Newburyport's second Annual Public Forum will be held at City Hall Auditorium on April 10th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., once again providing an opportunity for the citizens of Newburyport to share their thoughts on current city topics with each other and their city councillors.  This year, the forum has been scheduled earlier in the budget process, in order to provide valuable input to the decisions presently considered for the FY04 budget. 


The format of the meeting is essentially unchanged from last year, although there may be more time allotted for discussion as a reassembled group:

  • Introduction and break into sub-groups by ward to discuss “what’s going well” and “issues” where
  • neighborhood level dialogue is recorded, with those priorities emerging when
  • reassembling into the total group where everyone will hear “what’s going well” and “issues” from each sub-group,
  • thereby having an opportunity to comment about themes that are shared across the city.

This forum is not intended to provide answers or easy resolutions; it is intended for constituents to consult with each other and their councillors on their priorities and influence how these priorities are addressed in the budgetary process.


Mayor Lavender urges the attendance of commissioners, committees and board members, expressing the intention that hearing the dialogue on topics which cross wards and cross committees’ lines will help the city boards and committees to work more collaboratively.












An Annual Public (“town meeting”) Forum in which Newburyport citizens can consult with councillors and make recommendations regarding local government during the budgeting process.


OBJECTIVES (paraphrased from minutes of the City Council ad hoc committee, March 4, 2002)


·        discuss issues and gather information, not provide answers

·        focus on citizens speaking and councilors listening

·        allow everyone to hear what is important on a neighborhood level as well as city-wide




7:00 - 7:15

·        welcome, purpose, etc.

·        meeting agenda & flow

·        ward designations & councillors (for those who may not know their ward or councilor's name)


7:15 - 8:00

·        Sub-group meetings with each of 6 ward councillors;

·        councillors-at-large each join a ward group;

·        one recorder assigned to each group to capture key words & "moderate" as required

·        10 minutes: introductions, what is going well, what do we appreciate that has happened or is happening

·        30 minutes: wishes, concerns, issues


8:00 - 8:30

·        time to reassemble in large group & position flipcharts at front of room

·        each recorder presents "what's going well" and "issues" from their meeting, though not answers or any response about the citizens' comments (5 minutes each)


8:30 - 8:55

·        observations & comments from large group [moderated by facilitator(s)]


8:55 - 9:00

·        wrap up & closure


2003 Transcribed Recordings & Handouts