Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ken-Tal Planning Committee Meeting

I went to the Ken-Tal Planning Committee meeting tonight. People from Heart of Kensington were outside giving out stickers for those of us who support a more moderate development project to maintain the integrity and village feel of this neighborhood. They also handed out a paper with a slate of candidates who share the values of Heart of Kensington.

There was a long line out the door, but it was mostly because people were confused about the process. I was informed that voting was reserved for planning committee members or for people who submitted membership applications at the door and had been to at least one planning meeting in the prior 12 months. I was assed out. No vote for me.

It was a mostly uneventful meeting until the dozen or so candidates came up to give speeches. The majority of new candidates spoke about smart development, about maintaining the character of the neighborhood, about safety concerns and about greater transparency for the committee. The incumbents mostly spoke about their experience, how they love the neighborhood just like everyone else, and that there should be a variety of voices on the board, and that decisions shouldn't be based upon a single issue. At one point there was hissing when a candidate said he would help the project move forward. There were also a couple of comments and under the breath remarks from some of the incumbents about the election itself. One said that in over 10 years in the committee, voting never took place before the meeting. Less than half the room waited until after the speeches to cast their votes, and several people signed in, voted, and left. Someone in the audience also pointed out the bylaws of the committee prohibit "slates" of candidates, but it was argued that the slate was not supported nor endorsed by the committee council and there was no way for them to prevent the distribution of such materials outside the building.

Overall, I found the meeting to be quite boring, and I suppose since the Terrace has already been approved, the only thing that can stop it now is the lawsuit and injunction filed last week.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty fried and didn't make it to the Whistle Stop, and I plan on going to sleep soon, but since there are two news trucks parked across the street to shoot from the property to be developed, I'm curious to see how they cover it, so I just might have to stay up for News 8. I'm also curious to see how the election turned out but there was no mention of when or where results would be posted, which makes all that bullshit about transparency a bit ironic.

On a side note, a rep from Susan Davis' office gave an update and said those $600 gub'ment checks will be sent out starting at the end of May. They'll be spaced out and when your check arrives will depend on the last two numbers of your social security number and it will probably last at least a couple months for them to send all the checks.

Anyway, that's all the news I've got for now, so I'll post when something more interesting comes up.

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