Each member has an equal right to speak and ask questions. There are no "dumb questions."
Each member is encouraged to share individual viewpoints. Individual opinions are valid whether others agree with them or not.
We will listen to, respect and seek to understand the views of others, particularly those perspectives that differ from our own.
Disagreements will be explored not suppressed. In some instances, however, disagreements may be discussed outside of meetings so that we are not distracted from achieving the purpose of the meetings.
We will be courteous when addressing other members, staff and consultants.
We will refrain from interrupting each other, staff or consultants.
We will keep our comments relevant to the topic under discussion.
Draft materials, plans and reports shared by and among members, staff, and consultants shall be treated as working papers.
How We Make Recommendations:
The Working Group will operate by consensus whenever possible. Consensus does not necessarily mean agreement or active support by each member. Those not objecting are not necessarily indicating that they favor the proposal under consideration, but merely that they can "live with it."
In the absence of consensus, a super majority of three-quarters (75%) of the members present is required for approval of an action.
The facilitator will seek the sense of the Working Group on an issue/action. If there is not unanimity and if a clear super majority does not exist, written ballots will be used.
Members may designate an alternate to attend and participate in discussions in his or her absence. Alternates may vote in the absence of the member, except on the vote to adopt final recommendations.
The vote to adopt final recommendations will be by super majority. Only members can vote and written "absentee" ballots will be accepted.
Non-members shall attend meetings as observers and may be invited to offer comments if time allows.
How We Communicate with Those Outside The Working Group:
Ideas discussed within the Working Group should not be presented as representing the position of the group without the agreement of the group.
When speaking about the work of the Working Group outside of meetings, members are speaking for themselves only unless speaking from approved documents or positions of the Working Group.
Draft materials, plans and reports shared by and among members, staff and consultants shall be treated as working papers.