Monday, January 18, 2010

Open Mike Night: Yes, Maybe, and Hell No

Richardson Gymnastics Center Richardson Gymnastics

It's Monday, time for Open Mike Night at the Richardson City Council. Three speakers took the time to speak to the council, with three quite different messages.

After the jump, the descent from yes to maybe to hell, no.

The first speaker was a representative of the Richardson Environmental Action League (REAL) who reported REAL's position on the plans for Lookout Trash Transfer Station. Apparently, REAL didn't get the message that speakers to the city council usually accuse the council of incompetence, deafness and corruption. (Or maybe someone will be around shortly to inform me that REAL is bought and paid for by the same people who bought off the city council.) Anyway, REAL supports rebuilding the station in its present location with its planned improvements for handling trash. REAL did encourage the city to do more to encourage recycling, perhaps even reducing trash pickup to once a week.

The second speaker was the president of the Cottonwood Creek Civic Association. Apparently, the homeowners in that corner of Richardson didn't get the message, either. The speaker announced that she was aware of city-leased property at Floyd Rd and Synergy Park Blvd and wanted the council to know that the association wants to work with the city to arrive at the best possible use of that land for Richardson. OK, council, here are homeowners extending an open hand. Take it. Don't blow this opportunity for synergy (pun intended).

Just when I was beginning to think 2010 might offer a more cooperative spirit in the relationship between council and community, the third and last speaker took the open mike. Her message was classic NIMBY. She spoke against a proposal to build upon the existing RISD gymnastics center at the magnet school at Abrams Rd and Highland Blvd. She didn't say whether she was against the concept of a neighborhood magnet school, too, but she was obviously against the concept of a neighborhood gymnastics center (or having the city leverage the RISD's existing facility there). The benefits of having such a recreational facility close enough for her neighborhood's kids to walk to was outweighed by the likelihood that other neighborhoods' kids might arrive by car. She read from a sheaf of emails from neighbohood residents who opposed any more traffic in their neighborhood. Actually, not all the emails were opposed. She dismissed two who supported the proposal because she felt that the writers didn't live close enough to the site to have a valid opinion. A third supporting email was dismissed because she claimed the writer "honestly doesn't have a clue." Be warned: if you want to deliver a message to the city council, don't trust any go-betweens to faithfully convey the message.

1 comment:

Mark Steger said...

Another account of that third supporter of the plan to expand the MST gymnasium has it that he himself admitted that he really "didn't have a clue about it." If true, then his message was accurately relayed to the council. I regret the error.