Good council

It’s imperative that when District 2’s Allen Warren and District 4’s Steve Hansen are sworn in to the Sacramento City Council this Tuesday, its nine members work quickly to remedy the impasse and “dysfunction” of years past.

This means that council leaders need to get to know each other by taking a group retreat, both the mayor and the eight members alone, and also with staffers. Yes, this sounds easy, simple, perhaps silly. But it hasn’t happened. And, like a married couple on the outs, there’s been bad blood.

Consider: A council member recently told SN&R that in the past years, there was but one council retreat—and it lasted for only 90 minutes. And it took place inside City Hall at the dais.

That’s not a retreat—even city leaders need icebreakers and to do team-building exercises and all of those occasionally eye-rolling games that foster trust and community.

It’s also important that staffers take the time to get to know each other better. A vital City Hall staffer told SN&R last week that they never recalled speaking to another council member’s chief of staff over the years.

That’s not good. Council leaders need to ensure strong, intelligent, regular communication among their staffers.

There’s much work to do—allocation of Measure U funds, budget battles, utilities, etc.—but nothing will get done if the people in City Hall don’t know how to work with each other.