I don’t know if council members receive any type of training after being elected or take any type of continuous education during their stay on the council, but if they don’t, they may want to consider the idea.
Most council members tend to grow and evolve into their position on the council, while others don’t seem to get the knack of it. For a new council member, it’s somewhat understandable if they don’t catch on quickly, but at what point to you begin to question their competency.
Naperville council member Patty Gustin was elected in April 2015, as were five other members of the city couincil, however Gustin continues to think she is a commissioner on a board rather than a city council member:
and thinks the board should do a straw vote, rather than have the council vote on an issue:
If a council member’s learning curve has flat-lined, that’s an issue.
Even more curious is seasoned council member Judith Brodhead. None of the nine council members, including Mayor Steve Chirico, have more experience and tenure than Brodhead who was elected in 2009. She is in her 7th year on the council, but has to be reminded by the mayor that an issue to be discussed at a later date is ‘tabled’ rather than ‘continued’.
Seven seconds earlier Chirico says ‘tabled’ and Brodhead asks ‘continued’.
OK, mistakes and mis-speaks happen, and these may appear to be minor in nature, and they are, however when it happens with more frequency one has to wonder if the issues being voted upon, are being fully understood by council members. A misunderstood vote, resulting in a 5 to 4 vote on an important issue can have major consequences.