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Local politics

I was urged to show up last night for a city council budget hearing, to speak up during the public comment period in favor of a transportation-related matter. So I did! But of course, three people in, a councilmember politely pointed out that there wasn't a whole lot the councilmembers could do at that point in time to accommodate requests for inclusion of a Complete Streets Coordinator among budget plans.

It's always interesting to see how things work at these meetings. There were a couple of eloquent community members who came to speak out about an increase in trash rates, and a couple of impressive rambling speakers where the thing I was most impressed by was councilmembers who managed to somehow feign interest and attentiveness throughout these long-winded declarations. It sounds like Albany's finally reaching a stage where they need to change up how they handle waste, but they're doing it by first imposing an across-the-board $90 trash fee increase.

By the time the council finally got to roll up sleeves and get to work on actual decision-making, it was already 9 pm, and the vast majority of the members of the public had left. I stuck around just to get an idea of what the discourse is like at that stage: they wound up voting on at least two different measures: a measure to bump up the deadline by which a community member must respond to a tree removal problem (30 days instead of 60), and a measure to go ahead and purchase the city's street lights and shift them over to LED's.

And yeah, did the patriotic thing and voted this morning.

Tomorrow is our rowing club's general membership meeting. More speeches and voting, I suspect! Busy week.

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