Anyone who has ever attended a council meeting knows how excruciating they can be, especially in that third, fourth, and fifth hour. But when I heard that a South El Monte City Council meeting went until 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, I felt happy that I chose to cover the Rosemead meeting instead (that only lasted until 11 p.m.)
Some city council’s have informal time limits. In Monterey Park, former Mayor David Lau was adament about stopping the meetings at 11 p.m. It seems that it is a wise thing to do. Sure, the city council has work to be done and sometimes hefty agendas. But going that late poses a couple of problems. First off, what member of the public in their right mind is going to stick around until even midnight? Secondly, who really makes their best decisions at 3 a.m.?
Since I wasn’t at the South El Monte meeting, I don’t know what state the council members and city staff were in. But my hunch is they operated similarly to me at that hour – tired and slightly incoherent. And the decisions I make at that hour usually only affect me and my late night cravings, not the entire population of a city.