Properly appointed, a citizens advisory committee can provide two valuable services to city government:
- First, the committee can offer specialized, practical expertise that may not be available from the city council or city staff. Such citizens often can help guide city leaders on important issues, usually at little or no cost to the city.
- Second, the committee can lend legitimacy and credibility to the ultimate decision made by city government. Properly advised by the committee, the city council’s decisions are more likely to be seen as fair and considerate of all people having a stake in the outcome. Ideally, the committee can even help “sell” the council’s decision to the public.