May 14, 2008

Long Council Meetings: Rewarding, and a Drain

Last night's Troutdale City Council agenda item for the McMenamin's Edgfield Concert Series agreement was the source of a long conversation between city councilors, city staff, McMenamin's attorney, and interested neighbors of Edgefield. This was the most rewarding section of the meeting. After nearly a year of complaints, meetings, and negotiations, everyone came together for a sane and reasonable agreement.

When the City Council took a short break at 9pm and we still had several agenda items remaining, I knew it was going to be a long night. The executive session concerning real estate negotiations and other potential legal matters after the regular City Council meeting seemed to have no end.

Last night's meetings didn't end until well after 11pm.. I didn't get home until 11:30pm. And I'm usually so wired after coming home from a meeting that I have trouble getting to sleep. Last night was no exception. Three hours of sleep, fortunately, was enough to get me through today's busy schedule.

Public service is both rewarding and draining. Rewarding when you achieve good end results on issues. Draining when you don't get home until 11:30pm. But the City Council has it easy. Some city staffers have this schedule two or three times a week due to their required attendance at Planning Commission, Parks Committee, or Citizen Advisory Committee meetings. And I've never heard a single complaint, not once, from city staffers about their long hours.

So hats off to you, Troutdale city staffers, for your long hours. Always willing to help. Always patient. Always at the top of your game.

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