Monday, May 11, 2009

Berkeley's City Council Problem

By Robert Gammon
Mon, May 11, 2009 at 6:19 AM

Berkeley City Council meetings are infamous for lasting well past midnight. And now, council members finally appear to be fed up. According to the Chron, they're talking about moving important, controversial issues to the beginning of council meetings, so that they and the public will actually be awake when debating those matters. Sounds like a good idea, but it doesn't address the fundamental problem. The council simply has too many items on its agenda, and that's why the meetings run long -- not because controversial issues traditionally have been pushed to the wee hours of the night. The only real solution, which unfortunately went unaddressed in today's story, is that the council has to meet three, if not four, times a month -- instead of just twice. That way, there'll be fewer items to deal with at each meeting, and so they'll be shorter.

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