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City Council
Zoning Meeting Fun


elevator buttons

Our neighborhood is in the process of being re-zoned with a conservation overlay. There has been a lot of talk about the zoning changes and we have supported the action. A neighbor came by drumming up support and asked if we would go to the third meeting of the City Council. We agreed.

The day of the meeting was wet and cold. It rained steady all day and I was not exactly positive I wanted to go, but Amy, my wife, was determined.

We had never been to a City Council Meeting, so we had to find exactly where the meeting was held. Naturally, it was at the City Hall, but where was that? Looking further we found it downtown near the Public Square.

We jumped in the car and headed to do our civic duty and attend the meeting. It was dark and really raining hard. We had recently had our car waxed and the residue left a film on the windows or my age was catching up with me, but regardless, the drive was not fun.

Amy was navigating. It was not hard to get to the general area of City Hall, but we did not know exactly where we were going. We were relying on signs and Amy's smart phone to get us there. We made a couple of turns following the phones directions to the tee, when Amy told me to make a left. I looked to the left and there was no road, instead it was just a sidewalk crossing Public Square. We discussed it for a few seconds and then decided that we would probably get into trouble if we drove on the sidewalk. Instead, we looked for a place to turn around.

Back near the location of City Hall, we found signs and followed them to an underground parking garage.

We were running late as we hurried to the elevator. Our parking spot was on level 2. In the elevator car, we looked at the buttons and after a brief discussion, Amy pushed the highest numbered button - level 5. Though it took a few seconds to determine our movement, we decided the elevator was going down. Now normally, 5 is higher than 1, well except in subterranean garages, we guessed.

Parking in a garage, we decided to leave our umbrellas in the car. After visiting level 5, the elevator took us up to level 1. To our surprise, level 1 was just a covered elevator loading area in the middle of a large concrete open space. We got wet as we ran across the long block toward City Hall.

Inside the building, there was a security check point. I emptied my pockets and placed my belongings in the bins for screening. I walked through the scanner and picked up my things. In the meantime, the guard wanted to check Amy's handbag, something was suspicious.

Yes, she was carrying a two inch pocket knife and a small multi-tool. The guards looked at the offending tools and said she could not carry them inside. I asked could we pick them up on the way out ... NO.

Amy went into the meeting and I went outside the entryway, into the rain, to hide the tools. I didn't have a problem with the security checks, but still I was not going to give them the tools that cost over $50.

Soon, I was back inside the building, passed through security again, and entered the meeting room - just in time for the show of hands.

What a fun evening. Oh, we picked up the hidden tools on the way out and then drove around for a while in the parking garage before we found our way to an exit. Ha.

Notes from our fun evening ...

Never blindly follow a GPS or smart phone, you might end up on a sidewalk.

In an underground parking garage, 1 is higher than 2.

There is a security scan to enter City Hall.

If the security guards take something from you, they will not return the items to you. It's contraband.

After hours, the parking garage has limited exits.

Happy Zoning trails


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