This critical conversation becomes even more crucial with a new council. We all receive the staff report a week or so before the meeting. This gives us time to review it. Often we will hear from interested parties and have individual meetings; I will visit the site, by myself or with others. Seeing the project site helps me better understand the issues, however each council member approaches the gathering of information differently. All of these bits of information come together at the council meeting when the real discussion takes place. It is imperative that we ask the questions of staff and then listen to the public and each other to enable that give and take. There are three reasons why a council member asks a question. The first is to clarify information. Equally important is to ask questions or make comments to make sure the information is reflected on the record. Lastly, it helps our community understand how we balance competing interests to arrive at a decision that serves the best interests of Pleasanton.
Sometimes it may feel like we are spending too much time on something. However, the decisions we make have the potential to affect thousands of people for generations. Sometimes our decisions cost millions of dollars. It helps all of us to hear our thought process out loud, especially with a new council. In the long run it will help this current council to better serve the citizens of Pleasanton. It is what we were elected to do.
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