3 City Council & Town Hall Meeting Agenda Examples To Replicate

STAT meetings, strategy review meetings, and open public meetings are incredibly important. Find out how to replicate these three agendas for your municipality.

Joseph, Director of Customer Success at ClearPoint, has over 10 years of experience working with customers to create efficient performance management and strategy execution processes.

If you are actively involved in local government, you know how critical it is to run smooth and effective city council and town hall meetings. The first and most important step is figuring out which high-level topics you need to cover in all of your municipal meetings. To give you a leg up, we’ve noted the most important elements of each meeting agenda (with a few examples), so you can get to work right away. Let’s get started!

First Example: STAT Meeting

STAT meetings—sometimes called CitiStat meetings—are department-specific meetings held at the group level. Each department is on the “hot seat” every 6-12 weeks, meaning you are holding a different STAT meeting every week. The objective is to look at several key measures in each of the specific departments and discuss what process has been put into place in the past, what new information you need going forward, what new issues need to be examined, and what the plan is for resolving those issues. Every department participates in every STAT meeting to cross-coordinate your efforts. Below is an outline—with a few examples—of how a STAT meeting might look.

    1. Introduce the department to be reviewed. For the sake of example, we’ll say the department to be reviewed is the police department.
    2. Note progress from the last review. Previous meetings for each department would have taken place 6-12 weeks prior, so it’s important to review what happened during the last meeting. Per our example, the meeting would review what the police department has been doing since their last review.
    3. Note any measure progress that links to strategy. You would typically look at the same charts with updated data from the last meeting.
    4. Note new or interesting measures that inform performance. You might have discovered some new data or a new way of looking at information that provides insight.
    5. Discuss issues that need to be resolved and high-level, strategic initiatives, if appropriate. If the police mention they are having a hard time getting through the city, the Head of Transportation should be present to explain that the city is, let’s say, three months away from implementing a new street light system with emergency protocols.
    6. Develop a plan for resolving open issues and assign responsibility. This plan should be reviewed at the beginning of the next meeting. It may involve support from other departments, depending on the issue.

The upside of STAT meetings is that you’re really drilling down into detail on a particular department while getting assistance from other departments. But a noteworthy consideration to keep in mind is that these meetings don't allow you to review the full strategy of the municipality.

Second Example: Strategy Review Meeting

A strategy review meeting looks at your municipality and strategy as a whole. It allows you look across departments to discuss cross-functional areas, discuss any open issues, adjust departmental and overall budgets as necessary, set action items, and more. This meeting brings everyone on the leadership team together to solve and discuss issues as a group. (Note: It’s likely that you’ll either do STAT meetings or strategy review meetings—probably not both.)

  1. Do a quarterly review of strategy with the leadership team. This requires a lot of preparation, but once a quarter is a pretty good cadence.
  2. Review each strategic goal. You’ll want to look across all of your departments for their progress toward each of these goals.
  3. Discuss areas of cross-functional need or dysfunction. Share these issues prior to the meetings with the parties involved so that the meeting is productive (and there isn’t any finger pointing).
  4. Resolve open issues and adjust budget spending where needed. A great way to encourage departments to assign amber or red to their measures is to use this as a way for departments to secure additional funding or support.
  5. Develop a set of action items for the next meeting. Track what is agreed to during this meeting and use it to start the next meeting. This will help to hold everyone accountable.

The upside of strategy review meetings is that you’re dealing with the municipal strategy as a whole. But, you should consider that these meetings don’t allow you to focus on any one department to see specifically how they’re doing.  Hopefully this is covered by department heads on a regular basis.

Third Example: Open Public Meetings

Open public meetings are (clearly) open to anyone and everyone, and simply put, every municipality should hold them. They are critical for citizen transparency and offer a forum to review the municipality’s “big picture” and key initiatives. You should report out good news and also be candid about your shortfalls.

  1. Review the municipality's strategic plan. Even if your strategic plan is online, your citizens are not as familiar with it as you—so take a moment at the start of the meeting for review.
  2. Discuss big initiatives linking to plan elements. This is a great way to show how you are focused on transportation, crime, and education, and that all of these elements link together strategically.
  3. Review measures that show progress. Show citizens what you are tracking, and show how each measure links back to your strategic goals.
  4. Be candid about shortfalls and present a plan to address these problem areas. Make sure you bring up new projected deadlines during this discussion. Citizens want you to admit to problems and see that you have a plan to fix them.
  5. Be sure to acknowledge and review any budgeting issues. Your citizens want to know you’re being open and honest with them—even if that means sharing any disappointing news. Do not skip this step.
  6. Have an open discussion about trade-offs to the public for input. This should replace a discussion of “overall complaints,” so you can make the most out of the meeting.
  7. Capture action items and respond at the appropriate time.  Most municipalities have to respond to all comments, so be sure to do so in the right forum and format.

Frankly, there isn’t a downside to having open public meetings! Your citizens will appreciate the ability to hear how the municipality is performing and speak to any concerns or questions they may have.  

A Reminder

Don’t forget: All of these meetings need to be directly tied to your municipal strategy. Therefore, you can’t simply plan on having the meetings without taking the time to prepare for them. Agenda or not, weeks of prep work will help you run an effective, organized meeting that leads to great results.

3 City Council & Town Hall Meeting Agenda Examples To Replicate