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Editorial/Opinion - page 36

Letter: A thank you to SG Library Board

in Letters to the Editor by

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the four members of the Sugar Grove Library Board (Bill, Dan, Julie and Tony), who voted in favor of mediation in the matter of the dismissal of the former library director.

As a taxpayer and a library user, I applaud the effort to save the Library District thousands of dollars of our money and to get the library management and support back on track. These trustees actually listened to the public, which they report to, and have taken the first step to heal a fractured community.

It’s time that the three other trustees (Joan, Art and Bob) set their egos aside, actually listen to what their neighbors have been saying for months, and resolve the personnel matter like it should have been done in the first place—through discussion. Trustees are supposed to listen to their constituency and act accordingly for the betterment of the community.

Congrats to Bill, Dan, Julie and Tony for doing the right thing. Their courage is inspiring.

Jerry Murphy
Sugar Grove

Letter: Big Rock Halloween Fest confused with similar event

in Letters to the Editor by

“Often imitated; never duplicated,” applies to the Halloween Fest sponsored by Hinckley, Sugar Grove and Big Rock now more than ever. The event, to be held the weekend before Halloween, at Plowman’s Park in Big Rock, 5 to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 22, is being confused with a very similar sounding event one week later. This confusion was compounded by the village of Sugar Grove bulletin board, which advertised this other event with the following week’s date. Sugar Grove personnel told us that a change in employees had further compounded the problem by not advertising our original event until Wednesday of this week.

We wish to tell our followers that the 22-year-old event will indeed continue with no admission charge, and with the traditional fun that we’re well known for. It is our policy of offering this event to the children without mom or dad having to dig deep into their purse for an evening of good clean fun.

Gene Nehring
Big Rock Park District

Guest Editorial: I need your advice

in From the Editor's Desk by

by State Sen. Chris Lauzen
25th District

Sorry to have to ask, but I need your help. I voted “No” on SB1652, the Electrical Energy Infrastructure Improvement Program. Although I agreed with its objectives of strengthening reliability, reducing outages, and stabilizing rate-setting procedures, I thought that the initial proposal’s cost was too expensive. SB1652 passed the Senate and House over my objection in close votes. Governor Quinn vetoed the bill, and I anticipate that we will vote on a “veto override” motion in the Senate within the next month.

The general impact of the legislation is good, but the initial interpretation of how the utility rates and increases would be set was incorrect. That original impression was that utility rates and the ensuing increases would be automatic, which is very bad, in my view. However … the utility rate review process would become a stable and methodical annual process rather than one that leads to spikes and troughs. We want reliability and stability, but we don’t want to overpay.

Unfortunately, the cost issue boils down to facts about definitions of complicated financial measurements of return on investment. When I first learned that the “return on equity” for the infrastructure improvements would be 600 basis point (6 percent) over the 30-year government bond interest rate (currently, approximately 4 percent), I said, “Whoa Nellie, no one gets 10 percent on their investments these days!” Therefore, I voted “No.”

However, after deeper study of what statistics I ought to be using to make an accurate assessment, I have learned that there is a substantial difference between “return on equity” and “shareholder return.” Knowing that these statistics can be as different as watermelon and oranges, that knowledge doesn’t make it too much easier for me to understand. I asked one expert, “If it’s this hard for me to distinguish after a lifetime in finance and accounting, how are my constituents … who are busy with raising families, running small businesses, and fighting hard to just make ends meet … going to assess the fairness of this proposed legislation?”

One way of better understanding what something like “return on equity” is, is to understand what it is not. Return on equity is not the interest rate that Commonwealth Edison pays to its bondholders. This statistic is currently approximately 6.2 percent for all maturities and going down as new bonds at lower rates are issued in an environment of declining long-term interest rates.

Return on equity is not a “shareholders return”. Shareholders return is dividends paid and appreciation of stock price divided by a company’s average share price in any year calculated.

Return on equity is a financial statistic that divides net income by a company’s book value. Ugh!

Sometimes it is easier to understand something by comparing size relative to similar things. For example, if I take a basket of all the Illinois Standard and Poor Companies (i.e. Boeing, Baxters, Abbott, Walgreens, Illinois Tool Works, Motorola, Tellabs, etc.), ComEd’s regulated-rate return on equity is one-sixth to one-half as much as the average. Its profit margin is also one-third to one-half what the average of these Illinois S&P companies is … so lower.

Then I looked at 315 return-on-equity utility rate-making decisions over the past 10 years in the United States and found that the mean average was 10.55 percent, the statistical median (just as many decision are lower than higher) was 10.5 percent, and only 40 were less than 10 percent. Looking at 59 utility rate-making decisions in Illinois only, the average was 10.35 percent, the statistical median was 10.26 percent, and 75 percent of the cases in 2010 allowed returns on equity of more than 10 percent.

One more consideration that makes this even more complicated is that the 30-year government bond interest rate could change. With the depressed condition of economic activity and low employment, the rate could stay the same or go down. But at the rate that the U.S. federal government is printing money and depreciating our currency, rates could go up. Also, predicting which way interest rates will go over the eight to 10 years that this legislation is in effect, we need to analyze the impact of European, Asian, and other markets’ currency and interest rate trends. No wonder they call predicting interest rates a “fool’s errand”.

If your eyes haven’t glazed over or if you haven’t flipped past this article to the sports or comics, would you do me a favor and call/e-mail me at (630) 264-2334 or chrislauzen@lauzen.com in order to share your thoughts before I am required to vote on your behalf?

Letter: Blood drive makes history

in Letters to the Editor by

Your blood donation was urgently needed by someone, and you poured through the doors of the Sugar Grove Fire Department. The blood shortage plea was answered by 101 donors—the largest turnout in our history

A big thank you to the Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, the Sugar Grove Fire Department, the Heartland Blood Center staff and all of our extra volunteers for all of your hard work.

To our awesome donors, we send a special thank you. We deeply appreciate those who attempted but were unable to donate blood. The next Sugar Grove blood drive is scheduled for Monday, March 5, 2012.

Joy Rubo
Blood Drive Coordinator
Sugar Grove

Letter: Beyond thank you

in Letters to the Editor by

You may have heard the phrase: “words cannot express.” Obviously enough, this adage is typically reserved for describing personal feelings beyond our own vocabulary. Until the other day, we were naive enough to believe that we could express our every emotion and articulate exactly how we were feeling. Unfortunately, it took the passing of Bill Keifer to prove that we were mistaken.

Words cannot express the gratitude we have for the Sugar Grove Fire Department, Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection and the staff and doctors on shift at Provena Mercy Hospital that early afternoon on Sep. 3. Although the years of training, medical advancements and deep personal commitment by each of these individuals could not change the inevitable outcome that afternoon, we wish to express our most sincere admiration for all you did.

Words cannot express the appreciation we have for the multitude of friends who made themselves known at the visitation, by letter, phone or dropped by our home. We would like to thank those who took the time to share a story, convey their condolences or purely came to lend their support to the family. We knew that Bill touched many different lives in many different ways, but even with that knowledge, we were not prepared for the overwhelming flood of support from friends, coworkers and acquaintances. We would like to express our endless appreciation to all of you who have helped us remember what an incredibly full life he led.

Please know that he lived a richer, fuller life than most because he was surrounded with your love.

Words cannot express our thanks for a very special group of individuals who went above and beyond what could have ever been expected of them. We offer our infinite thanks to Matt Hanson, Travis Lange and Brett Miller, along with generous support from the Maple Park Fire Department, for donating their time and abilities to personally transport and care for his mother-in-law the day of the services. Without your compassionate assistance and thoughtful personalities, she would not have been able to honor the first of her son-in-laws this final time. We will remember your kindness forever.

Words cannot express how thankful we are to have such a large and loving family to lean on as we continue to grieve, remember, mourn and, in time, heal. Our family cannot be traced by a simple tree. It would take an orchard to illustrate the network of family members who have stood close by us and have done all they can to support us in any way we needed. We are stronger because of you. He was the kind, gentle, caring, loving man he was because of you.

“Thank you” seems so insignificant. It doesn’t encapsulate what we want to say to all of you for sharing in his life and being there to let him know in your own special way how much he was loved and how badly he will be missed. Our pledge is to return to you our gratitude in all the ways that words cannot express.

Yvonne Keifer
Sugar Grove

Letter: Mental illness not funny

in Letters to the Editor by

As the Halloween season approaches, I would like to make a request on behalf of all the families in our Kane County area that have experienced a mental illness in their family life: please do not use or promote the image of someone who is mentally ill as a costume character.

The image of a straight-jacketed or ax-wielding “mad” man or woman only contributes to the inaccurate portrayal of those with mental illness. These images are hurtful and add to the stigma suffered by those with mental illness.

Most mental illness is caused by a biological chemical imbalance in the brain. Mental illness is a disease, just like cancer or diabetes.

Would you favor an image or character that makes fun of those diseases? I would hope not. It also perpetuates the myth that all mentally ill persons are dangerous.
Statistically, persons with mental illness are much more likely to be victims of crime rather than the perpetrators of it. Lastly, these images also imply that having a mental illness is hopeless. The facts show that most mental illnesses can be successfully treated. Treatment works for the great majority of people.

I would also ask the business people or clubs that operate “horror” houses across our area to refrain from using mental patient-type characters in their establishments. Persons receiving mental health services in an effort to improve their life do not need to be imprinted with the stigma conveyed by these images. Stigma is the number one reason that the mentally ill don’t seek treatment.

So please no raving or drooling “maniacs” this Halloween. You could be making fun of a neighbor or relative. Please stick to vampire fangs and werewolf hair and have a good time this Halloween.

Jerry J. Murphy,
Executive director, INC Board
Aurora

Guest Editorial: Democracy depends on responsible news consumption

in From the Editor's Desk by

by David Porter
David Porter is the Director of Communications for the Illinois Press Association, which represents more than 480 newspapers in Illinois.

You alone are responsible for the news you consume. If I have only a few moments of your time, that’s the message I want to drive home.

You can talk about bias in the media, shortcomings among news staffs, fragmentation of audience, conspiracy theories and the boogey man, but at the end of the day, it’s nobody else’s responsibility to decide for you what is true, what is propaganda and what is opinion. You alone are responsible for the news you consume.

There’s an old saying that applies across many different platforms: Garbage in, garbage out. How are you going to make informed decisions on whom to vote for, what stocks to invest in, what foods to eat, what gasoline to buy, when to buy a house, what school your kids should attend or which horse to bet on if you only rely on snippets of information—often bias-based— that make their way to your ears and eyes?

That’s the world we live in today. A few years ago, a college student was anonymously quoted as saying, “If the news is that important, it will find me.” But as Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can travel halfway ’round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” That was before the Internet. Now the Internet includes this quote facetiously attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “Most Internet quotes are not accurate.”

It’s hard to know what the truth is sometimes. A manufacturer with a vested interest in a product may tout its benefits that run contrary to a scientific study. On the other hand, some studies have been shown to use improper methods or to draw unfair conclusions. Whose job is it to decide what is true? It’s your job. You alone are responsible for the news you consume.

So a political candidate says something bad about another candidate. The other candidate fights back with allegations of her own. Whose job is it to decide what the truth is? You alone are responsible for the news you consume.

There is help, though, and you’re holding it in your hands. It’s not the newspaper’s job to decide for you what is true, but newspapers, more than any other medium, strive to use reliable, accurate sources and to fairly provide all sides to any given story. It’s still up to you to decide what the truth is. Frankly, I think if you’re going to participate in the democratic process, you have an obligation to decide what the truth is. Otherwise, democracy becomes a dangerous game of Russian roulette.

Oct. 2-8 is National Newspaper Week. What a perfect time to take a new look at your local newspaper and to include it as part of your personal arsenal against misinformation. Don’t take chances with your news diet; add a little newspaper fiber. After all, you alone are responsible for the news you consume.

Letter: Stoffa family says thanks

in Letters to the Editor by

On behalf of the family of Shirley Stoffa, we would like to say thank you to everyone for the outpouring of support we received for our fundraiser “Eyes On A Cure.” We have been amazed by the generosity and support from our family, friends and community.

Our goal through this was to raise awareness about the disease, as well as to help fund research to find a cure, with the hopes that no one else will have to experience the loss that we have faced. We had a goal of $10,000. With your help, not only did we meet our goal, but we more than doubled it. We are humbled and proud to say that we raised over $22,000 to be donated to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation in Shirley’s memory.

We know that the amount of money raised speaks volumes of the love everyone had for Shirley. We continue to miss her everyday and can only hope that she is watching and smiling down at the good we are trying to accomplish. A special thank you to the Elburn Lions Club, Shirley’s friends and “family” at Kaneland, American National Bank, Bill Brauer and Kristen Damolaris, Doug Collins, The Fishippies, and our family and friends. Without your support, we would have not been able to have such a successful event.

Mike, Sarah, Todd,
Molly, Abby and Cole Stoffa

Letter: Dollars and (non)sense at the Sugar Grove Library

in Letters to the Editor by

Three months after the Sugar Grove Library Board fired the respected director Beverly Holmes Hughes, why is the controversy continuing and growing? Why won’t the community just “move on”?

The library is in financial peril as a direct result of the previous and continuing actions of board trustees Joan Roth, Art Morrical, Julie Wilson and Bob Bergman. Opinions are one thing; facts another.

It is apparent the library is in serious financial jeopardy. Last year, the budget barely made expenses. The budget for next year is planned to be $22,000 less. The “dollars and sense,” or nonsense when it comes to these trustees, is that with less money next year the library certainly cannot maintain current operations.

These four trustees claimed they planned for firing the director. It appears their plan is the financial ruin and the end of the library as we have known it.

The direct costs resulting from the four trustees’ unjustified firing of Holmes Hughes continue to mount—however, none of these costs are accounted for in the new year’s reduced operating budget.

The board has had to hire interim directors, who have been paid two-and-a-half times the hourly rate Holmes Hughes received. The board can expect a new permanent director to cost well over $100,000 per year, according to Illinois standards. That will be over $35,000 per year more than Holmes Hughes received. Also add the costs of search firms and consultants.

Last year, the director’s compensation was 12 percent of the budget. Next year, it will be over 20 percent. Last year, library legal fees were 2 percent of the budget. Next year, legal costs will exceed 5 percent. This board regularly has its lawyer in attendance with his meter running at $180 an hour (to protect them from whom? Themselves? Their constituents?).

Next, the board’s actions caused the disbanding of the Friends of the Library, which last year contributed nearly $100,000 in services, programs, gifts, collection acquisitions and hours. This money is irreplaceable. This loss, coupled with the reduced funds in the budget, means fewer (if any) popular programs for children and adults, greatly reduced additions to the collection and a crisis in accomplishing necessary work with volunteers.

What will be the result? The over-burdened staff is already short and grossly underpaid— educated professionals at minimum wage. Will the staff pay for board incompetence?

The library already operates at reduced hours. Will days and hours be cut further? Will no new books, CDs, DVDs or computer programs be purchased?

The facts are clear. Holmes Hughes fired an insubordinate employee, supported with documentation and following due process. That person happened to be a friend of Trustees Roth and Morrical. At that exact point, documented in board minutes and observed at board meetings, Roth and Morrical began the systematic undermining, interference and creation of a hostile environment for Holmes Hughes. They were joined by Wilson and Bergman.

Their unprofessional personal vendetta was placed ahead of the public good. The precious, limited, irreplaceable resources of the library are now being squandered in a scramble to cover this gross mistake.

Why will the community not “move on” and accept things as they are? Because the library is at great risk from continued “service” from these trustees. Because the community understands a funding referendum can never be passed with these trustees in office. Because actions have consequences, and these trustees must be held accountable.

For failure to uphold their oaths, for ethical deficiencies, for fiscal irresponsibility, for violations of law, for unprofessional meddling and interference in operations, for hiring a person who committed battery against a child, for failure to represent the library in the community, for bringing disrepute upon Sugar Grove—Trustees Roth, Morrical, Wilson and Bergman must resign.

The next board meeting is Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. at the library. Make your voice heard.

Douglas Hartman
Sugar Grove

Guest Editorial: Have your voice heard on a balanced budget amendment

in From the Editor's Desk by

Randy Hultgren U.S. Rep., District 14 (R)

Since the people of the 14th District chose me to be their representative in Washington last year, I have fought hard to bring accountability and responsibility back to Congress. Time and again, I voted to cut spending and reduce the size of the federal government, and I haven’t been shy about opposing others in my party when I felt that we weren’t doing enough to get our fiscal house back in order.

With every vote, I’m guided by the belief that Washington—like your family and mine, and like small businesses across the country— needs to live within its means. I know that the path to renewed and future prosperity lies through a return to fiscal sanity, and not by sad- dling our kids and grandkids with more debt. Less spending and less debt will help give small business owners and job-creators the confi- dence they need to hire and expand, putting

Americans back to work and getting our econ- omy moving again.

Unfortunately, this Congress’ efforts to cut spending are, on their own, insufficient. More importantly, any cuts we make today could be reversed by future Congresses. Long-term deficit reduction and spending restraint can only be accomplished through real structural changes to the way Washington operates. I believe that a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is exactly the change we need.

I have been an outspoken advocate for a balanced budget amendment even before I went to Washington, and one of the first things I did after being sworn in was to co-sponsor a balanced budget amendment. A balanced bud- get amendment would force the federal govern- ment to spend only what it takes in, and is the surest path to fiscal sanity, less spending and a brighter future for our kids and grandkids.

Support for a balanced budget amendment.

is gathering momentum in Washington. In fact, as part of the debt ceiling increase in August, the House and Senate are required to vote on a balanced budget amendment this fall. If it receives two-thirds support in both the House and the Senate, it will be sent to all 50 states for ratification, where I believe it will find wide- spread support.

Congress has been here before. In 1995, they nearly passed a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget, but fell one vote short in the Senate. Sixteen years later, we have the chance to finally get it right.

But now we need to hear from you. If you want to share your thoughts on a balanced budget amendment, you can visit www.americaspeakingout.com and make your voice heard. Let me and other members of Congress know if you think, like I do, that a balanced budget is the best path to a brighter fiscal future.

Letter: A thank you to all those who made Friends of Jason Gould’s fundraiser another great success

in Letters to the Editor by

Hi friends, family and all who made the Friends of Jason Gould’s 3rd annual fundraiser for leukemia and lymphoma research another great success Jason’s Hogfan Party was this past Saturday at the St Charles Moose.
I thought you might like to know that we have raised just around $22,000 to date. We will be sending a check to Dr. Rob Baiocchi at The Ohio State University’s cancer research center. Ohio is now the leading cancer research center in the United States for Hematologic cancers, but funding is down and gone for much research , and Dr Rob needs private funding from groups such as ours.

Dr Rob came this year with a really cool slide presentation showing how some of the studies he is working on are saving lives. He oversees every dollar that we donate to his lab, and he now includes, on all his publicized studies and articles around the world, the phrase: “This study was subsidized in part by The Friends of Jason Gould Foundation of St. Charles, Illinois.” How amazing is that? That means that your donations are saving lives at this moment. New protocols developed with the help of our money last year saved the lives of 12 terminally ill brain tumor patients!. They are now cancer free. Dr Rob comes each year to share his progress. Everyone really likes being able to ask him questions and just talk with him.

The vaccine to prevent the Epstein Barr virus( which is what caused Jason’s lymphoma—yes, viruses do cause cancer) is now headed to clinical trials and FDA approval. Dr. Rob and Ohio have partnered with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and a pharmaceutical company to manufacture the vaccine—the first of its kind. This vaccine could have saved Jason’s life and will surely do that for others in the years ahead.

Jason would be thrilled to hear this as his dream of helping others survive is being realized.

I know that many of you have donated to Dr. Rob’s work this year in Jason’s name, and we are all grateful to you for opening your heart and your pocketbook to support this brilliant and committed research scientist/physician. You may have donated an item for our silent auction/raffles, and we thank all of you for your support.

If you have not yet made a donation, please consider doing so, as we are unable to send Dr. Rob as much as last year. If leukemia or lymphoma are not diseases that you might necessarily support, please know that you are also supporting me, Jason, Jason’s family and friends, all the leukemia and lymphoma survivors that attended the party and people who might develop one of these horrible diseases. Whether it’s five dollars or 50 dollars, it all adds up.

Friends of Jason Gould Inc. is a registered 501c3 Not-for-Profit public charity, and your donation is tax deductible. You can donate using credit or debit cards on Jason’s website, www.friendsofjasongould.com, or you can send a check to Friends of Jason Gould at P.O. Box 467, Oswego, IL 60543.

In a tough economy, it is especially touching to have you do whatever you can. Please join us in supporting this incredible research.

Sandy Gould
Oswego, Ill.

Letter: Between Friends Food Panty says thank you

in Letters to the Editor by

The Between Friends Food Pantry (founded in memory of Blake Denton and Jeff Malewig) would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for the support of our latest fundraiser. The Penny Pancake Event was held at Colonial Cafe on Galena Boulevard on Thursday, Sept. 15, and was a great success.

The turnout was wonderful, and everyone enjoyed plates of delicious pancakes for only one cent each. Many opened their hearts (and wallets) to help others in these difficult economic times. Over 200 grocery items and $475 were donated by generous attendees.

We would also like to give a special thank you to Colonial Manager Scott Parker and his crew for their time and effort in making this a successful event.

Mary Kintz
Volunteer
The Between Friends Food Pantry

Guest Editorial: Sugar Grove Public Library outrage will not go away

in From the Editor's Desk by

by Douglas Hartman
Past President
Sugar Grove Library Board of Trustees

The turmoil at the Sugar Grove Library will not fade. Why, for over two months, does the outrage and unrest not only continue but grow?

It is all about history, how the library has ended up in financial peril. A history of the very worst a small-town public body is capable of.

The previous director, Beverly Holmes Hughes, fired an insubordinate employee. The director employed due process, documentation, fairness and standard protocols—all the things the board later denied Mrs. Holmes Hughes. But the fired employee happened to be a friend of board trustees Joan Roth and Art Morrical.

That is exactly the point when this all started. It is all there in the board minutes and on display at every board meeting. It is not revisionist history, or the current board spin, but the hard facts of ever-escalating childishness, pettiness and vindictiveness. The unreasonableness and rudeness to the director, conflicting demands, denial of basic professional requests, the restrictions on her legitimate professional authority, the unjustified and improper meddling in operations, the unprofessional, inappropriate usurping of responsibilities that belong to a director.

Trustees Joan Roth and Art Morrical dropped the poison in the cup, watched it spread, and the other two, Julie Wilson and Bob Bergman, drank it willingly. They placed their personal agenda ahead of their duty to the library, to the taxpayers.

The Board escalated the harassment to make the job of director nearly unworkable. When the ceaseless harassment didn’t work, and despite Mrs. Holmes Hughes’ dedication to the library and the community (Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year 2010, Chamber of Commerce founder, volunteer everywhere), she was summarily fired without explanation.

The result is we now see the board paying interim directors twice the hourly rate they paid Mrs. Holmes Hughes. We see them squandering the dwindling taxpayer resources on lawyers and consultants trying to rectify their mistake. We see these four dismissing the nearly $100,000 a year that was the disbanded Friends of the Library group.

We see these four unable to follow a budget and spending money that was not allotted. We see them secretly hire someone who pleaded guilty to battery against a child to work in a library full of children. We see them routinely violate the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

We see their failure when we compare how public bodies such as the Village Board and the township properly interact with the community.

This is not just about the unconscionable treatment of the former director. This is about these four trustees and their moral right and competency to remain in office.

A truism is if you don’t learn from history you will repeat it. These four trustees have demonstrated they have not learned anything. There is every reason for the taxpayers to expect more of the same: the petty vindictiveness of people in responsibilities too great for their abilities, their honor, their common sense, their oaths of office.

This isn’t going away. No one is moving on. It is the height of arrogance to demand the taxpayers quietly accept their incompetence and folly.

The community did not make this an issue; trustees Roth, Morrical, Wilson and Bergman did. Those who love the library—those who pay the taxes to support it—are not the problem. These four trustees are the problem.

The black cloud over Sugar Grove was put there by these four and only they can remove it—by removing themselves.

The next board meeting is Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m., at the fire station next to the library.

Letter: SG Library Board president is dedicated to another library

in Letters to the Editor by

For nearly two months, the public has been calling for the resignation of the four board members who voted to terminate Sugar Grove Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes. The four controlling board members, President Joan Roth, Vice President Art Morrical, trustees Julie Wilson and Bob Bergman, have turned a deaf ear to the voices of the taxpayers of Sugar Grove. These board members have seemed disinterested at best in the library and its place in the community.

Recently, it has come to light that the public is mistaken about Board President Roth’s dedication to the library. It turns out Ms. Roth is a very dedicated library volunteer … for the wrong library.

Ms. Roth has been organizing and working at the used book sales for the Elburn Public Library. To my knowledge, it has been many years since Ms. Roth has even stepped foot inside any of the three annual sales held by the Friends of the Sugar Grove Library.

Ms. Roth engineered the termination of the library director, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in projected costs to the taxpayers of Sugar Grove. Her actions will cause many hardships to the users of the library and the people who support it and work there. All the while, Ms. Roth is actively fundraising for another library. If this is not a conflict of interest, at the very least, it demonstrates that the best interest of the Sugar Grove Library is not, and never has been, a priority for Ms. Roth. The termination of the director seems to have been her only goal.

I am no longer simply calling on the controlling four board members to resign. I am calling on the three minority board members to step up and insist on Ms. Roth’s resignation. Our library board must have one common goal: the best interest of our library, not someone else’s.

Louise Coffman
Sugar Grove

Letter: The Illini Jamboree

in Letters to the Editor by

On the weekend of Friday , Sept. 9 through Sunday, Sept. 11, Boy Scout Troop 41 went to Champaign, Ill. That weekend the Scouts camped on The University of Illinois campus. The scouts left Sugar Grove on Friday at 1 p.m. and hit the road. At about 4 p.m., the scouts reached Champaign. On Saturday, the Scouts walked a mile to get to Memorial Field. At 11 a.m. the Scouts watched the opening kickoff of Illinois vs. South Dakota State University.

After the fighting Illini beat the Jack Rabbits 56-3, the Scouts returned to camp to have fun with inflatable bounce houses and obstacle courses. Also, they could buy lots of good food at several food stands. On Sunday morning, the Scouts packed up and went home. For information on joining Boy Scouts, please contact Scoutmaster Dave Seraphin at (630) 466-4913.

Mark Wojak
Scout Scribe Troop 41

Letter: Thank you

in Letters to the Editor by

Four girls—Maddie, Lauren, Sarah and Lindsay—would like to thank the residents of Blackberry Creek subdivision for their donations to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Looking for something to do on a summer day, the girls made braided bracelets out of yarn, walked around the neighborhood asking for donations and gave bracelets to anyone who donated. The girls collected $225 for the children of St. Jude’s.

Nancy Steers
Elburn

Letter: An open letter

in Letters to the Editor by

My wife and I have lived in the Rolling Oaks Town Home Development of Sugar Grove for the past six years. Last week, we and other residents of our development received a Board of Directors letter from our Rolling Oaks Town Homeowners Association. The letter stated that some of the residents on Glenn Drive in our development were planning a “block party” for this past weekend. The letter also stated that the Board of Directors had in no way endorsed or even approved the “block party.”

Instead, the letter indicated that both the Sugar Grove Police Department and the Sugar Grove Fire Department had approved this party to occur on Saturday, Sept. 10. On Saturday evening while the party was in progress, two Sugar Grove police officers (who were apparently called to the scene) indicated that the village of Sugar Grove actually approved the party and that we could check with the village clerk for the details.

Most people would think a “block party” would be for the residents of the block or of the subdivision involved. This has not the been the case for block parties held here in the past several years, and this year’s party was no different. Just a few residents in our development decided to have a party, then invite all their friends, most of whom do not even live here. This would be readily apparent to anyone who witnessed the volume of traffic and parking of non-resident vehicles along Rolling Oaks Road and Mallard Lane. Attendees of the party probably numbered from 125 to 150 people, and most residents of this development were not even invited.

By 4:30 p.m., we counted about 40 non-resident vehicles parked along Rolling Oaks Road and Mallard Lane. About 5 p.m., my wife and I left the development and did not return until about 9:30 p.m., when we counted approximately 60 non-resident vehicles parked along Rolling Oaks Road and Mallard Lane. Upon our arrival, we could hardly get through the traffic and pedestrian congestion on Rolling Oaks Road, which included two Sugar Grove Police cars that had apparently been called to the scene of the “block party.”

There are some very disgusting features about the village of Sugar Grove’s approval of that so-called “block party” last Saturday on Glenn Drive.

First, it was a private party and not a block party for the residents of the local townhome subdivision. Whoever authorized the party should have been aware that more than 100 non-residents would be in attendance.

Second, it was a “drinking party.” The combination of alcoholic beverages along with a crowd of 100 people or more would be more appropriate at a tavern, country club or a banquet hall, and not in a residential townhome development where the crowd, traffic and noise is disruptive to residents who are not even part of the private party.

Third, the village’s authorization (be it the Police Department, Fire Department or Village Board) effectively overrode the authority of our local Rolling Oaks Town Homeowners Association’s rules, which would not have allowed this type of party to happen in the first place.

Fourth, Glenn Drive is a dead-end street that accommodates eight townhome residences in our community. Not all those residences were participants of the private party. Even more disgusting is that the Sugar Grove Fire Department felt it was necessary for them to provide a tax-supported fire engine and ambulance to block the entrance to Glenn Drive for purposes of this private party. Another Sugar Grove Fire Department vehicle was parked to the west of Glenn Drive in a no-parking fire lane that was not any part of the private party area.

Fifth, authorization of that party did not stop party attendees from strolling along Rolling Oaks Road and Mallard Lane with open cans of beer and other beverages. One of the vehicles along Rolling Oaks Road was a motor home, which was allowing certain party goers to come and go frequently, for whatever purpose.

Sixth, the village of Sugar Grove appears to approve “block parties” very loosely. Today, I learned that there is no specific Sugar Grove ordinance or provision within its Code of Ordinances that requires a written application or fee to obtain permission for a “block party.” One young lady verbally requested permission for the party last Saturday and her request was granted.

Finally, I want you to know that I am not really a chronic complainer. In your positions, I know it is difficult to please everyone. A number of years ago, I served eight years on the Village Board of a nearby community. I am fully aware there are politics and then there are also those “good old boy” politics.

The Sugar Grove public deserves much better attention than was displayed in approving last weekend’s “block party.” If you continue to use a loose policy for “block parties” in the future, at least take some time to consider the impact your decision may have on the general public which you serve.

Lyle V. Johnson
Sugar Grove

Editorial: Sugar Grove rightly goes back to square one

in From the Editor's Desk by

The village of Sugar Grove announced in early September that it intended to end its pursuit of the proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District that had turned into a point of contention among various taxing bodies in the area.

The plan, as proposed, would have spanned 1,800 acres and focused on increasing the amount of industrial development in the village.

Basically, a TIF District is a tool designed to spur development by creating a boundary around areas of land, freezing that land’s current tax revenue in place, and then using any further increase in tax revenue to spur development within the TIF District boundary.

In theory, this can be an effective tool to spur development in an area that is struggling to grow. And right now, with the economy being what it is, just about everywhere is struggling. However, the potential downside is that the taxing bodies that may need additional revenue will not be able to obtain the tax-revenue growth until the life of the TIF District ends. For some taxing bodies, this may not cause a negative impact.

For example, a library district would not be negatively impacted by a TIF District because the type of growth would not add library patrons. So, the library would serve the same number of residents regardless of the scope or life of the TIF District. For a fire protection district, however, it is a much different story. That fire protection district would need to provide additional resources to provide protection to the new growth, leading to more cost. However, it would be prevented from obtaining the increase in tax revenue necessary to offset that increase in cost.

Therefore, there are potential positives and negatives to using this type of economic tool. That is why the details of the district and the communication among the various impacted parties is so important. That is also why the Sugar Grove TIF District, as proposed, caused so much concern.

The scale of the proposed district was 1,800 acres, and the life of the district was 23 years. For some area taxing bodies, that was just too much land for too long of a time.

We are glad to see Sugar Grove officials take a step back and decide to pull the plan as proposed. That doesn’t mean a TIF District—as a concept—will not be pursued. Rather, it means that if the village decides to pursue a TIF District, it will be a new proposal with a process that will begin from square one.

We believe Sugar Grove officials deserve a pat on the back for not pushing through the TIF District as proposed. When a recent public hearing was held, the response was so large that the meeting had to be moved to accommodate all of the people in attendance. The response was also so overwhelmingly negative that the back and forth became contentious at times.

Clearly, the broader community and the other taxing bodies held significant concerns with the plan as proposed, and the village did the right thing by taking those opinions into account.

As Elburn Herald reporter Keith Beebe reported in the Sept. 8 edition, Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said “I think that history has shown that the boards that have been (in Sugar Grove) look out for the greater community, not just the village. We want to do what’s right for the community as a whole. If a TIF is put in place, I think it’s a good tool to have.”

A TIF District might be what the area needs to spur economic development in a very difficult time. If the village feels that it is the right tool to use at the right time, then we feel Eichelberger’s approach is the right one.

Letter: Thank you for supporting Kaneville Fest

in Letters to the Editor by

On behalf of the Kaneville Fest committee, we would like to thank our sponsors: Amy Weiland Photography, Get All Decked Out, Tri-County Coins, Packaged Concrete, Elburn Herald, Old Second Bank-Kaneville, Rich’s Auto, Behm Plumbing, AFM Electrical, Dunteman Turf Farms, Derek Eastman State Farm, Tower Works, Kaneville Township, Strang Landscaping, Meyer Paving, Kaneville Veterinary, Kaneville Vol. Fire Dept., Contour Construction, Hill’s Country Store, Leroy Isham Masonry, Russell Automotive, Danial’s Drywall, Paisano’s Pizza, Kaneville Comm. Childcare, Ross Electric, Elmhurst Chicago Stone, Stovers Fine Woodworking, Peterson Pool, village of Kaneville, Hinds Trucking, Myler, Ruddy & McTavish Attys., Elburn Radiator and Grampa Del Well & Pump.

We’d also like to thank all our donators of raffle prizes, special volunteers from Old Second—Heidi, Jenny and Margie; Paul Ross and Jay Bruhl for electric and stage, Back Country Roads for entertaining us, Colonial Ice Cream, Roger Kahl and S&N Fireworks for our awesome display.

On Sunday we had our 175th Township anniversary. We’d like to thank our township trustees: Dan Kahl, Dan Koebele, Glenn Fuchs, Vern Long and Rep. Bob Pritchard for cooking our lunch, Sam’s Club for the cake and Hill’s Country Store for the ice cream.

Thank you, Kaneville Historical Society, for the cemetery walk which wouldn’t be possible without Mary Beth Ressler’s research and writing of scripts, and Lynette Werdin’s guidance. Also our re-enactors, Denny Niceley, Frank Kneller, Sean Flamand, Dave Sigmund, Pastor Mark Harkness, Jeanette Wampach, Carol Alfrey, Myra Ottoson, Karen Heinberg, Melanie Henne, Eric Ryan, Steve Downen, and Ted and Norraine Phelps. Amy Weiland Photography for our township photo. Our committee—Sandi Weiss, Pat Hill, Cathy Kovach, Margie Jordan, Kim Wendling and our families. And any of those helpers I haven’t named, thank you for making this year’s Fest possible.

Karen Flamand
Kaneville Fest Committee

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