The attendance records for the City Council's fiscal year 2011 have just been posted, and at least six Councilmembers have been summoned to the principal's office! Kidding, they can pound beer and smoke bowls in the City Council parking lot without consequence, and still rake in over $100K per year. Of course, they do have to take a little guff from tabloids like the NY Post, which gleefully reports that six "council members—who earn base salaries of $112,500 plus bonuses—missed at least 16 percent of their required meetings at City Hall." Drum roll, PLEASE! The six most-absent City Councilmembers (and their excuses) are:
- Joel Rivera (D-the Bronx): missed 19, tells the Daily News he was sick a lot and had to attend legislative delegations to Chicago and Puerto Rico.
- Jim Gennaro (D-Queens): missed 19.4 percent of his meetings, but takes care of a family member with a chronic illness.
- Julissa Ferreras (D-Queens): 18 percent absent.
- Sara Gonzalez (D-Queens): Tied with Ferreras with 18% absent.
- Larry Seabrook (D-Bronx): missed 27 percent of his meetings, but has an airtight excuse—he was under indictment on fraud charges.
And the award for Most Missing Councilmember goes to... Charles Barron, the Brooklyn Democrat who was absent from 28 percent of City Council meetings. His explanation? "I have perfect attendance in my community," Barron tells the News. "You don't get your attendance checked on going to crises in the community when people are shot and killed." Reached for comment by the Post, he elaborated that "the fates of most bills are pre-determined, rendering meetings a waste of time."
So by that logic these six absentee Councilmembers are actually the most effective, and it's the system that's out to lunch! You gonna take that, perfect-attendance perfectionists Christine Quinn and Ydanis Rodriguez?