“It's hard to get an idea in edgewise when you're working with that mentality,”
Tea party activists interrupt regional planning meeting in Santa Rosa
By JULIE JOHNSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Published: Monday, January 9, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Tensions flared Monday evening during discussions about a long-range plan for land use as well as roads, trains and other transportation systems in Sonoma County and the Bay Area.
Representatives of the Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission held the meeting at Santa Rosa's Finley Community Center to discuss what the region could look like in 2040 and to get input on transportation, housing and other land uses.
A vocal group of about 20 tea party activists interrupted the speakers and audience with charges that the government can't be trusted.
A woman pushed a sign that read “protect property rights” close to Santa Rosa Councilman Gary Wysocky, who was in audience.
“Get out of my face,” Wysocky said.
“Get out of my council,” she said...
“We're tired of being pushed around,” said Mary Anne Black of Petaluma. “They want to force us, but I don't want a bike path in front of my property.”...
Organizers shortened their presentation about the plan at the start of the meeting after people protested that there wasn't enough time for public comment, said Joan Chaplick, principal with MIG, a Berkeley-based planning firm involved in the project.
“It's been lively,” Chaplick said.
Many comments show people don't understand who holds power over land use decisions, said John Goodwin, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
“I'm glad it's generated this level of interest, but it's unfortunate that there's clearly a great deal of misinformation about the plan,” Goodwin said.