Monday, March 24, 2008

Macon City Council, By the Numbers, Part II

If you're thinking of running for City Council, you better be prepared to attend lots of meetings. Last Monday (March 18th) I received a very prompt response to an Open Records Act request for the attendance records of our current council members. My curiosity was triggered by the reporting and blogging about the attendance records of legislators.

Over all, I think you're going to be impressed with the dedication of this group of elected officials. Eight Macon City Council members have attended 100% of Council Meetings and 100% of meetings of assigned committees. (For Lonnie Miley, that meant attending 19 of 19 assigned committee meetings.) White, Benedict, DeFore, Paris and Schlesinger have attended 100% of all council, assigned committees and work sessions. Overall, most have not just good attendance, but outstanding attendance. Many go above and beyond by attending meetings of non-assigned committees in addition to assigned committees, and that's good because like any governing body, much of the work happens in the committees. Leading that list, Rick Hutto has attended 18 meetings of committees to which he is not assigned.

Since December 11th, of the meetings for which attendance was requested, members Ellington, Lucas, White, Benedict, Hutto, Miley and Schlesinger have all attended more than 30 meetings, while Cranford, Jones, DeFore, Erickson and Ross have attended fewer than 20 meetings.

Because members of council are assigned to different committees, and those committees meet with varying frequency, I am simply reporting the raw numbers rather than % of overall attendance. As you scan the list, you will see trends. As you look at these numbers, remember:

  • The records I have are only through March 14th.
  • The attendance report for the O&R Committee does not include the names of non-assigned council members who attended the meetings of that committee.
  • Some Council members have had deaths in the family, illnesses and other legitimate reasons for absences. I am simply reporting the numbers as reflected in the documents I was provided, not judging whether the absences are justified.
  • Council members have pointed out that absences from some committee meetings can be attributed to attendance at other subcommittee meetings (like animal control).
  • Because I did not ask for it specifically, the attendance at the retreat is not included in these numbers. Also, meetings of subcommittees and related committees are not included, so some members have attended even more meetings than listed here.
  • Council members have pointed out that Council President, Miriam Paris, frequently drops in on committees even if she does not attend the entire meeting.
  • There was an O&R Meeting listed on December 18, 2007. The committee listed was as appointed by the previous council, so it was confusing. There were no absences from that meeting, so it's possible that current members of O&R actually attended one meeting in addition to those listed here.

According to the information provided, as of March 14th:

Mike Cranford attended 5 of 6 Council Meetings, 10 of 12 meetings of assigned committees, 3 of 4 work sessions and 0 meetings of committees of which he is not a member. (18 total)

Charles Jones attended 5 of 6 Council Meetings, 9 of 10 meetings of assigned committees, 2 of 4 work sessions and 1 meeting of committees of which he is not a member. (17 total)

Tom Ellington attended 6 of 6 Council Meetings, 15 of 15 meetings of assigned committees, 3 of 4 work sessions and 9 meetings of committees of which he is not a member.(33 total)

Elaine Lucas attended 5 of 6 Council Meetings, 11 of 11 meetings of assigned committees, 4 of 4 work sessions and 12 meetings of committees of which she is not a member. (32 total)

Virgil Watkins attended 6 of 6 Council Meetings, 11 of 13 meetings of assigned committees, 4 of 4 work sessions and 1 meeting of committees of which he is not a member. (22 total)

Nancy White attended 6 of 6 Council Meetings, 9 of 9 meetings of assigned committees, 4 of 4 work sessions and 13 meetings of committees of which she is not a member. (32 total)

Ed DeFore attended 6 of 6 Council Meetings, 7 of 7 meetings of assigned committees, 3 of 4 work sessions and 0 meetings of committees of which he is not a member. (16 total)

Lauren Benedict attended 6 of 6 Council Meetings, 14 of 14 meetings of assigned committees, 4 of 4 work sessions and 13 meetings of committees of which she is not a member. (37 total)

Erick Erickson attended 4 of 6 Council Meetings, 5 of 11 meetings of assigned committees, 2 of 4 work sessions and 4 meetings of committees of which he is not a member. (15 total)

Rick Hutto attended 6 of 6 Council Meetings, 7 of 7 meetings of assigned committees, 3 of 4 work sessions, and 18 meetings of committees of which he is not a member. (34 total)

Lonnie Miley attended 6 of 6 Council Meetings, 19 of 19 meetings of assigned committees, 3 of 4 work sessions, and 3 meetings of committees of which he is not a member. (31 total)

Miriam Paris attended 6 of 6 Council Meetings, 4 of 4 meetings of assigned committees, 4 of 4 work sessions, and 11 meetings of committees of which she is not a member. (25 total)

Larry Schlesinger attended 6 of 6 Council Meetings, 13 of 13 meetings of assigned committees, 4 of 4 work sessions, and 14 meetings of committees of which he is not a member. (37 total)

James Timley attend 5 of 6 Council Meetings, 12 of 13 meetings of assigned committees, 4 of 4 work sessions, and 5 meetings of committees of which he is not a member. (26 meetings)

Alveno Ross attended 4 of 6 Council Meetings, 6 of 7 meetings of assigned committees, 4 of 4 work sessions, and 0 meetings of committees of which he is not a member. (14 meetings)

1 comment:

Vic said...

Good report Amy, thank you. So i guess it stacks up like this:

Top Two:
Benedict (37)
Schelsinger (37)

Bottom Two:
Ross (14)
Erickson (15)