Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Helenan S. Lewis

Second Advisor

Dr. David Houghton

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The relationship between the satisfaction members of locally initiated citizen advisory committees have with their committees and the following types of independent variables were examined: (a) shortcomings of the committees; (b) external influences on the committees; (c) information available to the committees; (d) specific actions performed by the committees; and (e) personal characteristics of the members. The membership of eight citizen advisory committees in Kalamazoo, Michigan comprise the sample. A questionnaire was distributed to the members to collect information on the five groups of independent variables, member satisfaction with the committees, and socio-economic characteristics of the members. A satisfaction scale was created and was correlated with the independent variables. The following was found to be significantly related to member satisfaction: (a) committee shortcomings--lack participation and one person domination of the committees; (b) external influences-- external influences which make the job difficult to do, and consulting with the agency to veto and suggest alternative to staff proposals; (c) information available to the committees-- whether the committees had sufficient information, and receiving information from the staff in the form of written reports prior to and at the meetings, and verbal reports at the meetings; (d) specific actions of the committees-- soliciting support by talking to individual friends and meetings with affected groups, and providing information to the public through formal press releases and holding public hearings.