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Editorial: Council decisions have been slow to come

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Editorial: Council decisions have been slow to come
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Near the end of a more than 90-minute discussion of franchise fees Monday night Farmington City Council member Steve Wilson made a comment in praise of the council's decision to extend their conversation on the topic a little bit longer.

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"Government should be slow and deliberative," Wilson said. And we agree, at least to a point. There are big issues involved in running a city, and it benefits nobody if a city council or city staff rushes through them. But there's a fine line between deliberative and glacial.

Monday's vote to table the franchise fee discussion was the second time a decision on that topic has been put off. A week earlier, council members held the latest in a long series of workshops dedicated to trimming the city's budget. That budget has to be finalized by early December, but council members do not seem appreciably closer to reaching a decision than they were when they approved a preliminary budget months ago.

Meanwhile, council members have gone from calling for the elimination of two staff positions to apologizing for not paying closer mind to a staff recommendation that would have preserved the positions to once again calling for the elimination of jobs. On Monday council members supported the job cuts at least in part in the interest of preserving curbside pick-up for the city's annual cleanup days.

If those employees' jobs are less important to the quality of life in the city than allowing residents to drop unwanted items at the ends of their driveways then maybe they should go, but we have a hard time believing that is the case.

A city council should absolutely consider all of its options before making decisions that will affect the finances and the day-to-day lives of taxpayers. But it's also a council's job to take action. And it's starting to feel like this council has crossed a line from pontification to procrastination.

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