The People You See at Every Public Meeting

Public meetings are an integral part of our projects at FHI. We love interacting and engaging with the public, and meetings open to all are a great way to bring people into the process, and to hear from those most affected by a project. We also like to have a sense of humor about our work, and we get a laugh from seeing those inevitable characters who populate those public meetings. We hope you get a laugh from them, too.

The Guy at Every Meeting

That one guy looks familiar, you’ve definitely seen him before. Where was it? Oh yeah: At the public meeting, the advisory meeting, the planning committee meeting, and, somehow, also the school board meeting. He gets around.

The Transit Nerd

They’ve got graphs, they’ve got charts, and they’ve got all sorts of data. They love trains and buses and trolleys and subways. And they know exactly how every one of them operates, where the stops are, and how you can ride them.


They love the idea; they think it’s great. They totally support building that new multi-use development. It will be a boon to the community, and improve the local economy. But can we maybe build it somewhere else? It will block their view of the neighbor’s kitchen window.

The Bike Advocate

He arrives wearing Lycra and carrying a bike helmet, and he’s got a water bottle and bike clips in his bag. He is most concerned about bike lanes, bike amenities, and creating bicycle-friendly spaces. Did he mention the bike lanes?

The Accidentals

They look just a little confused and out of place. “Is this the bimonthly meeting of the New England Knitters Association?” No. No, it is not. It’s also not Weight Watchers, the PTA, or the Harry Potter Enthusiasts Club. Try down the hall.

The “Not a Question but a Comment” Guy

You’ve finished your presentation, the lights go up, you ask if there are any questions. His is the first hand up. He steps up to the microphone: “This is really more of a comment than a question…” You sigh.

The Swag Hunters

You have free stuff, and they’re here to get some. Candy, branded pens, chip clips, or utterly useless effluvia, they don’t care what it is, but it’s free and they want it.