After getting no love from her fellow council members and 53 percent of voters in the November 6 Trinity River toll road election, council member Angela Hunt finally found someone willing to acknowledge her greatness. Now that she's been awarded the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship for 2008, she can warn all of Europe not to build a toll road in its flood ways. Although, it's quite possible even folks in Croatia know that.
Hunt joins 52 others -- including four Texans -- representing 17 states and the District of Columbia on a 23-day trip around Europe, during which they will meet with various government officials and business and community leaders to exchange ideas. Hunt says they will learn about their cities and the projects they're working on.
"We should learn from other people," Hunt tells Unfair Park. "We don't have to constantly reinvent the wheel. Other cities outside of America are facing the same challenges we are, so let's learn from them -- some of the mistakes they've made and some of the things they're doing right."
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Hunt said she was nominated by a friend and then had to go through an application and interview process at the World Affairs Council. The group will be split into three trips, meaning Hunt will be going with 15 to 20 others. When one of the former fellows asked if she could handle being around that many people for 23 days, she said, "Hey, I serve on the city council. I think I can handle that."
(Of course, iIt should have been more like, "Hey, I led an effort that generated more than 90,000 signatures against the wishes of three mayors, my council colleagues, The Dallas Morning News and a whole bunch of other assholes. And on top of it, I have to sit next to Ron Natinsky every Wednesday. I think I can handle traveling Europe with 15 to 20 people." But that's just me.)
Hunt chose the fall program (October 2-26) because she felt the winter program was too close to the council getting back to business after the holiday break, and the summer program would have interfered with preparations for the upcoming budget.
But before she goes, Hunt has plenty to do here in Big D. She wants to bring streetcars to downtown, as she mentioned on her Web site, and is working on Katy Trail connections at Routh and Olive. She's also keeping the Trinity River Committee on its toes, appearing at this week's meeting. But who cares about that? Didn't citizens, like, double vote on that already?