About us
Lombard News
Villa Park News
Publisher's Desk
Speak Out
Police Blotters
Coming Events
Out and About
On The Beat

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.


Word is that the Village of Lombard will be reducing Westmore Avenue to one lane in each direction between Washington and St. Charles Road for a bike lane. What? Bikes don't pay taxes like vehicles do with motor fuel taxes that are used to fix roads. Bicyclists are supposed to obey the rules of the road; they don't. The new bike lanes on Madison aren't exactly overrun with bicycles. A collision between a bike and a pedestrian on a sidewalk is not as bad as a collision between a vehicle and a bicycle on a roadway. This is the craziest thing I ever heard of. I don't care who is paying or what grant money the village will get, this is not a smart idea for a couple of individuals who like to ride bikes. What happens where the bike lane ends at St. Charles Road? Where do the bicyclists go then? How many will actually use it? What happens to rush hour and school traffic on Westmore Avenue? Please tell me this is not true.

Your inquiry was sent to Village of Lombard officials, who responded: “As part of the completed Village-Wide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan that included public outreach, a potential project was identified for greater accommodation for all users on Westmore-Meyers Road.  If constructed, the project would connect the two regional trails that run through the village. After receiving a federal grant, the village is beginning preliminary design for the project, which will include a traffic volume feasibility study. The results of the feasibility study will be presented to the various standing committees of the village board for review and consideration. The findings for the feasibility study and the recommendations from the various committees will determine the next steps the village will take in regard to the proposed project. However, a final decision on whether or not the project will be constructed has not been made as of this time. There will be public meetings to present the findings of the traffic study results and to receive additional input before proceeding.
“Bike lanes might be a new experience for some motorists; however, motorists do have the legal obligation to share the road with bicyclists. No traffic laws are anticipated to change as part of the project. In Illinois, bicyclists and motorists are treated equally under the rules of the road with bicyclists having the same right-of-way as automobiles, and bicyclists are obligated to follow all traffic laws. Lombard is home to some of the region’s most heavily used regional trails. The village board recently hired the National Research Center to conduct a National Citizen Survey of Lombard residents. In the survey, two-thirds of residents indicated that they have walked or biked instead of driving and bicycling as an alternative to driving is increasing nationwide. Motorists and bicyclists who need reminders on how to share the road can visit www.villageoflombard.org/bikelombard for educational resources. Likewise, the village has encouraged and will continue to promote public education for bicyclists on how to safely and responsibly navigate roadways.”            –JAC

                   * * *         
I noted while reading the minutes of a District 44 board meeting that the district has agreed to pay the tuition costs for the two current assistant superintendents to get their doctoral degrees. As I understand it, the cost is just under $100,000. I believe it is policy that the district reimburses teachers for continued education. However, they bring the fruits of that newly-acquired knowledge into the classroom and it directly benefits our children. I fail to see how helping these two individuals get their doctorates transfers to positive benefits for the district. Obviously the degree is not a prerequisite for their job or they would not have been hired. Don't misunderstand me. I heartily applaud continuing one's education. Just don't do it on my dime. Isn't this establishing a dangerous precedent in the district? If we allow for this expense, where do we draw the line if other employees wish to continue their education? I'm sure there are better places in our schools where that $100,000 could be spent. Thank you.

Your comments were forwarded to Lombard School District 44 Superintendent Dr. Michael Robey, who responded: “As a district, we are constantly providing professional development and continuing education for all staff members. This has a direct impact on our ability to stay current and function as a district; thereby, impacting student performance. Each of our employee groups has consideration for how the district will support their continuing education, including our administrators. The board is determined to have a leadership succession line in place and this degree would allow both employees to obtain a superintendent's license, giving the board future options. Each has a payback period if the employee were to leave the district. The length of the program, coupled with the payback period for each individual, effectively establishes a five- to eight-year time frame of commitment to District 44, creating a $6,000 to $9,000 cost per year.”             –JAC
* * *
Why did the library board go to referendum for a new building without getting permission from the village and the park district for the type and size of building, along with setback, parking and stormwater? I think the board is being very narrow minded if they don't entertain moving it to a bigger location. With the huge tax increase they shouldn't try to shoehorn the building into the current location.  We gave you the money to do the right thing.

Your question/comments were forwarded to officials from the Helen Plum Library, who responded, “As we have indicated previously, due to ethics concerns the park and village boards indicated that they were unable to discuss any future plans for the library prior to the successful passing of the referendum. We are currently in discussions with both entities concerning zoning, air rights, easements, etc., and plan to present the final details to the public at the end of March.”            –JAC
* * *
According to the Tribune, my congressman—Peter Roskam—canceled his meeting with constituents concerning his recent voting record when he learned that the press was present, and that he snuck out the back door of a town hall meeting in Palatine yesterday as more than 300 protesters chanted, “Shame on you!”  As a fine president of ours once said, “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”
* * *
Hi. I couldn't disagree more with that article about the red light enforcement at 83 and 22nd. That is a corner where, during rush hour—morning and night—people keep making their left-hand turn. I've seen up to 12 cars that just keep making a left turn even though the arrow is gone and the green light is on for the east and west people. They just keep going. I'm amazed by that. So, speakin' out.
* * *
Deb Conroy continues to preach for a bipartisan approach to fixing this state's financial mess, while also stressing the need to spend more on mental health, drug counseling, the MAP program, etc. But, not once did she address the need to reign in on public pensions, unnecessary local government entities, nor offer any suggestions of where additional funding may come from for the state. I only wonder if she even thought of that while looking at her $200 clock given to her by her mentor, Speaker of the House Madigan, who is the biggest reason this state is still in the mess that it is. If she truly wants bipartisan participation in solving this state's financial woes, she needs to first eliminate the source of the problem, which is her mentor and the one who rewarded her for her support for him with the new clock, for his so-called leadership going forward.
* * *
Hello, Lombard. Why do we need a fitness center? Look around; there are plenty of fitness places in town, around town, here and there. This is one more thing we don't need. Stop the fitness center.
* * *
Someone called in last week that they had to wait for a computer at the Villa Park Library. Is it worth spending $10 million for more computers? The library report states they already have 72.  Do you know the average home will have $90 added to their tax bill per year, and that's in addition to the $200 the average home already pays just for the library!  Check your tax bill. We need to vote no on the library renovation.
* * *
Recently Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel invited a group of refugees for dinner, which was a very nice thing to do. However, I never heard that he had done that for homeless veterans. Thank you.
* * *
Rep. Conroy, really? You sold your political soul for a commemorative clock. Right way to represent your constituency. I hope it looks well on the mantle of your home.
* * *
Hi, this is Villa Park calling. Glad I was sitting down today. I opened my water bill and it has increased by 50 percent? Villa Park is taxing us on roads, libraries, schools, they're taxing us. That's why people are leaving in droves to get out of Illinois. Thank you.
* * *
To the person who called about Rep. Conroy getting funds from Madigan. Of course she gets money from him, as does Sen. Cullerton. Who do you think disperses the funds, as Madigan is the head of the state Democratic party? People, connect the dots.
* * *
I agree with the caller about Madison Street-Route 53 and potential traffic problems without a stop light. Yes, the left-turn lane allows the other traffic to keep moving, but people turning left onto Madison can still turn in front of oncoming traffic on what is often a busy street. People don’t always use good judgment. That’s why things like stop lights, stop signs and railroad crossing gates are there—to protect us from ourselves. And speaking of traffic, I have noticed that drivers on many side streets, especially along Main Street, nose out before turning, and I often have to swerve into the inside lane to avoid a fender bender. I will be pretty upset if I end up hitting someone in that lane because I swerved to avoid a driver inching out into the street. Please be aware.
* * *
Hello Lombard. Someone recently suggested looking into right to work states. I found that they average 1 percent lower unemployment rate (Mackinac Center). Forced unionization states’ economy grows 40 percent slower and bond ratings were lower (Bureau of Economic Analysis). Illinois is now an island surrounded by right to work states. We’d better get on board before we get even further behind our neighbors.
* * *
Democrats in Congress and their fellow travelers in the media and entertainment worlds are criticizing a Republican president. What's new? Nothing at all. If you are old enough, you've heard it all before. Ronald Reagan was eager to start a nuclear war. George H.W. Bush didn't care about the middle class or the poor. His son, George W. Bush, was the second coming of Hitler. Leftists paint every Republican president as either a fool or an evil monster who will destroy the country. Are any leftists able to grasp that they might be overdoing it just a little bit? Can't they see they have no credibility?
* * *
Did you see that church sign on Main Street Lombard? It says “Jesus was a refugee.” We need to have more churches and organizations support the “freedom” that we all have in this wonderful country.
* * *
I have lived in Lombard for 20 years and I've never seen mail delivery so bad. One day I'll get it at 10 a.m. and the next day it'll be after 5 p.m. It's all over the place. Many times I go two, three days without getting any mail, then I get  a bunch of mail. It's terrible. I stopped going to the Lombard Post Office because they're so bad. I go to another post office. Something's got to be done. The mail, the delivery, the post office in Lombard are terrible.
* * *
Hi, this is Lombard. I have an ad in the lost and found section of the Lombardian about my missing family cat named Chacha. Though he has not been found yet I refuse to give up. With that being said, I just want to say that my heart overfloweth with gratitude to all the amazing, big-hearted, caring animal lovers out there who have responded with sightings of Chacha and have called me with hopes and prayers. I am so grateful to you all for your compassion; also what an eye-opener this is to me. Since Chacha went missing I have awakened to all the stray animals living on the streets without a home. Please adopt one; we all need love.
* * *
Vote yes for the library referendum in Villa Park. Villa Park is a modest community and the referendum ensures a modest update. The library referendum ensures the community will receive crucial services for the library tax dollars. These services benefit our children and the adults, meeting spaces, access to digital technology and more. Thank you.
* * *
I constantly hear about immigrants and refugees. We are a nation of immigrants. Our country has laws governing immigration and people we allow in our country. Any other way of entry is illegal. By committing an illegal act, a person is subject to incarceration or deportation, thereby separating themselves from their family. Why blame the government? If you don't like the laws, work to get them changed. Don't ignore and violate them. We are a nation of immigrants but I resent the illegal immigration and the people who participate in it. By the way, give Trump a break. He has been in office a month. Let's see what he can do. Better than the catastrophe we just lived through.