Dedication, balance needed on Monticello City Council

Express Editorial

     The first Monticello City Council meeting of 2018 almost didn’t happen.

     With Brian Wolken taking the center seat as Mayor, that left his council seat vacant, and two of the current council members were absent. So, essentially three council seats were empty the evening of Jan. 3. That meant there was not a quorum, and official governing boards/committees cannot vote or make decisions without the majority of its board members present.

     Thank goodness for technology, allowing one of the council members who was absent to be “present” via speaker phone.

     A full city council is important. Decisions need to be made concerning the City of Monticello and its residents. Yes, at times a council person or two might not agree with a vote. That’s the great thing about voting; it allows for difference of opinion. But, nothing can get done without a full council.

     Now that Brian Wolken is mayor, his at-large council seat is open for the taking.

     As an at-large seat, that means anyone living in city limits is eligible to serve. You don’t have to reside within a particular ward. The pool of likely candidates is wide open.

     As someone who covers both Monticello City Council meetings every month as well as special meetings and work sessions, serving on the council takes a dedicated individual. You have to have the time to spare (particularly in the evenings). Council members also serve as liaisons on various city committees, so there is extra time dedicated toward those groups as well.

     But overall, city council members must be dedicated to Monticello and the citizens who live, work, plays and raise families here. Decisions made by the council affect everyone in many facets of their lives. So we should all want to voice our thoughts.

     With just one female serving and voicing her concerns on the council, it’s also important to maintain balance. Gender balance is something state, city and county codes urge all government entities to strive for.

     Interest in serving on the city council should be directed to City Hall. Hopefully we see a new and engaged face very soon. (K.N.B.)


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