Companies That Have to Deal with City Councils, etc.
June 29, 2009 2:02 PM   Subscribe

What types of companies would have to deal with a city council/similarly elected municipal body ?

I just really have no idea. Does anyone have any ideas? Some that come off the top of my head are waste/sanitation management companies, vending machine companies, billboard companies, maybe some engineering ones?

Sorry if you don't catch my drift. I tried to phrase my Q as best as possible.
posted by Franklin76 to Law & Government (15 answers total)
Liquor/restaurant licensing? Zoning variations? Building permits?

Do you mean in a vendor relationship? That could cover anything from paper clips to fire trucks.
posted by gimonca at 2:10 PM on June 29, 2009

2009 Proceedings so far of the Minneapolis City Council. Lots of stuff to dig through there. In addition to the above, I notice a lot of actions related to landlords and rental housing.
posted by gimonca at 2:15 PM on June 29, 2009

Oooh, and cab drivers! Taxi licensing can be a big, big deal in some towns.
posted by gimonca at 2:16 PM on June 29, 2009

City planning consultants deal with them all the time, as do people who provide municipal bond counsel, traffic engineering, developers, etc.
posted by carmicha at 2:33 PM on June 29, 2009

some engineering ones

Definitely civil engineers. Pretty much anyone involved with large-scale construction projects, from the planning of it (banks and other financial investment groups, architects, civil engineers, traffic engineers) to the execution of it (construction companies and their subcontractors, utility companies, etc.) might have to be called upon to meet with a governing body in one form or another. Sometimes the representatives from these companies do the meeting and greeting politicking and "selling" of a project. Sometimes they need an expert from within a company to explain something in more detail.

My husband, a civil engineer, goes to a lot of village board meetings to explain the projects his company works on (like how it will drain into the surrounding neighborhoods, for example or how expected traffic lanes will be built).

And lawyers of all stripes are also involved, so add "law firms" to the list.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:39 PM on June 29, 2009

meeting and greeting politicking and "selling" of a project

Should be "meeting, greeting, politicking and "selling" of a project." Geez, sorry for the twisted English.

posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:41 PM on June 29, 2009

Real estate developers.
posted by flug at 2:58 PM on June 29, 2009

Very large full-service civil engineering companies work with municipalities, usually to design, plan and/or manage infrastructure projects, such as wastewater treatment. Municipal government is also a large purchaser of IT products, such as specialized software to organize, track and manage data. Municipalities often require very specific and unique IT and software needs, which is a real challenge, because they often don't have the ability to pay for product customization, while the providers that can develop niche products for them are often small in size, and have a hard time dealing with municipalities because the allocation process takes many, many cycles, and is costly itself for the providers.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:04 PM on June 29, 2009

Also I would add "any business that has an office or does business in a particular city" (or county, etc.)

Reason is, the city might want to change the parking on a street, or widen the street, or close the street for construction, or work on an adjacent streamway, or something to do with the utilities, or any of the other many and numerous things a city does, and those things might affect your business or the building your business is housed in.

Also you might want to build, change your existing building, or move--and all those might involve working with the city's zoning & building regulations.

And last but by no means least, the city might want to raise, lower, or add taxes (sales tax, property tax, income tax, whatever) and all of that can impact your business quite heavily.

Our local Chamber of Commerce is on of the main groups lobbying our local city--for all the reasons I've listed above and probably quite a few I've forgotten.
posted by flug at 3:08 PM on June 29, 2009

Pretty much any business operating within said city/municipality will have at least some dealings with said council, and every private citizen therein should be at least reading the minutes of their meetings. This body is the direct interface to the public on how local monies are collected and disbursed. Any company providing goods or services to the city does so at the vote of the Council, (who are ostensibly acting out the will of their constituency.) Water and Sewer. Cable Television. Garbage collection. (Privatized) Emergency services. Gas. Electrical service...
You generally at least need their approval to open ANY business within their jurisdiction, even if you don't deal with them on a daily basis. (Which you invariably do, inasmuch as the rates you pay for supporting city services are largely determined by them...)
As for businesses that are always in contact with the Council, you could generalize it by saying that any company whose primary business it is to modify the way a city looks or the way it works will be buying dinner and drinks before meetings.
posted by EnsignLunchmeat at 3:26 PM on June 29, 2009

Add construction companies, particularly those that do paving and underground utilities.
posted by megatherium at 3:49 PM on June 29, 2009

Companies that deal with Utility Billing and other specialized municipalities type software. I happen to be directly involved on the side of the software companies and deal with many of them on a daily basis.
posted by deezil at 6:42 PM on June 29, 2009

I don't know how precisely you mean "company", but an artist doing a public work (i.e. a mural, fountain, public sculpture, site installation) will often have to work with the community and city council to discover what they really want and/or negotiate his vision (kind of a non-artistic pain, but it can happen).

E.G., I think it was Chapel Hill NC (not sure) that wanted a public art installation to stand for non-violence. The artist they found wanted to do something involving a gun and the path a bullet would take through the town. A lot of people didn't like that idea. Meetings ensued. That poor artist.
posted by amtho at 8:40 PM on June 29, 2009

Architects for any building permits etc. etc. Same for contractors for home improvement projects etc.
posted by defcom1 at 10:54 PM on June 29, 2009

posted by ruelle at 1:22 AM on June 30, 2009

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