City of Middlevale Annexation Negotiation
January 9, 2012
The City of Middlevale is introducing a plan to annex properties currently outside of the city limits. The annexation process is due to budget constraints and the cities inability to continue funding emergency services to these outlying areas. The citizens in the proposed annexed areas will be required, if the annexation is passed by the state legislature, to pay city property taxes and city sales tax on purchases made in Middlevale. The citizens residing in the unincorporated area are either lower income households or elderly. Most moved to the unincorporated area to avoid paying the taxes associated with incorporation into the Middlevale city limits. Without annexation, the citizens of the unincorporated area would be without emergency services. Both the city and the effected citizens are poised to begin negotiations to find a solution that will mutually benefit both parties. Negotiation is the act of discussing or conversing with another person or persons with the goal of reaching a mutually agreeable solution. The agreed upon solution may be fully or partially agreeable to both parties. This process is used when one person needs or wants something from another and seeks to gain their support or cooperation in obtaining his or her objective (Lewicki, Barry, & Saunders, 2006). There are two types of negotiations. Collaborative negotiation refers to focusing on mutual gain for both parties, whereas adversarial negotiation seeks to maximize gain for one party or the other, but not both. In a collaborative negotiation, the two parties seek to come to an agreement through the strength of a relationship or multiple options. Adversarial negotiations have the parties withholding information and there is little regard considered for the relationship between the two parties. In negotiations there are key stakeholders. These are usually the parties that have the most to gain or lose in the negotiation process. The key stakeholders in the negotiation to annex the unincorporated properties are the City of Middlevale and the citizens currently residing in the unincorporated area. The City of Middlevale is acting on their needs to control their city budget, while maintaining adequate and reliable emergency resources to all of the citizens in the area. The citizens affected by the proposed annexation are acting on their rights and needs to maintain a lifestyle associated with living in the unincorporated area. These citizens moved to this area with the knowledge that this area provided them with a lower cost of living. The citizens are concerned that with annexation will come the lowering of their property values and an increased cost of living due to higher taxes. The City of Middlevale needs to work closely with the citizens affected by the proposed annexation. The Middlevale City Council cannot take an adversarial approach to the negotiation. The City should incorporate an integrative bargaining technique. Integrative bargaining is a collaborative negotiation, whereby both parties work closely to maximize the potential for a joint outcome. Both parties are willing to work together to achieve the desired results, sharing and respecting each other’s position to help find a common ground. Both parties must invest time and effort in understanding the other person’s position. In integrated bargaining, both parties expect to continue working together and therefore enter the negotiation with an attitude of relationship, strength, and respect. Integrative bargaining helps to create long-term solutions and long-term relationships. Integrative bargaining is best known as a “win-win” negotiation. It does require compromise from both parties to meet in the middle or swaying one way or the other. In either case, one or both sides will compromise their initial objectives for the betterment of the whole. Unlike distributive bargaining, integrative...
References: Karrass, C.L. (1995). Give and Take (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills, CA: Stanford Press.
Lewicki, R.J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D.M. (2006). Negotiation (5th ed.). New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.
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