In the fractiousness of our hometown politics, no one acknowledges a simple reality: Unless you are drawn to long meetings, endless paperwork and  being on the receiving end of personal insults, serving in elective office is not many people’s idea of a good time. The job is often thankless.

And sometimes the choices don’t come with off-the-shelf answers. My column – here – focuses on the dilemma facing the Santa Rosa City Council as it weighs a proposal to extend a garbage contract.

If you were asked to choose between the benefits of competitive bidding and the agonies of laying off 17 employees, what would you do?