Transit activists fed up with lagging Hillsborough County Commissioners pack meeting, but get silenced by technicality

08/07/13 Janelle Irwin
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Transit activists crowded the back two rows of the Hillsborough County Commission meeting Wednesday morning. About a half dozen of them signed up to tell commissioners during public comment that they were fed up with the lack of action to get the ball rolling on transit improvements. But because of time constraints during the meeting, only one was able to speak, Tampa resident Jason Eames.

“What we’d like to see is – we’ve been talking for a long time about fixing transit in this county, but we would like to see a concrete agenda with benchmarks that need to be met and goals because, talk is good, but action is better. We’ve been working hard in the community getting people to support this and we’d like to see some action on the part of the county as well.”

The group’s outrage was sparked by a public meeting Tuesday night where transit backers said they didn’t get enough opportunity to speak and instead were forced to fill out a generic form rating their transit needs. County commissioners did not attend that meeting. Instead, a professional facilitator led the discussion. The county plans to have several more meetings in locations across the county, but details have not been released.

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