On Tuesday of this week (March 31), approximately 40 residents from Leucadia and other parts of the city attended the EIR scoping meeting for the proposed “Hymettus Estates” density bonus project. Those who arrived expecting to get informed about the EIR process and study were sadly mistaken, as they were instead met by a bank of construction maps and instructed by [city environmental coordinator Scott] Vurbeff to “only make comments, not ask questions.”
As most attendees had no clue as to how to interpret the maps, they stood around in small groups, clearly at a loss. Disappointment quickly turned to outrage as attendees realized they’d been tricked by a purposefully divisive and non-informative City-hosted meeting.
Springing into action, residents arranged chairs in rows and self-organized so that all could hear the others’ concerns in the transparent and open format that they had originally expected from the City. Vurbeff, clearly baffled as to how to regain control of his “keep ‘em in the dark” format, had no choice but to ultimately join in the discussion and (sort of) answer questions. It should be noted that he was clearly rattled and gave responses that were largely vague and sometimes nonexistent.
Residents left with a better understanding of the project’s issues and how they related to an EIR, but only after they took over the meeting. Is the Council aware of this anti-resident format, and do they approve? Is it part of the new transparency that residents were promised?
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Open Government Theatre
From the Inbox: