LOS ANGELES -- Trying to get their fingers on the pulse of the community, Santa Clarita City Council members said they might turn to those whose fingers cut, perm and style local residents' hair.
Frustrated at always hearing from the same developers and community activists at council meetings in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of Los Angeles, City Manager George Caravalho suggested approaching hairdressers for their input on city concerns.
"We could invite all the hair stylists and barbers for dinner," Mr. Caravalho said. "These are people who listen to people all day long."
The council instructed Mr. Caravalho to study the idea.
Councilwoman Jan Heidt also suggested the city invite residents chosen at random to a town hall-style meeting to voice their opinions.
"We could do a PR thing . . . and say, 'One hundred and fifty of you are going to get lucky letters from the city,' " Ms. Heidt said.
The suggestions came after Councilman Howard "Buck" McKeon said it was impossible to read the true opinions of the city's 120,000 residents based on the handful of people who show up at council meetings and city events.
"My personal feeling is that better than 50 percent don't care," Mr. McKeon said. "They're interested in getting up in the morning, getting their kids to school, going to work, coming home, watching TV and going to bed. But then they get on the freeway and it's difficult to get to work, and they get upset."