The Durango City Council did something unprecedented Tuesday and blew off a scheduled meeting. The wonder of it, though, is not that the councilors would do such a thing, but that they do not do it more often.
In part, that reflects the reaction many people have when watching almost any public meeting - City Council, school board, county commissioners, whatever - which is to reach for the remote or pray that whatever business requires their presence can be swiftly concluded. Faced with the prospect of being required to attend such meetings on a regular basis or getting teeth filled, many among us might ask: How many teeth?
It is easy to sympathize with councilors simply wanting a break.
But of course, that is not what happened. The council canceled a study session, where nothing could be decided in any case, because three of its members were not there. Leigh Meigs was out of town. Paul Broderick was sick. And Doug Lyon was at a family event planned weeks in advance. Those were legitimate absences, but there was no sense in going through with the meeting only to repeat the presentations later.
All perfectly reasonable, but apparently not something that has happened in decades. That is what is truly remarkable. In this day, and with people who have children, spouses, jobs, extended families, outside interests and who knows what other commitments, no one can remember the last time the council canceled a meeting for lack of attendance.
What an incredible streak of luck. That, or it speaks to the seriousness with which a considerable number of people have taken the job of councilor over the years.
We hold with the latter.