Our Process

What are Local Agency Incentives?

In the traditional motivation theory of the carrot and the stick, the carrot is used as an incentive for the donkey to move forward. The stick is there to poke the donkey if it doesn't move forward fast enough. In a negotiation, we think of an incentive as something we use to get the local agency to move forward in the direction we want.

How do we know what incentives to use?

 

Research. Anything we can find out before we go into the negotiating room about the local agency's interests (needs, wants, desires) will help us formulate the best incentive for the situation. Each situation is unique because what is a powerful motivating force for one local agency might not matter at all to another.

Their interests are the ''why'' behind their positions.

Ask them to explain their concerns.  Once we're negotiating, we can gain more information about the other local agency's interests by asking open-ended questions.  For example, we ask what are their concerns and, if we could address those concerns to their satisfaction, would a townhome neighborhood be acceptable on this property?

 

Ask if we can be a part of a solution they want, rather than a problem.

Every local agency wants to improve in some way.  In years past there were things, some city's called it a "wish list", that almost every local agency wanted and was willing to negotiate to get such as "white linen" restaurants, city swimming pools and skateboard parks.

Today, most local agencies have less concrete needs and wishes.  They want fiscal sustainability, safer streets and neighborhoods and real intangibles like understanding what residents want from their city.  If a local agency is willing to work with a development proposal and sufficiently increase the ROI, even intangibles like these can be addressed.

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