Delving into city council meetings | Letter

It is always good to hear from Richard Grubb on civic matters (Redmond Reporter letters, Dec. 8). In several instances, the councils that Richard sat on were more productive and dealt with more controversial elements than are before us today. Richard’s criticism of 7-0 votes has validity with a couple of caveats. First, the challenging discourse Richard praises does come in council study sessions and committee meetings. The study sessions are broadcast live (second, fourth and fifth Tuesdays) while committee meetings are recorded and open to the public (4:30 p.m. each first through fourth Tuesday). It is considered “poor form” to question another council member in these meetings, and that surrenders function to form and should be changed. Richard was always an exemplar of civil disagreement that has been lost over time.

Second, we have a mandatory binary voting system on council. It is either yes or no and everybody must vote. If you have misgivings, you have to decide if they are enough to vote against an entire resolution. Council members will use short speeches to express their views, but typically these are long on self-praise and short on substance. One improvement is to allow abstentions. Congress and our state Legislature allow abstentions. We allow abstentions in our primary and elections (you don’t have to vote in every race). A majority of those present (usually four votes) would still be needed for passage. These two changes will go a long way to overcome the concerns Grubb has stated so well.

Hank Myers

Redmond

More in Letters to the Editor

Keep funding public education | Letter

A response to Michelle Darnell’s “Don’t ban guns, ban government schools” letter.

Public engages on Sears redevelopment plan | Letter

An informational community meeting regarding Overlake’s Sears site (Heritage Park, to be… Continue reading

Parent disagrees with letter writer’s gun/schools conclusion | Letter

As one parent among the millions of parents who have sent children… Continue reading

Emerald Heights residents deserve dignity, good health care and quality of life | Letter

We’ve heard a lot recently in the Redmond Reporter about the proposed… Continue reading

Not convinced that guns/schools letter wasn’t written in parody | Letter

It wasn’t long ago that I could read an article from the… Continue reading

Dissecting letter on guns/schools | Letter

Michelle Darnell’s recent letter (“Don’t ban guns, ban government schools”) was unfortunate… Continue reading

Don’t ban guns, ban government schools | Letter to the editor

Public schools have become impersonal, sterile and monolithic — like most government institutions.

Redmond Parks should show that tree cutting is needed for public safety | Letter

Redmond Parks is planning to cut down 31 cottonwood trees in Idylwood… Continue reading

‘Winter Whimsy’ was a hit with couple | Letter

Hats off and a big THANK YOU to Aegis Living and the… Continue reading

‘March for Our Lives’: Listen and fall in behind students | Letter

We are all trying to deal with the aftermath of the horrific… Continue reading

‘This is a very dark day for Washington’ | Letter

Rep. Larry Springer, Spinning the Legislature’s action today as “a major expansion… Continue reading

Joining the Emerald Heights discussion| Letter

A formerly elected Redmond city official has chosen to ask your readers… Continue reading