Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Richardson City Council Cuts Back its Schedule

If the council approves changes to its schedule, it would skip work sessions on fifth Mondays. In addition, the proposed schedule also would omit meetings on MLK Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Monday that falls during the Richardson and Plano school districts’ spring break, the Monday following Independence Day and the meetings that fall on the week of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

After the jump, four reasons why this is a good thing.

  1. Council members are volunteer public servants. The hours they put into their jobs day in and day out go largely unrecognized. Giving them a few more Monday nights off is the least we can do for them.

  2. The city is run by the City Manager and his staff. If the City Council took every other week off, the whole summer off, whatever, city services would continue to be carried out at the high levels Richardson residents have come to expect.

  3. With fewer meetings, the City Council would have less time to do things they shouldn't be doing in the first place. For example, in the same story above reporting the council's interest in cutting back their schedule, The Dallas Morning News reports that the council wants to restrict the growth of farmer's markets in Richardson.

  4. With less time to do things the council shouldn't be doing in the first place, council members would be spared reading my kvetching about it.

What's not to like?

1 comment:

mccalpin said...

It might be helpful to your readers to point out that the Richardson City Council historically has met twice as often as most other city councils in the area. Richardson's Council generally meets every Monday evening in a "worksession", and on every other Monday evening, that worksession is followed by a regular session. Thus, the Richardson City Council generally meets 4-5 times a month (counting the two meetings on one night as one).

Compare this to Plano/Addison/Farmers Branch/Frisco (twice a month) and Carrollton (once a month), just to name a few, and you'll see that our Council meets much more often than others - even AFTER the reduction to 43 a year for 2014.

The "worksession" versus "regular session" may confuse some people. They are called "worksessions" because the agenda is normally just briefings by the staff, but
as you know, Mark, "worksessions" are counted as real meetings, subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act. The Council can discuss issues and vote on them in worksessions when the subject is properly noted in the agenda...it's just that they usually don't.

So hopefully, some readers won't come away from your article inadvertently thinking that the Richardson City Council is getting lazy...

P.S. the Richardson City Charter requires a minimum of only two council meetings a month...so at 43/year, they will still be averaging some three and a half per month...

And I am sure that they will be delighted to hear less kvetching ;-)