Those following the City Council this week may have noted that Tuesday’s full council meeting lasted about a half-hour running through 16 items. Meanwhile, Monday’s meeting of the council’s ordinance & rules subcommittee lasted the better part of three hours to hash out three items. This is a testament to the amount of time and energy that goes into vetting and sharpening many proposals long before they even get to the council for approval. Monday included a lengthy discussion on a proposed adjustment to one section of the ordinance related to the personnel review board. To the credit of all the members, we spent a significant amount of time on tedious verbiage to make sure it was done right. Then there was the proposed food truck ordinance. Kudos to the city planner C.J. Hoss for crafting the proposed ordinance and creating an outline, while allowing the council the opportunity to deliberate on key issues that were left open-ended. Such details included the permitting authority, fees, location of food truck zones and more. Much was accomplished Monday, however, the matter was tabled further to ensure the community will have a full opportunity to be informed and to weigh in on the issue. The thought is that the food truck season is quickly coming to a close, so there is no rush to have this finished in the next few weeks. Instead it can be adopted sometime before the end of the calendar year.
So, as the saying goes, that is how the sausage is made. City councilors are typically members of two or even three subcommittees. So the responsibility for a ward councilor (in particular) is manifold: two council meetings most months, often one or two subcommittee meetings per month, and of course, the constituent services.