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How to Run Your Life Like a Public Meeting



Good evening, everyone, and thank you for joining us, well, me. We have a very full agenda tonight and I'd like to end by 9 p.m. so I can clear the chambers and watch a show about gentle British people baking elaborate desserts without a running commentary for once.

In our report out of closed session, it's my unfortunate duty to announce that this council, in conjunction with the Co-parent Ad Hoc Committee, has decided Dylan is too young to go on an unsupervised camping trip with his friends this year, especially if Hunter is going to be there because we've seen how he talks to his parents.

In announcements, it is the council's honor to decree July as this family's Hygiene Appreciation Month and we have hung a commemorative plaque — well, more of a cute sign — in the upstairs bathroom thanking members of the public for washing their hands thoroughly, even if "it's just Number One." We'll also be distributing gift bags with deodorant and toenail clippers, as well as a bonus nose and ear hair trimmer for senior members of staff.

OK, we did have some feedback about last month's minutes, which on page four state that council "won the argument about whether or not we should retile the bathroom floor versus buying a sound bar for the television." One member of the Household Budget Ad Hoc Committee, OK, technically the only other committee member, refutes this interpretation, saying it doesn't reflect the full spirit of the discussion, during which he was "repeatedly mocked" for the color he chose to paint the den and questioning the council's decision to invest in her ex-boyfriend's cryptocurrency company. As the boxes of tile are currently sitting downstairs waiting to be installed, it feels like a moot point but I'd be willing amend this item to say "a robust discussion resulted in a decision to retile the bathroom with the council agreeing to repaint the den the color they fucking wanted in the first place if they hated the sage green so much." Agreed? OK.

If there are no further questions, I motion to approve the minutes. Motion seconded, by me, and motion carries. Let's move on to the consent calendar. These items normally don't require discussion and can be passed in one motion. Tonight's items include a provision to dispose of the old couch Jerry's brother "stored" here "temporarily" three years ago when he was sure he'd save his marriage, the announcement of a contract award to Aunt Gina's house for hosting the annual family barbecue and a third-party services agreement with Costco to replace the failing washing machine. As the council is the only entity who ever throws anything away, does all the social scheduling or washes the duvet, it's unsurprising they haven't been flagged for discussion prior to tonight's meeting. Motion to pass the consent calendar, motion seconded, motion carries.

Excellent. A presentation by Tansy as to why she should be allowed to quit the Youth Soccer League — despite the council having purchased uniforms and equipment, rearranged its schedule to accommodate her practices and joined a group text about her teammates' food allergies — has been postponed indefinitely.

On to public comment. This is the time for members of the family who wish to be heard on matters that do not appear on the agenda. Council policy limits each speaker to three minutes. The council may not take action or discuss non-agenda items raised by the public. The council feels obligated to reiterate that texts or call-ins from Vern won't be aired; as he has been told repeatedly, his comments should be directed either to the municipality where he lives (the Brooks Household) or taken to the In-law Ad Hoc Committee. Please form a line to be called up.

Dylan, your comments have been noted but if I have to ask you not to kick the podium one more time, you'll be asked to leave.

Tansy, you're going to have to either speak up or pause the YouTube video on your phone. And push the hair back from your eyes, honey.

Babe, I understand what you're asking but, once again, I can't comment on items that aren't on the agenda. There are more details about that JoshCoin investment in the notes from last week's finance workshop, if that helps. Look, I'm sorry, but your time is up. Your time is up. I'm turning off the microphone now. Your time is up.

Thank you, everyone, for another robust public comment session! If you feel as though you have more to add to the discourse, please feel free to reach out during my office hours from 6 to 8 p.m. on alternating Tuesdays, ending promptly when the Brompton-on-Hedges Crumpet Classic double-episode special begins.

Moving on to Ordinances and Resolutions, the council has researched and is ready to move forward with Resolution 18.6-2022, aka the Hamper Divestment Decree. This is an update to an existing policy regarding family clothing, the maintenance of which was previously under the council's jurisdiction. However, after doing a cost-benefit analysis of time spent on laundry versus time that could be spent doing literally anything else, the council concluded that all members of the household are currently capable of washing, drying and folding their own clothes and, as such, is returning oversight of this task back to individual members of staff. Is there any public comment?

Jerry, were you going to say something? No? That's what I thought.

Motion to approve. Seconded. Motion passes 1-0. Motion carries.

Seeing as we have no action items, let's move on to future agenda items. An In-law Ad-Hoc Committee meeting is scheduled for next week in advance of Gina's barbecue. We anticipate a recommendation from Vern at that meeting as to why we should invest in his timeshare in Panama, which the council may discuss in September but, honestly, probably won't. A full agenda will be released one week in advance. Until that time, I refer the public to my aforementioned office hours.

What time is it? 8:15? Excellent, let's adjourn.

Linda Stansberry (she/her) is a staff writer at the Journal. She lives for public meetings. Reach her at linda@northcoastjournal.com and follow her on Twitter @LCStansberry.

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