Maybe government should spread the wealth — CURT YEOMANS

There are nine government bodies in Clayton County that meet 19 times a month.

There are also seven days in a week and 30-31 days in a month, except for February.

Despite that, government meetings are confined to only a couple of days in each month. Almost half of the meetings are held on first and second Mondays.

A total of four more meetings are held on the third and fourth Mondays.

Six meetings are held Tuesdays across a four-week period.

One meeting is held Thursdays — and that’s actually a morning meeting.

Maybe it’s time elected officials spread out their meetings. It’s hard for a small group of reporters to be in four government meetings at the same time when there aren’t even four reporters to spread out.

What did Wednesday ever do to deserve being shunned by government? Are elected officials prejudiced against Hump Day for any particular reason?

Is it so wrong to pick Thursday nights for meeting nights? It’s not like there’s “Must See TV” on Thursdays anymore.

No one is expecting government to meet Saturdays or Sundays except in cases of extreme emergencies. Those days can be crossed off the list of available spots for meetings.

Here is a calendar of all of the government meetings in a month.

Week 1

Monday — Clayton County Board of Education, College Park City Council, Forest Park City Council and Jonesboro City Council.

Tuesday — Clayton County Board of Commissioners and Morrow City Council.

Week 2

Monday — Jonesboro City Council, Lake City City Council, Lovejoy City Council and Riverdale City Council.

Tuesday — Clayton County Board of Commissioners and Morrow City Council.

Week 3

Monday — College Park City Council and Forest Park City Council.

Tuesday — Clayton County Board of Commissioners.

Week 4

Monday — Clayton County Board of Education (unless there is a fifth Monday in the month) and Riverdale City Council.

Tuesday — Morrow City Council

Thursday — Lake City City Council

Anyone else notice how all of the meetings are done early on in the month?

It’s like elected officials want to get their quota of meetings behind them early so they can spend the rest of the month doing whatever it is they do when they are not governing.

It’s not just reporters who get the short change in this. If a Morrow resident wants to attend every city council meeting and every county commission meeting, they’re up a creek without a paddle. That’s because there are two Tuesdays every month where the two bodies are meeting at the same time.

Morrow’s first Tuesday of the month work session was recently added to give council members more time to discuss issues. Of course, most of those issues are not items the council will actually vote on. Then again, government apparently feels residents want to see their elected officials spending more time hearing reports they won’t act upon.

It is the American way after all for government to spend hours, sometimes even days, running around in circles so it can chase its tail in a futile attempt to grandstand and pontificate on subjects while actually accomplishing very little.

One former school board member expressed the solution very bluntly to a colleague in 2007 when he said, “If you can’t say anything intelligent or intellectual to say, then let us get on with our business.”

Of course, his colleague nearly jumped out of his seat and punched him in the face for saying it, but it’s a sentiment residents have, from time to time, wished their elected officials would follow.

But if officials want to continue chasing their tails, at least spread the meetings out across the week so residents can see all of the running around in circles firsthand.

Curt Yeomans is a senior reporter for the Clayton News Daily and an avid traveler. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, via email at cyeomans@news-daily.com or on Twitter at @CYeomansCND.