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Monday, December 17, 2007

Home Schooling Mom named San Antonian of the Year

By Jim Forsyth (photo)
1200 WOAI

It was not long after Terri Hall moved with her growing family from northern California to Spring Branch that she learned that badly needed expansions to US 281, which was to be the lifeline between her family's new home and the restaurants, shops, and entertainment of San Antonio, would involve toll lanes.

With a lifelong interest in public policy and a desire to get involved in her new community, Hall, an English major at UCLA, attended a couple of public meetings held by transportation planners and noticed something disturbing.

"We were talking," Hall recalls. "But they weren't listening."Three years after those fateful meetings, if toll road planners from Regional Mobility Authority Chairman Dr. Bill Thornton to Texas Department of Transportation Chairman Ric Williamson could get one do-over in life, it would undoubtedly be to pay more attention to the woman in row seven.

Because while construction of new toll roads in Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, even in usually contentious Austin, have been little more than photo-ops where men in suits can smile while holding golden shovels, in San Antonio it has turned into the first truly citizen driven open discussion about the proper role of government and the future for quality of life issues in this region since the Applewhite Reservoir debates of the mid 1990's.

And for forming, molding, and leading the most effective grass roots organization since Ernie Cortez was exchanging pennies at Frost Bank in 1975, Terri Hall is the 2007 San Antonian of the Year.

Complete article: Click here

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