Friday, May 13, 2011

This Week's Town Hall Meetings

There were four sessions of Town Hall Meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. For those of us who went to them all it was just like a weekend in the Caribbean. 

It was almost more of an event than a meeting.

Various members of the press were there including Zoe Corneli of the online paper The Bay Citizen.

Members of the SFMTA hierarchy showed up including Executive Director Nat Ford who stopped by for about an hour. He was reported as saying that he thought Hayashi was doing a good job.

The MTA also sent Julia Rosenberg (Photo) and Henry Epstein to record the the proceeding and take down the driver's comments. Despite the expression I captured in the picture, she's a very friendly person.

And, of course, no meeting would complete without Tariq Mehmood and his impassioned disciples (See photo of acolyte yelling at Hayashi). They were generally well behaved -  except, of course, for Tariq himself who often acted as if he was running the proceeding, made his usual, paranoid personal attacks on Hayashi and shouted down anybody who tried to keep him on topic. Meaning mostly me. 

There were other angry drivers at various sessions. Drivers Murai and Christopher Fulkerson (photo, standing) also defended Hayashi against the cheap-shot, personal attacks that a few belligerent drivers were making.

On the whole, Hayashi handled the situation very well and many drivers left feeling better about the situation than when they came in.


  1. I find this to be a fairly accurate account of the first morning session, and I agree that there was a FEELING that something was accomplished. It would be a mistake to assume that the MTA will listen to any detail whatsoever of our "Town Hall" meetings. I am quite sceptical that they are not a sham, though I do not feel Miss Hayashi conducts them as though they are shams. In short, the MTA may be wasting her time as much as ours.

  2. Bullshit and lies. That's what you are doing.
    Are you defending your girl friend. Wait till she
    get fired. The die is casted. Murai did not defend her. I found Tariq the most powerfull and
    great leader this industry had ever seen.

  3. Hi Christopher,

    I'm not sure that these meetings are a waste of time. The MTA has no monetary interest in the outcome at all.

    I have no doubt that they are listening. I'm only hoping that they will listen the voice of reason instead of the mob. On this I'm skeptical.

    On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that there will be a meter increase and that they'll follow something like your plan or Tone Lee's. The other main plan discussed would be too expensivee for the paratransit people.