The city of Provo is thinking about broadcasting City Council meetings. There are some inherent problems with putting council members on television.
For instance, when the credits are rolled, who gets top billing?Is Mayor Joe Jenkins the star because he makes the most money? Or is it the council member who's on screen the most? What if a council member, say Councilman David Rail, who usually has few lines, unexpectedly steals the show that night? The last thing we need is the mayor and council fighting over whose name appears first.
At least there can be only one leading lady - Councilwoman Shari Holweg. She's the lone woman on the council.
What about guest stars?
No one knows who might show up at a meeting on any given night. It wouldn't be fair to snub some of the regulars who don't miss a chance to chew out the council about high utility rates or potholes in the road.
The next thing you know, council members would be demanding their own dressing rooms with stars on the doors. Under Councilman Don Butler's name the sign could read Chairman/Star.
Council members would have to look good on television.
That means the city would have to hire makeup artists, hairdressers, fashion designers, etc. At least the hair stylist wouldn't have to spend too much time on Councilman Mark Hathaway.
The wardrobe department would have to be filled with a variety of clothes. Plenty of bolo ties for Councilman Ben Porter and golf shirts for Councilman Jim Daley.
There would have to be a theme song.
All memorable television programs have a song that sticks in viewers' minds. Who could forget the music from "Bonanza" or "Hawaii Five-O?" The council needs to come up with a catchy tune to attract attention.
No television show succeeds without advertising revenue. McDonald's would likely be one of the program's major sponsors, wouldn't it, Councilman Dennis Hall?
Putting council members on television might be problematic, but maybe it isn't such a bad idea after all.
Actors, politicians. Politicians, actors. Who can tell the difference anymore?
(Dennis Romboy, American Fork, is a staff writer in the Deseret News' Utah County Bureau.)