Before your next Public Meeting or Hearing, do some homework.
Gather Facts and Information
Land use (Copley's Land Use Plan) proposals should answer the question: “Is the development fiscally sustainable and will it improve the short- and long-term financial condition of the Township?”
If you’re lucky enough to live in Copley Township, local officials are already asking these types of questions. Projects On The Move
Don’t wait until the Public Meeting or Hearing
Don’t be intimidated to reach out to your Township staff. They deserve to hear your side of the debate because they are certainly hearing from others.
By the time you reach the Public Hearing phase, it’s too late. The real work takes place during private meetings and preliminary work sessions where elected/appointed officials, Township staff and various players hash out the details. Public Meetings get everyone “on the record,” your 3-5 minutes at the microphone are unlikely to change the outcome.
Face-to-face meetings with Township staff will give you time to have a real discussion: to speak, listen and learn from each other. They provide a chance to find common ground and understand each other’s perspectives.
If you plan to speak
Be clear and succinct. It will strengthen your argument. Plus, you’re more likely to be heard if you don’t exhaust your audience. Another benefit: public officials will appreciate you for respecting their time. Write down the major points you need to make and use your notes to keep yourself on track. Keep your tone friendly and your arguments rational and to the point.