Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Whirlwind

Well. I've been called out by some bloggers for not being informal enough. It would seem that some in the blogsphere want to really know what's really going on behind the scenes -- so far behind the scenes, in fact, that apparently my breakfast choices are of interest to some. So, here goes...

Typically, my day begins at 6:00 a.m. with about an hour of exercise -- weight-lifting or some type aerobic activity, such as running or the elliptical trainer. Afterwards, I either have breakfast at home (cereal with fruit, juice and a vitamin pill), or at a meeting with constituents or community leaders, usually at the Panera Bread at Falls Grove or the Broadway Diner. I generally arrive at the office between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. to attend a morning meeting, or to make some constituent calls.

If it's Monday or Thursday, there’s usually a committee meeting from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. -- and on Mondays I also have a weekly press briefing at 11:30 a.m., which can last 30 minutes to an hour. During the months when the General Assembly is meeting, the County Council attends a State Legislative update from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. This leaves time for another quick meeting, then it’s back to committee meetings from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. or so. If the committee session doesn't go too long, we'll squeeze in a quick staff meeting. Then it’s one more meeting in the office, then home for a quick dinner before heading out for a community meeting by 7:00 p.m. or so. And it’s still only Monday.

Tuesdays have a rhythm of their own, since it’s the day the Council meets as a full body. Once a month we begin at 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. with a breakfast meeting with the County Executive so we can swap notes about what's going on. The council then goes into session at 9:30 a.m. and the morning session usually concludes at about 12:30 p.m., at which time I meet with the council scheduler to review the schedule for the remainder of the week, as well as next week's agenda. We're then back in session at 1:30 p.m. for public hearings, and we resume full council session from about 2:00 until 4:30 p.m., depending upon what's on the agenda. This leaves a little time for some quick meetings until about 5:30 p.m., when I leave to take my daughter to swim team practice. I have to get back to the council for evening public hearings which begin at 7:30 p.m., and are usually on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Wednesdays have a high degree of variability, since there is usually nothing formally scheduled for the council on this day except during our budget deliberations. This is the day I try to get in some hours for my biotech consulting practice, but I find that often doesn’t happen because there are many other informal council activities that occur. The council staff meets at 9:00 a.m. and I try to attend those meetings at least a few times each month. The Council of Governments (that I chair this year) and the Transportation Planning Board also meet in DC that day. It can also be a good day to go to Annapolis to check in with our delegates and senators about legislation affecting our county. That makes Wednesday one of the craziest days of the week, but I still make every effort to have a quick dinner with my family, attend an evening meeting, and coach my daughter's third grade basketball team.

As for Thursday . . . well, see my description of Monday, just above. It's pretty much the same.

Friday is the catch all day -- it includes cleaning up what didn't get done earlier in the week, and attempting to get in those hours at my other job that I didn't get done on Wednesday. It’s also another good day to visit Annapolis, and there are usually a number of meetings that didn't fit in earlier in the week that I try to get to on Friday afternoons.

As for my weekends . . . well, they’ve actually been fairly quiet so far this year, with only a couple of events each on Saturdays and Sundays. For the most part, these are the best times for me to attend my daughters' swim meets, soccer games, and basketball games. I even get to do a little yard work.

I don't know if this is the type of peek I'm supposed to be providing, but as a novice blogger, I welcome your feedback and hope that at the end of the day this makes a part of your government and community a little more accessible.

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