The vibe in the courtroom during the November 13th Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting felt different. Less tense, more friendly. The room was packed – standing room only. There were the regulars but also many new faces. There were the Flood victims, and the Affordable Housing proponents but one didn’t get the usual “us versus them” feeling as people spoke passionately.
During the portion of the meeting where anyone could speak to the BOT for three minutes, two dozen people spoke, a handful of them twice to extend their time, and the members of the BOT engaged some of them in conversation and actually sought answers to some their questions.
Yes, there was some frustration and anger but a lot less yelling and none of it came from the dais as the public comments went on for over 90 minutes. As expected, there was some criticism of members of the BOT; this comes with the territory, but they began to respond by exploring ways to solve the resident’s issue. The final speaker of the session, Rodney Reid, Trustee Yizar-Reid’s husband, implored everyone to have compassion and realize that everyone is trying their best. He asked that, in addition to compassion, we have more discussion and respect for one another.