Ask the Mayor
Much has been made about the City Council showing up on time. As Mayor, how can you persuade the Council to change their bad habits?
His answer: He acknowledges my question, talks of seperation of powers between legislative and executive branches of government (which yes, I understand), and then starts in with the scheduling conflict verbage saying that sometimes it is unavoidable.
OK, I give him props for answering the question. However, my point was actually addressed in the followup question:
Can you at least sympathize with many of the people who wait many hours and then no one is there?
His answer: Absolutely. He then gives examples of changes in the MTA meetings where public comment has been moved from the end of the agenda to the front.
The problem they keep missing is this. It is not enough to just give the public a comment period. YOU MUST ACTUALLY SIT, LISTEN, AND RESPECT THEM. They have given their time and energy to join the process that so many people can't even be bothered to go and vote for and then they get mistreated. And people wonder about the causes of voter apathy...
Simple solutions such as a brief recess could have solved the entire dilemna. This isn't rocket science. Better yet, how about they show up for their jobs which we pay them for and do the work we elected them to do. Heck, If I just got to get up and leave my desk at work whenever I felt like it, I'm not so sure that my employers wouldn't respond much differently than I am. I'd be fired or docked pay. Certainly a draconian step, but may be where this is headed if the council keeps winning "Ass-Clown" awards.