She called a brief meeting break at which the audience organized by combining and cutting among themselves. Then, having agreed to forgo applause, everyone agreed to begin with the chairman's demonstrated, but silent, maneuver: raise both hands and wiggle fingers. All without sound. Nobody needed a negative thumbs down. Chairman Slocum looked for approval and saw a roomful of waving fingers, laughter, and then quiet.
For this occasion, one could say everyone in Woodside is a good public speaker, for the presentations moved along quickly with tales from the Horse Park, its successes in the equine world, family life with horses, how to solicit funding, concerns for fire protection, volunteer efforts, the park location in a scenic corridor, how to seed a grassy cross-country course, rider and horse safety, and need for a new million-dollar water supply, to name a few. Never in the history of public hearings in the history of San Mateo County has there been a public event so efficient, (with) so much practical know-how, so much quick response to speakers and so many smiles.
When it came time for a commission vote re the Horse Park permit that coincides with the lease from Stanford University, it took short minutes to confer with their legal adviser and commissioners agreed 5-0. The audience voted unanimously with arms up high and waving fingers. All those smiling folks were only slightly late to their lunch dates.
Cheers for Chairman Slocum, who brings chairing a meeting to a new level of competence and art. Robert's Rules of Order may want to call her when it's time for the book's revision.