The civic club meeting from hell

I attended an impromptu civic club meeting last night, and had an interesting time. Now normally I am not a civic club type of guy (shocker), but I had received an email from our town crier that it would be a super important meeting that I would not want to miss. Turns out the meeting was put on by the Oak Forest civic club (which I am not a member of, living on the other side of 610, don’t tell) and the invited guests was the Houston Galveston Area Council. The HGAC was presenting a plan describing transportation projects for Harris and surrounding counties, which could possibly have included building a toll way through Oak Forest.

The meeting was held at my old high school, so it was a little strange to see an angry mob revolting in the same seats that I took the TAAS test in 12 years ago. I was surprised to discover that a staple resident of Oak Forest seems to be diesel lesbians, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Also surprising the residents of Oak Forest (including the lesbians) were not too thrilled about having a toll way running through their houses (see plan here) and over 500 people showed up for the meeting that was originally supposed to have less than 100. I didn’t think yet another tool road that dead ended at the loop was not such a great idea, since it would lighten traffic congestion 290 only and then leave the same (or more) traffic load on 610 and apparently the attendees of the meeting agreed with me, having much more of a vested interest than I did.

About 8 slides into the presentation Judge Robert Eckel’s assistant (I don’t remember his name) was affronted with catcall from the audience about how his slides sucked, his plan sucked and that he needed to speak in English (which he already was). I was shocked at how angry and violent the residents were, having never been to an event like that before. I was reminded of an 80’s movie where ‘the man’ (insert company name her) is tearing up the neighborhood to make way for ‘the plan’ (insert corporate atrocity here) and the residents aren’t going to take it. I was just waiting for some one to come up with a last ditch way to raise the money and the memory would have been complete.

After the presentation was over the floor was opened up for comments, and that was when things went really badly. It seems that the residents of Oak Forest were not too comfortable with coming to the front of the auditorium, so they just cat called questions from their seats, but they decided to do it all at once. It was at this point that the head of the civic club come to the front (he must have been told that would be more effective) and presented his opinions, which were very well worded. After that was over I took that opportunity to leave, since I figured the opinions would be down hill from there. All in all it was an interesting meeting and I found out that the toll way that everyone was there to ‘stop’ had been rescinded anyway, go figure.