Public | Multi-Party Negotiations

Public disputes and public policy decision-making involve many stakeholders with a variety of disparate and common interests. I provide expert multi-party, public negotiation process design and facilitation services.

Often, the necessary first step in convening a public, multi-party negation is conducting an assessment to determine if the key stakeholders are willing to participate and to help them consider the negotiation option.

If an assessment determines that the conditions are right and the parties are willing, the assessment phase is followed by an organizational phase to get the right people at the table and with sound mission statement and engagement agreements in place.

An educational phase in which the parties engage in a process of joint-fact finding provides the necessary basis for fruitful negotiations. With success, agreements are documented, including the implementation plan, and ratified by key decision makers, as necessary. Often, agreements will include periodic monitoring and review processes to insure and evaluate implementation and to provide opportunities for course corrections and refinements.

Representative multi-party projects

Facilitated an EWEB Advisory Group comprised of a representative sample of members of the public to conduct a thorough assessment and analysis of options for revising the EWEB pricing structure, and produce recommendations (either consensus-supported or with majority/minority opinions) to the EWEB Board for adoption and implementation. To accomplish the goals, the group engaged in a joint fact-finding process by which the Committee members educated themselves on the technical, economic, and social dimensions of the topic and engaged in deliberations to explore possible zones of agreement on the design and implementation of pricing reform that would maximally satisfy the interests of the utility and the public. The process was successful in producing a set of recommendations for the EWEB board.

Conducted an assessment of a rezoning and development conflict in Eugene, OR, that produced a summary report and set of recommendations for convening a consensus-building process among the various interested parties.

Facilitated a multi-party consensus-seeking project exploring the feasibility of developing a year-round public market in Eugene, OR, involving representatives from the City of Eugene, Lane County, the Eugene Farmer’s Market, the Eugene Saturday Market, Lane Community College, EWEB, and other interested parties.

Facilitated a series of public involvement meetings to address a conflict over a development proposal for a very large tract of private land on Denman Island, BC, that had been clear-cut and over which there was great division in the community.

Facilitated a series of meetings on Cortez Island, BC, involving community leaders, industry representatives, and the Provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations to address a contentious conflict over the proposed expansion of the local shellfish aquaculture industry.

Facilitated a series of bi-weekly meetings in a multi-party consensus-building process to develop an accessory dwelling regulation proposal for the local Islands Trust governmental jurisdiction on Denman Island, BC.

Conducted the Assessment Phase for water management negotiations in Yolo County, California, among County and Municipal elected officials and staff, environmental organizations, representatives of the agricultural community, the University of California at Davis, flood control, irrigation, and water conservation districts, and other interested parties. The recommendations made at the conclusion of the Assessment Phase were adopted by the elected officials in the County and a formal collaborative negotiation process was designed and implemented.

Facilitated sessions at the Crowding the Rim conference held at Stanford University and co-sponsored by Stanford and the US Geological Survey. The conference brought together government officials, community leaders, environmentalists, international and local NGO senior staff, and corporate and banking leaders from over 60 nations around the Pacific Rim to address the challenges of effective cross-border and trans-jurisdictional response to natural disasters. Facilitation had to address variations in English fluency as well as cultural differences, including working a session that included representatives from China and Taiwan.

Facilitated a large public meeting involving approximately 130 people addressing lessons learned and next steps for those interested and involved in the Rural Heritage Initiative, a land use initiative on the November 2000 election ballot in Sonoma County, California.

Designed and facilitated a public dialogue sponsored by the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters on the contentious debate within Sonoma County, California, on transportation policy and planning. The dialogue took place prior to elections that included three ballot measures on the transportation issues. The dialogue attracted wide public participation and included a panel representing both sides of the debate. It was televised live and was videotaped for later re-broadcast on the local public television station and the community public access television station.

As a result of the facilitation of this public process, invited to moderate a public presentation and discussion of the rail option as it related to the larger transportation issue. This event was held at the Santa Rosa Junior College in October 1998.

Co-mediated negotiations to resolve a land use dispute among three California jurisdictions: the County of Napa, the City of Napa, and the City of American Canyon. The chief negotiators were two elected officials from each jurisdiction. The negotiation table included administrative and planning staff (city managers and county administrator and the planning directors) from each of the jurisdictions.