lefties!

    The Gotch

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Balboa says:

    Kooks and Dandies running the council care more about lip service and ideas and not about actually doing a damn thing about problems. Everyone gets a trophy gobulitty gook. What to expect from cities run by idiots.


  6. Balboa says:

    Someone hear a barking dog again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mordecai The Red says:

    It’s a good thing they love to listen to themselves talk so much. Imagine the damage they’d do if they spent all that time implementing their lunacy into city policy. If I had to sit through these, I’d bring a pistol—to put myself out of the misery.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bill Cleary says:

    Do any of our alders know parliamentary procedures?

    I learned them in high school and found parliamentary procedures an effective way of running a meeting so that people got to the point while not being able to bloviate at length about something that was not germane to the topic.


    • Mordecai The Red says:

      As someone who’s had to suffer through many meetings filled with self-important, egotistical blowhards, I can tell you that a parliamentarian is the best solution for bringing them in line. Getting them to agree to bring in a parliamentarian—that’s a different issue,


      • David Blaska says:

        Well, they do have a parliamentarian , the city attorney. But he doesn’t run the meetings. The mayor does. The House of Reps assigns time limits to each bill. Don’t know if alders have cumulative time limits on each alder per issue. We did on county board but our meetings ran all night, too.


  9. Balboa says:

    Parliamentary Procedures are a systemically colonialist racist procedures setup up by evil crackers.


  10. One eye says:

    I assume the meeting software (Zoom?) knows exactly how much each attendee speaks. They could publish the totals. I think it would shock alders like Verveer into being more self aware and perhaps STFU more often.

    Liked by 2 people

    • David Blaska says:

      Not a bad idea. On the other hand, the sponsor of significant and contested legislation SHOULD speak more. Also such a thing as committee work. Not every alder, supervisor, legislator, congressman is expected — or is even able — to master details of each and every proposal. That should be left to colleagues you trust on the relevant committees.

      Liked by 1 person

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