Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Public hearing horror stories

  1. #1
    Cyburbian rosierivets's avatar
    Nov 2006

    Public hearing horror stories

    Just curious as to whether anyone has any good stories about public hearings where unusual things happened. Accidental swearing? Being accused of operating from the Iron Curtain? Complete loss of composure? Technological failure?

    Give me your best potential sketch comedy routines.

    And have a great weekend!
    How about you take a gander at making an executive decision for once, huh?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Zoning map amendment hearing; multi-family to commercial. Staff report against, planning commission discussion leaning against. From the back of the room, the applicant yelled out "I will just rent it out to a bunch of n....rs." I had enough of such talk, asked him "what did you just say?" When we were face to face, our voices got louder. The commission chair left the room, I thought to get the police from downstairs. No...he just left! Things calmed down, the application was denied.

    To individual members and at the next meeting I apologized for the outburst. To a person they all were amazed that I could have emotions and thanked me for putting the jerk in his place.

  3. #3
    Jan 2006
    Reno, Nevada

    Reno Jedi Council


    Reno, Nevada has its local...ummm, person who speaks on a wide varity of nonsensical subjects during public comment. Now, ignoring the Jedi Council, this is an actual scene of one of her talks.

    Newbies are fun to watch when she starts to speak. Jaws drop, shaking of heads, etc.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
    Nov 2006
    Rockwood, MI

    Fat Cat

    Two come immediately to mind
    One where a projecter caught on fire and I calmly unplugged it, the fire ceased and I continued on as if nothing had happened
    The audience stirred somewhat but when I remained calm they stayed calm. No I dont remember what it was for or if it even passed or not

    Another time and another city there was a large fellow who would always show up and voice his opinion and sometimes he would get really carried away and then wave his arms aroung and approach the table that we were at - I would just let him go and eventyally he would run out of steam and sit down
    At one hearing he started pounded the table and brushing everything off the table. The city atty was sitting next to me and said to me "get him out of here"
    Now I am a small person and this fellow was big and had his own business and performed a lot of physical labor, so this had some humor to it So again I let him go Eventually he ran out of steam, after the table was cleared, I asked the Chairperson to declare a short recess, and she did so. He appologised to everyone during the recess, I still think to this day that if we had not listened to him it could have had a different outcome
    Now to put this in perspective, this was a small community and every one knew and they were not upset by his antics. His business and his home were two buildings from city hall, and I would see him on a daily basis. The city atty was from a city about 25 miles away
    I doubt if I would responded in the same way in another culture

  5. #5
    A couple of strange things happened at public hearings I have attended:

    One person complained about the noise from an elevated train keeping him up at night - the elevated had been removed about a decade before.

    At another meeting, after acknowledging that the developer lived a block away, a person told the developer he was not from the neighborhood and did not understand local values.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    One of my favorites was when the police department decided to get accredited (most are not). The accreditation organization sent a three-person panel to hear comments from the community. One of the local cranks got up and gave an extensive history of how bad the police department was. Why, back in the 70's when the blacks burned down Old Main they did nothing and it's still the biggest secret and now we have all these Mexicans and.... The best part was watching the expression of the balck member of the panel.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Apr 2004
    Blog entries
    At an old job, there was a notorious town drunk who would come in and rant about the city allowing people to build hotels, etc. on property he owns. (He did own it, but sold it 15 years prior and subsequent went nuts.

    He came to a City Council meeting and was patiently waiting for his turn to speak, making quiet comments to ghimself in the the back.
    Finally, he got tired of waiting and walked up to the one councilor he knew and began having a conversation with him in the middle of the meeting while a different presentation was going on.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Feb 2007
    As far south of SoCal as I Will Go
    At a public workshop, a resident stood up and said the following regarding new development in the area:

    "The developer here is basically a pimp, with our neighborhood is its whore, and i for one do no want to spread open my legs and be F***ed"

    Our PIC told him the comments were completely inappropriate and un-necessary. The guy who said actually was a key stakeholder, going through a divorce, and has since gone bankrupt. go figure.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 7
    Last post: 22 Jan 2012, 11:07 PM
  2. Replies: 17
    Last post: 20 Jan 2012, 4:45 PM
  3. Public transportation horror stories
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 42
    Last post: 07 Jan 2007, 6:51 PM
  4. Prestatement at Public Hearing
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 17 Aug 2003, 12:34 PM
  5. Wedding Horror Stories
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 73
    Last post: 14 Aug 2002, 3:31 PM