If you have a comment, question, suggestion, etc., you can call SPEAK OUT any time of the day or night. Call SPEAK OUT but do not leave your name or identify yourself in any way. If your comment or question concerns a particular town, please start your comment with “Lombard - I would like to know,” or “Villa Park - whose job is it to.” Please limit your call to one (1) minute. SPEAK OUT is a community service of the LOMBARDIAN/VILLA PARK REVIEW newspapers. When at all possible, we try to contact public officials to obtain the answers to questions that concern them, and residents are also encouraged to contact public officials with their inquiries. Due to space limitations, it may not be possible to print all calls. We reserve the right to edit calls for length, clarity and subject matter. Please remember SPEAK OUT callers are expressing their opinion as they see it and may not be factual. For verification purposes, cite your sources when quoting individuals or statistics.
Villa Park calling. A little math regarding the library. The budget is $2.3 million a year, 220,000 visitors per year, 9,000 library cards. This means each time someone walks into the library the taxpayers are charged $10, and every library card costs the taxpayers $250 per year. Seems awfully expensive to me. Maybe instead of a referendum, we could charge each visitor $10 and then there will be no need for a referendum. People love to complain about how high property taxes are, so don't vote to increase our property taxes.
Your comments were forwarded to library Director Sandra Hill, who responded: "Many factors need to be considered to address the community's return on investment with their public library dollars. Physical use of the library building and its collections is one way to measure that return on investment. However, a broader view of all the services a library offers should be taken. The Villa Park Library offers a number of outreach services for our community. To promote literacy, the library provides outreach services such as Little Free Libraries (four locations in VP), story times in local businesses and community events, and book delivery to our local teachers and schools. In addition, library homebound services are available to any cardholder who is unable to visit the library due to long-term illness, physical challenges or visual disabilities. The library's Web site, databases and catalog are also available to remote users. One of our key principles is open access to the building, collections, databases and services to all members of our community. A membership fee would restrict, and potentially deny, access to those who may need the library's services the most." –JAC * * * I read with displeasure the cover story of the Villa Park Review with Bulthuis making his case for village president. This case is the exact reason why he should not be president. No old blood. We need new blood. This guy is apparently an old thinker with outdated ideas. He has to go away. He has to go out to pasture. And the library, no, no, no, we do not need a new library. We do not need to spend millions of dollars. Villa Park sends us a sweet little note and tells us how our taxes are compared to other suburbs. What they fail to mention is what our incomes are compared to other suburbs. I'm sure their incomes are much higher than Villa Park. They're just dreaming. No incumbents. All new blood. Thank you. Goodbye. * * * Mr. Z's served the Village of Lombard admirably for many, many years. Now, after several years of vacancy, it behooves the family to reopen—many would like that—or get a sale done. Soon. This way they will be continuing to serve the Lombard community. * * * To the person who called and said they can't wait for the dinosaurs to die off, I am 66 years old and very progressive and inclusive, but I think you are correct: The younger people are much more inclusive and accept people's differences. Change is coming because of the younger people. Older people need to realize things are different and it's not going back to the 1950s. Accept it and be kind to all different kinds of people. And younger people—vote. * * * Hey, Glenbard East Athletic Boosters. Why don't you hit up the town of Glendale Heights for some money? A lot of their kids go to Glenbard East so I think it would be only appropriate to get some money from Glendale Heights to help out with new turf, the beer festival and all things Glenbard East. That is all. Over and out. * * * Hello, this is Villa Park calling. I recently attended the candidate forum in Villa Park; we're in deep trouble. Everybody is apparently reading from the same silver-lining playbook. Everybody is in total agreement on everything. It's like they've been force fed that we need a new library, we need a new rec center, a new pool—we don't need any of it. If the village is negligent in keeping up the building, tear it down, put up housing. We can get a storefront and use our great library exchange program. The two incumbent candidates running for village president, they're running on their merit on how great they were in the years they were serving on the board. They seemingly haven't accomplished anything. Now there are new projects and new taxes. Let's vote all the incumbents out. * * * Friday, March 3, I dropped off mail at the drive-up box in front of the Villa Park Post Office. Included in my mail were two letters to two different people at the same address in Villa Park. One letter was received the following Monday and the other letter still has not been received a week later. This is even more troubling because in the past six months, two bill payments were put in the same box but never received by the payee. It looks like I have to not use that box and maybe not even Villa Park. * * * Villa Park, we must vote yes on April 4 for the library referendum. The Villa Park Library and their staff are awesome. They have lots of great programs for children and adults but the library needs a lot of repairs and upgrades. Our community deserves a new and better library. This will keep our property values strong and will help community businesses as well. I am really excited about having more parking and a better library for my kids. Let's take advantage of this great opportunity to keep Villa Park a great community live in and keep our schools strong. Way to go, Villa Park. * * * I'd like to make a comment about the wall that was going to be reinforcing along our southern border in Mexico. First of all, a lot of the wall was already up in New Mexico and Arizona, and it is very important to keep our country secure. All immigrants who came in the early 1900s were screened or disease and background checks before they were admitted to our country. This should not change. This is a law that should be enforced. Let it be known that Mexico has a partial wall on their southern border so Hondurans, Guatemalans and other South Americans don't enter their country illegally and also to keep the illegal drugs out of their country; most of the drugs that go through the Mexican cartels come from Columbia and other South American countries. So, they are doing the same thing we are doing. What is the difference? They want a secure country just like us. * * * This is for the caller who thinks that Barack Obama was a scandal-free president. Ha, ha, ha. All you have are just opinions and propaganda. Every president has had a scandal: Benghazi, Clinton server, Bigfoot scandal, Bowe Bergdahl, GSA scandal, Solyndra, NSA spying. What else do you want to know? And as far as Osama bin Laden, how can you kill somebody who was never indicted with anything? You're forgetting the man had an illness; he would have lived only two years so he died long before 2011. It almost sounds like that caller needs to do a little research. Remember, we all have opinions and we all know what opinions are, so maybe you might want to dig a little deeper. * * * They were telling women not to go to work that one day. I'm sure it wasn't going to be hospital workers, police women, women who run companies or women who need to work to support their families, pay taxes, bills, etc. Whoever they are who can take off the day at a moment's notice; I'm sure they weren't missed. * * * Did you see that a woman in Michigan recently pleaded guilty to filing a false police report? Shortly after Donald Trump's election, the woman reported to police she had been attacked by a white male, approximately 45 years old. The woman claimed she had been the victim of a hate crime. It turned out she made up the attack. In December, another young Michigan woman told police she had been threatened by a man a few days after Trump's election. That incident never happened either. Leftists and other Trump haters suggested that hate crimes would be a big problem after Trump's election. It seems there have been more hate crime hoaxes than actual hate crimes. * * * This message is about the overnight parking ban in Lombard. What is the point of this? I live on a quiet cul-de-sac, with no through traffic, so I can't understand why I can't park in front of my house overnight. I moved from out of state, and bought this house with a one-car driveway, assuming my wife could park on the street in front. Then I learned about this ban—yes, my bad, ignorance is no excuse. But why doesn't the village sell a limited number of on street parking permits? They could make revenue and I'd gladly pay a couple hundred bucks for the privilege.
The following response was submitted by the Village of Lombard: "Thank you for your concern regarding the village's overnight parking ordinance. The overnight parking ordinance is due to several reasons, including street sweeping and plowing, as well as helping police identify abandoned, inoperable and suspicious vehicles. Clearing of the streets nightly also allows for officers to conduct neighborhood patrols with a clear line of sight, allowing the police department to help keep our community safe. Because of these reasons, these ordinances have been in place for decades and are common practice for police departments. In addition, all other DuPage municipalities have the same or similar ordinances. For further concerns or questions about parking ordinances or any other questions you may have, please feel free to reach out to the Lombard Police Department at 630-873-4400." –JAC * * * Congress has been busy; 2,000 new bills have just been introduced. If you feel strongly about any of them, you might want to contact you congressman before his vote. House Bill 861 proposes to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency at the end of next year. H.B. 899 seeks to abolish the Department of Education. We have bills that propose to cut Social Security recipients' benefits by 27 percent, raise the age for receiving Social Security retirement benefits to 69 and cut the cost of living adjustment of those receiving benefits. Peter Roskam might not want to hear from you, but call or write his office if you think your voice should be heard. * * * A local paper stated the park's air rights are blocking the library plan. They are joint air rights. The library board and park board mutually agreed to these air rights in 1978. The library surely knows this. The library apparently failed to talk to the village or the park district before publicly announcing they are going to referendum. Once it was announced no comment could be made by the village or the park. The library apparently failed to do their homework and research the project prior to going public; that is their fault. They failed to mention the savings of more than $2 million, for moving and temporary storage of the current library, if they rebuild at another location. They failed to mention that the original plans for Lilacia Park extend to the corner of Park and Maple with no library on the property. Nowhere in the referendum did it state the library must be rebuilt where it is; that is the library's opinion and interpretation. You can't add 18,000 square feet when you don't have room to do it. The library owns one building and a one and half acres of land and has a higher tax rate than the park district and almost as high as the village. Why do they want to "shoehorn" a 52,000-square-foot building where a 34,000-square-foot building now stands?
Library spokesperson Sue Wilsey responded to your comments: "Please visit https://helenplumnextchapter.org/ for a detailed statement from the Helen Plum Library regarding discussions between the library and the park district about the new building. We have also posted a rendering for a new building concept plan that adheres to the existing IGA. Library officials did present the original concept plan to the [Lombard] Park District Board of Commissioners on March 29, 2016, prior to voting to go for a referendum. The library has budgeted $900,000 for moving and leasing an interim location." –JAC * * * Replying to the recent praise for the Lombard Post Office. I have just had another package go missing in less than a year. When notified, the employees promise an investigation, but five days later nothing has happened. We get our mail at very erratic times, and sometimes not at all. This problem is getting worse and needs correction.