The first duty of any job is simple: Show up for work.
Richfield is sending that message to members of its citizen advisory commissions after having some issues with members skipping meetings.
The city needs a better way to handle “problematic absentees,” Mayor Debbie Goettel said at a recent City Council meeting.
“If they’ve got something important and someone is gone for six months, it can be onerous,” she said.
Commission minutes show a few problem areas. One member of the Community Services Commission missed at least 11 straight meetings from late 2014 to late 2015. The Transportation Commission canceled at least one meeting in 2015 for lack of a quorum.
Commission chairs said absences can usually be handled informally.
“For the most part, we’ve been happy with the participation,” said Reed Bornholdt, chairman of the Community Services Commission. “Knowing the people who serve, I think they all take their jobs seriously.” Except, perhaps, for the one who didn’t show up for a year.
Ted Weidenbach, chairman of the Transportation Commission, said his nine-member commission has two vacancies “and we are hoping for members who will actively participate and attend all meetings.”
Commission members are appointed by the City Council, which is conducting interviews Saturday for prospective new members. The commissions serve as the council’s research arm, Bornholdt said, as well as an outlet for gathering input from residents on issues the council is considering.
“I see us having an important impact,” he said. “My experience has been that the council has taken our advice seriously.” The commissions also serve as a farm team for citizens who may one day move on to elected office.
“We want people who are going to spend the time, study the issues and get invested in it,” said Council Member Michael Howard. “And by and large, that’s the kind of commissioners we have.”