Councilmembers should use common courtesy when absent

It seems odd to us that the city council appears to be puzzled over what to do about their members who are absent from a meeting.
Recently, two councilmembers, Mohammed Hassan and Adam Albarmaki, asked to have their past absences officially excused. Their reasons for being absent several times were based on their work and school obligations.
Those absences are reasonable, and we understand that being a city councilmember is not a full-time job.
They are paid a stipend – about $6,000 a year — to attend meetings – making their roles almost voluntary.
The council has decided to put the matter behind them, and to simply look at what should be done going forward.
We suggest they look no further than the city charter, which clearly states what needs to be done:
Here, in Section 6-11, it says:
“… (I)f any councilperson or mayor shall absent himself from council
meetings for a period of five unexcused consecutive regular meetings or ten unexcused regular meetings within a year without good and sufficient reason, and without the permission of the council, the office held by such person shall be deemed to be vacant.”
The key part here is seeking permission from the council. In the past, that simply meant telling the chairman of the council meetings, which is the mayor — or even just a fellow councilmember, the city clerk or city manager – that you can’t make it for whatever reason.
Is that too hard to do?
This has never been such an issue in the past.
What’s curious is how this city council seems to keep getting entangled in issues of their own creation.
For goodness’ sake, there is no need to reinvent the wheel here, folks.
Posted Nov. 11, 2022

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