Conflict among lawmakers and regulators is inevitable. The issues that come before the legislature and other government bodies can have the potential to divide a community. As a result, policy makers tend to avoid controversial issues or postpone crucial decisions hoping to avoid conflict. At the same time, key constituencies work to weigh in and share their views, meet with lawmakers, send emails or call them directly, hoping to help the lawmakers reach a consensus. However, carefully structured dialogues, mediated or facilitated by skilled third-party neutrals could offer a more effective and durable method to resolve conflicts and build consensus around controversial and often complex public policy issues. As the Detroit City Charter Commission evaluates the existing Charter, it is recommended that they create a process by which to resolve disputes, at the Council Table, between citizens and with the business community. I will present to the Charter Commission a recommendation on what that policy can be and look forward to working with them in assisting in the creation of a public policy dispute resolution process. A full copy of the report can be downloaded at www.northcoaststrategies.com.

Comment