We like government efficiency as much as anyone else, but in a representative government, speed also should be balanced by due deliberation.
That’s what deliberative bodies such as the Metro Council are supposed to do, after all: deliberate.
This is why we’re against the idea of abolishing the Metro Council’s system of committees that review important issues before they head to the full council.
The Metro Council is scheduled to consider eliminating its various committees when the council meets Wednesday.
Those committee meetings were eliminated by the Metro Council in 2009, but were reinstated in January 2010. Now, some members of the Metro Council want to eliminate the committee meetings again.
We believe that would be a mistake.
The full Metro Council meets twice a month to make official votes affecting parish business. Between the semi-monthly meetings, the council also holds committee meetings twice a month to vet agenda items before they reach the full council.
The committee meetings include the finance and executive committee and the capital improvements committee.
Critics of the committee system have said that public attendance at the committee meetings tends to be small.
That doesn’t surprise us, since these meetings often start in mid-afternoon, when many people are at work.
But the meetings are covered by the media, and they provide a useful forum for members of the public to see how key issues are being discussed prior the their arrival at the full Metro Council.
We urge the Metro Council to keep its committee system in place.