Day 61: Be the only audience member at a Village meeting

November 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Tonight I went to the monthly Board of Environmental Health meeting in Morton Grove, Illinois. When I showed up, the Village Hall seemed so empty that I thought I might be in the wrong place. The meeting started at 7pm and I was there at 6:50.

It turns out that the meeting was just very casual. Board members filed in sporadically for the first 15 minutes. I was the only member in the audience, so the board was quite aware of my presence. I was even able to introduce myself to each one. As they talked, I scribbled down notes on my pad and held up my little recorder.

One of the last items on the agenda was “Public comments on non-agenda items.” At that point, the whole board turned to me and the board chairwoman said, “Tyler, do you have any questions?”

Stories can be found everywhere. It turns out the board has just started a new recycling program in which they ask locals to donate their empty prescription medication bottles. The bottles are then washed, cleaned and sent to places like Haiti and Africa for those in need to carry their medication. Almost the entire meeting was spent on deciding how to get this information out to the public. I happen to be in the market for a story to hand off to a local publication.

Hello opportunity, you elusive vixen.


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