City Council’s report card

Apr. 25–If members of Macon’s City Council were issued a report card on their
attendance at the regular twice-monthly council sessions, most would rate a good
grade. For example, 13 members who have a record of attending 90 percent or more
of regular sessions would get a "A." Mike Cranford, who has been on council
since March of 2005 and who has had health problems, would get a B+, and
Councilwoman Filomena J. Mullis, who for the past two years has wintered in the
Philippines and who has been absent for weeks following a burn injury this year,
would get a C-.

But that is not the whole story. In addition to the regular sessions, a major
part of the job includes attending committee and council work sessions where the
city’s business is, for the most part, decided. Council members are assigned to
two to four committees, with the exception of City Council President Anita
Ponder, who chairs council and is on one committee. And, according to a
Telegraph survey covering a period from December 2003 through March 2007, with a
few fairly notable exceptions, most of Macon’s council members do a fairly
credible job of attending their meetings, particularly those of committees they
are assigned. Council membership is part-time, and there is no legal requirement
that members attend a set number of meetings. Many, the newspaper survey found,
frequently don’t attend sessions of committees where they are not members,
although some, like Rick Hutto, Nancy White and Elaine Lucas attended
non-assigned meetings 71 percent, 60 percent and 47 percent of the time,
respectively.

One name is consistently at the bottom of the lists. Councilwoman Mullis
attended the fewest council sessions, work sessions, assigned committee meetings
and unassigned committee sessions of any council member. While elected in Ward
5, Post 1 voters, her representation affects the entire city. If Ms. Mullis is
unable or unwilling to devote more time to her council duties, she would be
doing Macon’s residents a favor if she were to step aside, opening the door for
someone to assume those responsibilities.

Title: EDITORIAL: City Council’s report card
Source: Macon Telegraph, The (GA); 04/25/2007

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