Government affairs professionals typically keep track of what is being voted on at local government public meetings by following a few key steps and these steps are ranked below:
Monitor meeting agendas: Government affairs professionals regularly monitor the agendas for upcoming public meetings posted by local governments because there may be items being voted on that could affect their business. What’s the best way to do this? Subscribe to a monitoring service such as Voterheads.com. Otherwise, the professional would need to ask each local government under their purview to email them the individual agendas and scan them manually for the important topics. That’s why subscribing to a monitoring service such as Voterheads.com is always the number one choice. It’s worth the small cost to have a service do all that tracking and filtering for you.
Attend the public meetings: This choice really only works for government affairs professionals who can take the time to attend public meetings in person or remotely and is usually only cost-effective for professionals whose area of responsibility consists of one to three local governments. Professionals would only want to attend the meeting if they saw something on the agenda that would affect them and couldn’t reach the local officials to discuss the item in advance of the meeting. So they would still need a way (such as a subscription service like Voterheads.com) to give them a heads up in advance. At the meeting, they can give their input on agenda items that affect them, listen to the discussion, and get a sense of how the vote is likely to go.
Network with local officials: Building relationships with local officials can also be a valuable way for government affairs professionals to stay informed about what is being voted on at local government public meetings. By connecting with officials, they may get a heads up about upcoming votes or have access to insider information about the decision-making process. Once again, this is usually cost-effective for professionals responsible for only a handful of towns and cities. And because local government officials tend to have a relatively high turnover rate, the government affairs professional will have to regularly renew those relationships.
Follow local news sources: Local news outlets often cover public meetings and the decisions made by local governments. Government affairs professionals can stay up to date on what is being voted on by following news sources that cover local politics. This is choice #4 because it will not necessarily provide a heads up for items important to the professional. News services tend to cover “hot topic” items only.
Overall, keeping up to date with local government meetings could require a combination of various methods…which are all made easier by subscribing to a service that monitors local government activity (like Voterheads.com). By staying informed about local politics, government affairs professionals can effectively represent their interests and advocate for policies that align with their goals.