Cut the commendations by 95%. Use them for exceptional achievement or recognize unique contributions to the community. Who cares if civil servants have worked for the city for 10 or 20 years? Longevity in a job where you’re protected by civil service laws is not cause for celebration or special recognition.
Cut the staff presentations that begin with; “This is the week of.” Who really cares if this is Kitchen Fire Awareness Week? Show us policies instead and hard data about our local progress to reduce the problem. Stop the dog and pony show.
Cut the long-winded council comments. Forcing the public to listen while the council members reminisce about what they did this past weekend is cruel and unusual punishment to those waiting to hear the real issues. Summer time already provides us with plenty of hot air.
Give guidance to speakers on oral comments. State the problem. Give a short example or hard evidence if you have it. Provide a suggestion to solve the problem. Tell the council what outcomes you expect.
Schedule oral comments to a firm time slot. I suggest from 7 to 7:30 p.m. That firm schedule will permit those watching on television to tune in to real, un-sanitized concerns of Glendale stakeholders. Limit the comments to three minutes. Council members, don’t leave the dais when the public speakers are presenting their issues and put your Blackberries away.
On action items: Tell us what the real cost to the taxpayer is and the expected completion date. Tell us how that action will impact the residents and property owners.