“Seriously?” That is the only word that I can use to describe last night’s meeting/meetings. Really “seriously” with something this big like the May Town center, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. At the meeting/meetings last night a lot of people did not know that there was one meeting not even two meetings being held in the same place, mind you to talk about the same thing. Yes, I said in the same place, Cohn High School. I know that Cohn has a lot of good memories for a lot of people, but last night, baby, if "the walls" could talk.
One meeting was in the library called by Councilman Buddy Baker at 6:00p.m. and the second meeting was in the auditorium called by Mrs. Hand at 6:30p.m. both to talk about the May Town Center and the effect on District 20. Council Lady Emily Evans suggested before the meeting/meetings started that the two meetings should join together to give both time to talk and state why the meetings were called in the first place. So the meeting started out by Councilman Baker saying that the two meeting will be together. I was thinking to myself I smell trouble and folks you know that this is serious. But back to the meeting. A lot of people asked Councilman Baker questions and some people were just making comments. One of the questions was, “We are not in favor of a bridge in the Charlotte Park area at all, are you???” Councilman Baker answered, “No, I’m not, but I'm going to vote the way the majority of the people in District 20 want me to vote but I'm not in favor of a bridge in the Charlotte Park area at all.” Another question was a two part question, "OK, so you are not in favor of the bridge in the Charlotte Park area, okay good, but are you saying that it's okay for the bridge to be in the Cockrill Bend area "The Nations"?” He answered, “Yes.” Now the second part of the question was more like a comment than a question, the person stated "how can you say that it is okay for the bridge to be in one part and not in the other because both the Cockrill Bend area "The Nations" and Charlotte Park area are both in District 20." I was thinking to myself, “The Nations”, wow, that’s an interesting story on how the Nations got it's name, you know and it is not because the streets are named for states. Bet you did not know that. But that’s another story for next time. Okay, I know ,sorry, I will get back to the meeting.
So now it's about 6:30p.m. time for Mrs. Hand's meeting to start. She started out by talking about the planning commission staff recommendation "on page 44 it states “At the risk of over simplification of a very important proposal, not every impact can be determined, nor can every contingency be anticipated." Then there were more questions and comments both for Councilman Baker and Mrs. Hand. One was “are there any other Council Members here tonight?” Yes, there were Councillady Evans, Councilman Holleman and Councillady Wilhoite. Another question was, “okay, do y’all know how y’all are going to vote on the May Town Center?” Councillady Evans said, "I'm voting no", Councilman Holleman said "I'm voting no" and Councillady Wilhoite said "I'm voting no, but I'm still open to hear from both sides". One of the comments that was made "why is it that a former Council person and the present Council member for the same district are holding two separate meetings on the same night at two separate times but in the same place to talk about the same thing." Okay, I know what you’re thinking "seriously" right? But again I know, I know, back to the meeting, sorry. So now it's about 7:30p.m.- more questions and comments was made and then brace yourself folks "seriously" brace yourself. Mrs. Hand stated "If you originally came here for my meeting we need to leave because Councilman Baker just asked us to leave because his people wanted to meet alone without us here, so let's go to the auditorium." Remember what I said in the beginning I smell trouble "seriously". I knew that it was a bad idea in the beginning for both meetings to be together.
Okay, so let me tell you what I got from both meeting/meetings .You need to call, write or e-mail the Councilmembers all forty, the Planning Commissioners all ten and the Mayor to let them know if you are in favor of or if you are against the May Town Center. Remember if you favor the Center, you favor the bridge in District 20 whether it be one bridge or two. Your voice needs to be heard.
Billy Walls is the president of the RUN Neighborhood Association.