Here is a quote from Jacques Ranciere, who has been instrumental in shaping the way we think about City Council Meeting
From Dissensus, page 58 (in my edition)
"In the winter of 1995 in France there was a long public transport workers' strike. An outpouring of...arguments sought to portray these workers as individuals out to protect their own private and immediate interests to the detriment of the political search for the common good and the political ability to act in the interest of future generations. However, in the course of the strike, it became increasingly clear that its main object was to decide whether a specific group of men and institutions had the exclusive privilege of determining the future of the community. The canonical distinction between the political and the social is in fact a distinction between those who are regarded as capable of taking care of common problems and the future, and those who are regarded as being unable to think beyond private and immediate concerns. The whole democratic process is about the displacement of that boundary."