Part of the process of coordinating is getting a good start through the adoption of a resolution. This article discusses why it’s important, what should be included and how to proceed once your local government has agreed to coordinate.
As we’ve stated in other articles, it is always best to have unanimity amongst the local elected officials so they are all speaking with one voice for the stated goal of protecting the health, safety and welfare of their community.
Coordination provides one of the best methods for a local elected entity to protect the economic well-being, property rights and tax base of its citizenry.
Some have asked since coordination is mandated by federal statutes why don’t the federal agencies automatically coordinate. The answer may seem obvious, but not all federal agencies understand coordination and then some simply choose not to coordinate. They perceive coordination to create an extra burden on their duties and responsibilities and, frankly, more accountability.
However, more and more agencies understand that coordination is required and they are working to comply with their federally mandated statutes and regulations on coordination.
But, the only way to assure the coordination process begins between the local and federal government is to adopt a resolution. A resolution pronounces the will of the elected body to initiate a formal relationship that intends to utilize coordination as its core strategy.
A resolution adopted by the local government doesn’t have to be an elaborate document. It merely has to state the following:
1. You are the duly elected governing body of your local unit of government;
2. It is your sworn duty to care for and protect the health, safety and welfare of your constituents, and/or the specific duties you are charged with such as a fire district or conservation district;
3. You are asserting the coordination authority delegated to you by federal statute; and
4. You are requesting the agencies initiate coordination for all planning and management activities.
The resolution shows the unity of the Board and that it is not just the action of one member. In fact, coordination will be with the local government, i.e. County Commissioners/Supervisors, and not with staff, an appointed committee or an individual representing the local government.
The resolution is then sent to the federal agency you are requesting to coordinate with a cover letter. This letter not only officially notices the agency that you’ve adopted coordination, but is a request letter asking the agency to begin a series of serious discussion and negotiations with the local government.
The letter should also include a request to meet on a specific date with an alternate date included in case no one is available. Request they respond within a 30 day period and if no response is forthcoming, either send a follow-up letter or place a phone call to the person receiving the letter.
This letter should also include specific issues you wish to discuss in your first meeting so they have an idea why they are receiving your letter and can plan accordingly by sending the proper staff that has the proper background and knowledge to discuss your issue.
Here are a few sample resolutions to help get you started, just make sure the resolution reflects your issues and your unique area. If you would like help getting this process started, don’t hesitate to contact us
.Sample Resolution 1Sample Resolution 2Sample Resolution 3