While not stated as a goal, the FAC assured that at least 2 of 5 council members became 'experts' on the city's financial structure and dynamics. More importantly it provided a venue for airing urgent financial issues as they arose such as the consequences of the housing mortgage meltdown several years ago, and issues related to the city's bonds. Former City Manager Rojas took this committee very seriously and attended nearly every meeting. The composition of its council and public members was outstanding and brought real-world business expertise and previewed perception of issues for staff. As one of the three public members I thought the meetings were great healthy dialogs on this most important aspect of city operation.
The committee wasn't without frustrations. Staff probably on the one hand may not have been comfortable with the visibility but at the same time valued the result of vetting issues and having a better 'product.' The public committee members were always engaged, but frustrated that suggestions could have fell on deaf ears.
By January 2013 all three public members were 'termed out' without reappointments or new appointments to continue the body. Shortly thereafter the current city manager placed the disbandment of the FAC on the Council's Consent Calendar. This raised eyebrows of some council members who requested that it not be dissolved. Almost a year has elapsed without any action on appointments, without any meetings, and without, as far as I expect, the monthly financial status charts for council that were the key continuous work product for the benefit of the Council.
Ironically, concurrent with the attempt to dissolve the city FAC last year, Menlo Park School District created similar body recognizing the need for diligence regarding district finances and bonds.