Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chairman Gray's opener for BSA public hearing

The FY 2010 budget support act public hearing opened today with this statement from Council Chair Vincent C. Gray: "In some prior years, the Council has included subtitles in the Budget Support Act that were not budget-related. I plan to continue the trend from last year by enforcing a relatively rigorous standard for subtitles to be germane and necessary to balance the budget. Any subtitle that is not budget-related will be stricken regardless of its merit."

Hoorah!   This is another example of how Mr. Gray and many of his colleagues on this Council are improving expediency (another exciting example is sticking to time limits for witnesses at hearings*.)   I encourage the Council to keep this up.

*Now to the criticism I am sure to face.   There are 364 other days in the year that the public can -- and I would argue should -- talk to elected officials.   There are many ways the public can get to know decision makers and share information about issues of concern to them with Councilmembers and staffers.   I agree that I have a much easier time than most; I get paid (well, have in the past) to do advocacy, cultivate relationships and the like.   Many District residents do not have the opportunities I have.   But there are opportunities.   And I would argue that we -- paid advocates -- may have to do more or do things differently to help facilitate changes that will make resident access better.   Should anyone be interested in improving access, finding new ways to do this, etc., I would be more than happy to be involved.

Thoughts?   Let me know.   Use the email link on the right.   I'll share the ideas on the blog.