Essay Preview: Meeting Paper
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A City of Troy finance committee meeting was chosen to help me gain a better understanding of a meetings dynamics. I found out about the meeting through the City of Troys website. The meeting was on the third floor of City Hall in Troy and started at 6pm. The room was small and it really seemed to get smaller as the people started to file in. I thought the temperature in the room was a bit on the warm side but not too the point of being unbearable. I was in the meeting room about 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting.
When I entered the meeting room I immediately noticed the beautiful view of the Hudson River to the left of me. This view put me at ease. A second after noticing the view I observed a round table in the middle of the room with twelve chairs around it. The chairs were almost touching one another. On the immediate right there was pen marker writing board on the wall. Also, there was an American flag and little garbage can in the little space between the door and writing wall. On the far side of this wall were two zoning maps of the City of Troy. I did not recognize what these maps stood for until I actually went over and stood in front of them to observe them. This wall was than intercepted by a wall that ran to the left that connected to the window wall. A small T.V. on a stand, coat rack, and about a dozen chairs stacked up on top of one another was on this wall. In front of the area where this wall connected to the window wall there were about three chairs where one could sit as well. I chose one of these particular chairs to set in due to the fact that I was here only to observe and not participate. There was a round light hanging from the ceiling above the round table and lighting above the windows to illuminate the meeting room (see drawing of room).
Two men were the first to the meeting a couple of minutes before 6pm. They were talking to each other and then when they saw me they stopped talking. I got up to introduce myself and to say that I was just there to observe their meeting. One of the men was dressed in a suit and he immediately shook my hand and introduced himself as Hank. The other man shook my hand after Hank and called himself Tom. I went back to my chair while Hank and Tom sat at the round table with three chairs separating them. Four ladies came into the room right at 6pm. They sat across the table from Tom and Hank. One of these ladies was wearing a suit and she pushed the chair to her right back from the table so she could be closer to woman who sat on her right. Another man entered the room wearing a baseball cap. He sat down next to Tom. A man named Bill came in next and sat next one chair down from Hank. Finally, three more men came in a couple of minutes after this and sat down at the only available chairs left at the round table. They were out campaigning and apologized for being late. No one sat at the two chairs away from the round table which were next to me.
While everyone was coming into the room the people were talking about their personal lives, especially about their children. They seemed to really concentrate talk on fund-raisers involving their children. Everyone seemed very comfortable and friendly with one another. Everyone attending brought in paperwork that they had in front of them on the table. One woman had a coffee, one woman had a diet Pepsi, and one man had bottled water. Nobody officially stated that the meeting was in session at 6pm but Hank addressed the woman in the suit (who is comptroller of City of Troy) about what she wanted to address to the group. She started to talk about ordinance one which involved the Annual budget allocations for the City of Troy. This woman spoke with confidence and went into a little detail about how certain funds had to be reallocated to different areas from other allocated areas. Bill and the man wearing the baseball cap engaged this woman and interrupted her at times. This talk on details of this ordinance one went on for about seven minutes before Hank stated “all in favor say, I”. Everyone at table said “I”.
Hank than addressed the group that the second ordinance was being brought up to be voted on. The City comptroller who addressed ordinance one also stared to talk. Ordinance two involved the general, water, and sewer salaries budget amendment. Tom engaged the comptroller on this ordinance as well as man wearing a baseball cap. The comptroller gave answers to their questions and Hank stated all in favor say “I” and everyone once again said “I”.
The third ordinance engaged all the people except for the woman on the right of the comptroller into the conversation. This ordinance was about some of RPIs mitigation to pay the City of Troy, $300,000 for lights, another police vehicle, etc. When the comptroller told the group that this was only a little of the mitigation that the City was getting from RPI, Bill and the man wearing the baseball cap started talking to everyone about how they hoped RPI should supply hockey tickets as well, in a joking manner. The woman sitting next to Tom also spoke to the group and interrupted as well at this point in the meeting. I believe this woman interrupted so group could focus again at mitigation issue at hand. This is when the comptroller stated to the group that the total mitigation totaled $4.5 million from RPI. Everyone seemed to be of the opinion that this was to be used for the infrastructure of the City, especially around RPIs East Campus. Hank thank interrupted everyone and stated all in favor to say “I” and everyone said “I”. The group discussion on this ordinance lasted a good twelve minutes.
Hank announced the fourth ordinance and once again the comptroller spoke on details of this ordinance. This ordinance was on amending the water fund budget amendment. Nobody had any comment on this ordinance so after a minute or two of description of this ordinance by main female speaker,