City Council and the Problem of Commissions
Original post made by Otto, Crescent Park, on May 16, 2007
There is another problem with commissions - they _politicize_ everyday operational and aesthetic matters - often in areas that are best left to the operational managers that we hire to run our city.
The Architectual Commission, the Human Relations Commission, the Planning Commission, the Library Commission, and so on. All of these have an _occasional_ place in helping to bring forward advice to our policy makers. That said, should these comissions be institutionalized as permanent arbiters of advise - and do they really help our city to move forward as quickly as necessary in challenging times, especially given the penchant of policy-makers to defer hard questions that require answers _now_.
Once city commissions become institutions, they become politicizing hotbeds, and tend to deflect from the kind of leadership we require at the top to make tough decisions.
Our city's policy makers might take a hard look at the role of commissions in our city, and ask themselves whether many otherwise normal operational city decisions wouldn't be best left to the professionals we hire to carry them out, with the occasional ad hoc commission formed to look into this or that problem, as long as the City Council _uses_ the advice brought back to them, instead of ousing it as a tactic for not committing, or ignoring said advice altogether.