Thursday, December 9, 2010

The tedium of City Council meetings

We often pay so much attention to our national government and our state government that we forget that many decisions are made at the local level, often at city council meetings.

David Allen mans the Pomona City Council beat, and provided an extended report on the first meeting of the new City Council.

Favorite line:

The swearing-in took place during a special 5 p.m. session. Council members then went into closed session, while I went into the Pomona Eagles Lodge for its $1 taco night. I probably made out better.

But governmental meeting tedium is not restricted to city councils. When I attended Reed College, the student government held regular meetings and issued minutes after those meetings. Now you'd think that Reed's reputation as a communist/atheist/free love place would offer at least a somewhat whimsical set of minutes, but no such luck. The minutes were published in the school newspaper (the Reed College Quest<) on a regular basis, until someone on the Quest rebelled and, instead of printing minutes, chose to post "seconds" - extremely brief observations that were more enlightening.

Allen could conceivably do the same, but when a columnist writes one-sentence columns, his or her job security would be endangered.

And Allen's accounts are much more entertaining than the official city council minutes - which I was unable to locate for Pomona. (When I viewed the website, the city council pictures hadn't been updated to take the new election into account.)

Ontario's City Council minutes are here, by the way.

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