When a panel gets too big

The Covington News - - OPINION -

The con­cept of a work­ing com­mit­tee to study the 2050 Plan pro­posal and make rec­om­men­da­tions to stream­line it seemed un­til this week to be a work­able so­lu­tion.

What gen­er­ally makes a com­mit­tee work is that it al­lows a rel­a­tively small group of peo­ple to work to­gether to come up with a con­sen­sus to solve an is­sue.

Now the city of Cov­ing­ton is in­sist­ing in­stead of hav­ing one rep­re­sen­ta­tive to serve on this pro­posed com­mit­tee, they want seven. All other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties will just have one.

In our opinion, Cov­ing­ton’s re­quest de­feats the whole con­cept of hav­ing a com­mit­tee. If the city is al­lowed to ap­point these mem­bers we see this com­mit­tee bog­ging down and spin­ning its wheels, and we see no good com­ing out of its ef­forts.

It’s not that the city has no ar­gu­ment for more rep­re­sen­ta­tion. It does. Hav­ing paid as much for the 2050 Plan as the county, it seems fair, on the sur­face, to pro­vide equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion. But it’s not about that. It’s about find­ing so­lu­tions to the more vex­ing prob­lems in the mas­sive plan for the county’s fu­ture.

City officials were unan­i­mous Mon­day in de­mand­ing seven seats on the com­mit­tee, one for each coun­cil mem­ber and the mayor. That one-for-one ra­tio has been al­lo­cated to the county com­mis­sion­ers, so the city re­quested the same.

But that just can’t work. A com­mit­tee that big won’t ac­com­plish any­thing.

A bet­ter so­lu­tion might be to down­size the county’s por­tion of the com­mit­tee to just one, equal in terms of the cities. That cer­tainly won’t seem fair to the county, but again, it’s all about a com­mit­tee that works.

With our largest city and the county bump­ing heads, it might be best to just kill the com­mit­tee al­to­gether rather than waste every­one’s time.

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