One of the many problems of the D.C. Register, that thick weekly compendium of city government information, is the fact that many items--notably those involving the D.C. City Council--appear so long after the fact that they're often next to useless. It would hardly be surprising to run across a resolution by the council congratulating the late Adm. Richard E. Byrd for his successful flight over the North Pole.

So it is with a realization of lateness that MetroScene reports approvingly on the text of a resolution approved by the council July 12 and finally published in the Sept. 2 register praising seven intermittent years of work by Bruce Comly French as a staff member of the Government Operations Committee and later as the council's legislative counsel--the person who made sure that the bills enacted by the council say what they mean, and vice versa.

He's gone to the faculty of Ohio Northern University at Ada as a law professor, a post he held in his one-year interruption of service to the council.

The resolution praising French is deserved. As a reporter who covered the council for about four years, I found him devoted to the council and to home rule, and--important to Post readers who read my stories--always reliable in the information he imparted.

The council resolution praised him for, among other things, "an uncanny good sense of humor in his work with the members and staff of the council." This is said affectionately, but it's true: to work with that diverse gang and survive, a good sense of humor is vital.