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Helen Plum Library, I think it's time you do the right thing and give all the residents our money back. I know there's a petition out there. How does one go about signing it and how to I get sheets for others to sign? I don't have a computer. Thank you.
Robert Biddle, who was on the ground floor in getting the petition you mentioned launched, conveyed the following comment: "Petition efforts have slowed down as the library continues to be idle with minimal progress on their building plans...The petition push has slowed but could be up and running again in coming months." –JAC * * * So, Mr. Trump now thinks—and says— that the President of North Korea is an "honorable" man; really? He murdered his own family members and a U.S. college student. And now, his newest lawyer has told us that Trump knew about the payments to Stormy Daniels. And how about Trump's time on the golf course; more than President Obama had in eight years, and Trump said he would be too busy to play golf! He is doing everything he can to distract the American people from what he did to apparently cheat to win the presidency in 2016. There is a saying about giving someone enough rope...Well, he's used up most of his rope. * * * On my recent property tax bill I noticed something disturbing. The park district has 23 buildings and more than 450 acres of parks for me to use and makes up 4 1/2 percent of my tax bill. The Helen Plum Library owns 1 1/2 acres of land and one building and accounts for 5 1/2 percent of my property tax bill. Something is wrong with this. And will the library be 100 percent transparent and tell us what they have spent so far on lawyers, architects etc. for the new building they can't build? I am tired of the library spokesperson filling us with what appear to be untruths and putting "spin" on the process. They are no closer today than they were 18 months ago in starting a new building at any location.
Library spokesperson Sue Wilsey offered the following response: "The cost to date spent by the library on designs, studies and consultations is $266,503. $175,522 of those expenses were anticipated in the original budget and $80,981 has been spent in unanticipated costs related to the air rights issue. Sixty percent of the design work is completed and we will soon schedule community engagement meetings to present these plans. In addition to property tax revenue, the Lombard Park District’s operating expenses are also funded by program, admission and rental fees. The Helen Plum Library relies almost entirely on property tax funding and does not charge for programs, borrowed materials, in person training and access to digital resources. The voter-approved library property tax increase will be used to build and replace the current failing 55-year old library with a new, larger building, as well as expanding library collections, services and programs. Please feel free to visit helenplumnextchapter.org for more information." –JAC * * * After reading the story (May 10) about how the Illinois House is looking to create new grants—translation, our taxpayer dollars—to hire school psychologists, not armed resource officers, let me get this straight. Schools already have psychologists, and/or layers of other mental health professionals, such as social workers, that our taxpayer dollars are funding. Secondly, in all of these school shootings, I would bet there were at least a few such professionals, teachers, lunchroom ladies or anyone else on the front lines who were in a position to observe that a student had issues. However, I have yet to read that a student went to a school mental health professional or teacher for help before a school shooting. I think the emphasis these days on "social-emotional growth" as part of the curriculum has failed these students, so either use that grant money for more training to recognize warning signs, or hire armed resource officers instead. Sadly, they will have to become the first line of protection. * * * Regarding the membership fees for the new Lombard Athletic Center, we have asked the village president, village clerk, and park district a question and none have responded, which suggests they don't want to address the issue. The pricing they have in place is seemingly discriminatory. The price schedule charges one adult $240 per year, yet allows two adults as a "couple" to pay $186 each per year. And, the pricing for a "family" is at most $160 per person for a "family" of three, and even less per person with more people in the family. This is unfair and needs to be corrected. In the spirit of equality and social justice, the community should and needs to treat everyone equally, without bias or malice due to their family or marital status.
Your comments were forwarded to the Lombard Park District. Executive Director Paul Friedrichs responded: "We appreciate the feedback on the pricing structure for the new Madison Meadow Athletic Center. Please understand that the village president and village clerk had nothing to do with the new facility or pricing structure, but the park district sure does hope both Keith (Giagnorio) and Sharon (Kuderna) will become members of it! Second, no name or phone number was listed to get back to you so we did not. Lastly, and most importantly, there are a variety of pricing options for all potential users to consider at the MMAC, including daily, monthly and annual memberships. These prices were carefully considered on a variety of factors, including affordability, market research, industry standards and facility amenities. The lowest priced option available is for an individual. Prices increase for additional members on the pass. Memberships are currently on sale at Sunset Knoll Recreation Center. The scheduled opening date is June 30. Amenities include a fitness center, two group fitness studios, a large fieldhouse with two high school-sized basketball courts and an indoor running/walking track. Should you have any other questions about the Madison Meadows Athletic Center please feel free to call me anytime at 630-953-6016, Paul Friedrichs, Executive Director, Lombard Park District." –JAC * * * Villa Park calling. I would like to know why there are more commercial buildings being built at the Shalimar (banquet) plaza on North Avenue at a time when there's enough congestion and storefronts, many of them empty throughout this county. The last thing we need is more empty buildings with no business along North Avenue. There are plenty and enough empty storefronts in this part of DuPage County. I would like to know why these construction companies keep building. According to Villa Park officials, "The property in question is located in Addison. For further inquiry, please contact the Village of Addison." –JAC * * * At least Springfield has found one way to save Illinois taxpayers some money. We will soon be able to get a two-year sticker for our car license plate. It won't necessarily cost us less for now, but will save the state millions in postage. Keep it up, Jesse White. * * * Hi, Lombard. I'm reading in the Lombardian how somebody is complaining about when they go to the theater over there in the Yorktown area there are so many condos and everything going up over there it feels like it's closing in on you. Well, how do you think it would be to live there? There was a field there with 14 trees. Yes, they were buckthorn; and bushes and birds and animals. Those trees are gone and they're building a giant complex there. It's going to block everybody's view and all four buildings around there. Yes, we had a meeting with the developers but we had no say actually in what was going to be put there. They were just telling us what they were going to do. We did give them a variance on the property line as far as where they can put their driveway. There was no input from the community whatsoever as to the plans of the building. They just put this giant garage up with all these apartments and we were just going to have to take it. They're also going to tear down the convenience center. * * * Hi, could somebody please call IDOT, I assume it's IDOT, to address the massive pot holes going westbound that are east of Westmore-Meyers, like from Ardmore to Westmore-Meyers. There are huge potholes that are causing flat tires. I believe this is under the jurisdiction of IDOT. Somebody has got to address this Roosevelt Road. There are so many potholes.
Editors' note: A call to IDOT indicated that the section between Ardmore and Westmore-Meyers to which you refer is not IDOT's jurisdiction. They suggested calling the municipality directly (Villa Park or Lombard), depending on exactly where the potholes are located. If anyone wants to know which roadways are IDOT-controlled and to report a pothole on one of those roads, call 847-705-4612. –JAC * * * Good morning, Lombard. I'm calling in regard to the person who enjoys SPEAK OUT because of all the wing nuts who call in. Hey, kiddo, welcome to the club. By calling in you just included yourself in this elite group. Happy reading. * * * Hey, Lombard, what's going on, on Finley Road at the old crisis center facility and all that property from the health department? I see they're doing a lot of work there; tearing things out, ripping it up and cutting it down and all that. I didn't see any sign out there for a public notice. What's the 4-1-1? Thanks.
Your inquiry was forwarded to the Village of Lombard. Here is the response: "The subject property was sold by the DuPage County Health Department to Oak Creek Capital Partners and the site will be redeveloped with 17 new single family homes. The petition was a matter of a workshop session on April 18, 2016, and formal public hearings before the Plan Commission on May 16 and Aug. 15, 2016 (PC 16-08 & 16-08A). There was a public notice sign placed on the property during that process, and all notification requirements for the project were met. The project was originally approved by the village board on Aug. 18, 2016, and was later granted a one-year time extension in 2017. With spring finally arriving, construction is now starting on the project. Throughout 2018, the requisite utility and stormwater improvements will be constructed and single family home construction may begin later this year." Editors' note: further information from the village indicates that as of press time, there will be lane closures on Finley Road between Hickory Street and Charles Lane (north of Madison Street) due to the construction project, which will last a week or more, depending on the weather. Traffic will be reduced to one lane, alternating north- and southbound. –JAC * * * Why did the York Township Highway department place two speed bumps across Euclid Avenue north of Roosevelt Road that are clearly a hazard due to their height and design? Are placing speed bumps like these even legal? These bumps cause vehicles to come to a near complete stop to avoid losing control and still the bumps are placing unnecessary wear and tear on our vehicles due to their abrupt design. I pay for that street through my York Township Highway tax bill and I have a right to use that street without blockades that create a hazard, wreck my vehicle and impede my travel. * * * To the all those who object to paying taxes to live in what is considered nationally a good place to live; taxes pay for improvements, staff and upkeep. I don’t recall tearing down the police station or the library when improvements were needed. I compliment our leaders for keeping the snow plowed and the streets swept and the plantings that keep Villa Park beautiful without the resources others towns in the area are blessed with. Perhaps you should move to Alaska and become an off-gridder. I’ll retire here with my wife, thank you. * * * Illinois is the nation's largest producer of soybeans. Our biggest customer is/was the Chinese. But then in response to Trump's tariffs China placed a 25 percent tariff on, among other things, soybeans, and the Chinese have decided to buy from other countries because it is cheaper. Boeing is headquartered right here in Chicago, and they were planning on selling 80 commercial jetliners to restock the fleet in Iran, but then Trump unilaterally decided to pull out of the anti-nuclear deal that the world entered with Iran, and well, Americans don't need jobs. Is your retirement plan based, at least in part, in the stock market? Check out how it has been doing since January; and it is about to get worse.