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  Reduction Late in 2008?
May 26, 2004
 

After voting one week ago to place a measure on the November 2004 ballot to reduce the City Council to seven members effective after the November 2004 election, City Council members apparently came face to face with the prospect of their own political mortality and settled on a substitute plan to postpone any reduction until after the November 2008 election. The measure, assuming it passes a second reading next week, will still appear on the November 2004 ballot.

 

Last night’s meeting droned on until about 1:30 AM this morning, culminating a 10 ˝ hour day of meetings for City Council members. There was a morning executive session that started at 9:00 AM and ended sometime past 11:00 AM; then the evening meeting began with an executive session at 5:00 PM. My personal perception is that meetings are getting longer and longer but accomplishing less and less, largely due to the inadequacy of critical information provided by staff and incessant, but necessary, questioning by City Council members trying to understand exactly what our budget deficit is and what constitutes the latest plan to deal with it.

 

Simple math would indicate that reduction of City Council size from nine to seven would presumably reduce questions and debate by to some 78 percent of the current trend, and, if nothing else, could possibly reduce a 10.5 hour day of meetings to 8.17 hours, a substantial accomplishment by itself.

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