The schedule can be found at the GoHillsborough campaign website. We hope more folks will participate but we also can understand skepticism with the effort.
At the March PLG meeting, Parsons also reported "citizens want to speak to their elected officials". However, to our knowledge, only a couple of county commissioners have attended any of the meetings. There were no elected officials at the two meetings I attended in Lutz and Town and Country.
If the commissioners don't show up, the citizens have no opportunity to speak to any elected officials. The commissioners, in turn, do not get the opportunity to hear, listen and observe what is being said. The county is paying a million dollars for this effort and we would like to see the commissioners taking this effort seriously enough to at least show up at some of these meetings.
While this is a public engagement effort, participants cannot actually make any public comment. Participants can see the displays and talk to county staff, the political consultant running the show and some transportation folks. Your public engagement is limited to filling out a survey and turning it in, drawing some suggestions on a map and placing some colored dots on a board.
The dot board contains numerous buckets of transportation options you may choose to place the four colored dots given as you enter the meeting. This is not very scientific. Probably to some, the categories are confusing, overlapping, too broad and they may not even understand them. There are some brief definitions of the buckets provided next to the board. Who really knows what "complete streets" are? Who understands ATMS, especially when the definition provided did not even mention it included traffic signalization simply known as timing our lights.
|Dot Board at GoHillsborough public engagement|
This time taxpayers are paying the big bucks to Parsons Brinckerhoff. But Parsons is just the front man. As we previously reported here, Parsons is funneling hundreds of thousands of our county taxpayer dollars to a very well connected political consultant Beth Leytham.
|Cost Estimates from Parsons Brinckerhoff|
|Scope of Work|
|Hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to political consultant Beth Leytham|
And Voila! We're paying for an expensive million dollar GoHillsborough PR campaign.
But you do get to play pin the dots on the board.