By Jane Charmelo LOMBARDIAN-VILLA PARK REVIEW STAFF REPORTER
The Helen M. Plum Memorial Library Board on Tuesday, Aug. 8, voted to issue up to $25 million in bonds, despite requests from residents attending the meeting to postpone the action. As many as two dozen residents attended the meeting that included a public hearing on the matter, which officials say is a legal proceeding. After a tax-rate increase was approved by voters in November 2016, the measure would allow for the issuance of up to $25 million in bonds to demolish the current facility and build a new library, temporarily relocate the library, make construction site improvements and furnish new equipment and technology. Prior to the meeting, library Director Barb Kruser noted that if the measure were to pass, the library is “not going to issue bonds right away,” adding that the library would have up to three years to do so. At the beginning of the meeting, board Vice President John Larkin Jr. read a statement that said the vote to issue bonds—to be repaid over 20 years—is “a procedure we must do,” adding the hearing is designed to make sure “the public is informed,” and said that should expenses exceed $25 million, “[that] extra is not going to come back as a tax to the people.” Board member Virginia Carlson also mentioned that in 20 years “the board will vote to continue or discontinue [the tax rate increase]. That’s the only way we can do it.” The line between public comment prior to the vote and public participation became blurred as residents expressed frustration that the library has not moved forward with its construction plans. “My personal opinion is that this is premature,” said Ken Wojcik of the board’s plan to vote on the bonds. “It’s not a good idea to be talking about bonds right now.” “You don’t own the air rights,” he continued, saying that the library board appears to be “bullying” the park district and that is “not the way we used to do things in Lombard.” “You’re putting the cart before the horse,” said Robert Biddle. “You have no business having a bond issue at this point.” Jamie Rachlin, who represents bond issuer RBC Capital Markets, responded to the comments, calling the vote a procedural step, and emphasized that “the board is not issuing bonds.” He also mentioned that “We won’t know the amount of bonds [being issued] until the architect gives the final construction costs ... allowing for the fact that costs might go up.” He said that “might be a good thing,” as the issuance of bonds is capped at $25 million.” “They could authorize more but that’s not the plan right now,” Rachlin said, meaning anything over the $25 million would have to come from the library’s operating budget. “That’s where they have misrepresented us,” Biddle said. Kelly Mullins told the board, “You have my money and nothing’s being done. I want my money back.” Board member Gary Brenniman said he had no problem with postponing the vote, but Carlson countered that it is “just a step toward when we want to sell bonds.” Board member Allison Pinkett- Floyd asked if there were any financial ramifications to postponing the vote, to which Rachlin responded, “Probably not.” The board unanimously approved the move to issue bonds, after which Mary Marshall, a retired librarian and supporter of the library, thanked the staff and board for their efforts to build a new library and urged them to stand firm in keeping it at the current location. The library, she added, “is just as important as Lilacia Park.” Kruser related that the library and park district boards and officials have met recently, and “We left the meeting feeling good. We think it went well. There is more to come.” However, the board seemingly put the onus on the park district for delays in beginning construction. “It’s not on our back we have not met [with the park district],” said Carlson. The library, responded Mullins, “should revisit this whole thing. New referendum, new numbers.” “We have been totally transparent the entire time,” said board member Kristin Aasmundstad Walsh. “We’re as upset as you are.” “We’re in negotiations with the park district. We’re asking them to come to the table,” Pinkett-Floyd said. At issue is an air rights agreement between the park district and library from the 1970s, when the library expanded to the north on land donated by the park district. The stipulation was that the addition not surpass a certain height overlooking adjacent Lilacia Park. Brenniman recounted that when the library first presented its building plans to the park district, “the park district had no questions about our plans.” Whatever the concerns, Pinkett- Floyd said, “If they would let us know what they were ... [we] would talk.” She did acknowledge that once the referendum issue was made public, the park district “wanted to be very neutral about it.” On the Lombard Park District website, the board of commissioners issued a statement in March, citing that the library district, in February 2016, “was notified that the park district was concerned about the possibility of any new library expansion into Lilacia Park and were told that any new building should not encroach into Lilacia Park.” The statement also noted that the library district “presented to the residents elevations and floor plans for a new library that encroached into Lilacia Park and was not within their property lines.” “The protection of Lilacia Park from further development has been a priority of the elected officials who represent the Lombard Park District and in that spirit, we have made every effort to work cooperatively with the library district,” the statement reads. Commissioners wrote that the park district has “provided options that could potentially save taxpayers’ dollars in moving, book storage and temporary site costs; and assist with their parking and storm water issues.” According to information supplied by library spokesperson Sue Wilsey, when Kruser met with Lombard Park District Executive Director Paul Friedrichs in December 2016, “she was told that the park district preferred to do a land swap with the library and offered the Southland Park property.” However, the library had paid for a study of the property and “determined that it was not suitable for a 50,000-square-foot public library.” Additionally, according to Wilsey, back in 2006 the library “made a resolution” to stay on its current property, based on feedback from residents who wanted the library to remain close to downtown. Wilsey noted that “several new building concepts were presented to a park liaison group,” along with a request for a waiver of air rights to the west of the current building “so that one continuous second floor could be constructed.” She said that the library offered to give “a large portion of its property for expansion of Lilacia Park just north of the new building.” Wilsey described how the park district discussed a land exchange for property at Lombard Common park, but architects for the library “saw multiple challenges, including traffic and parking increases, adjacent resident concerns and a very expensive storm water retention system.” “We’re doing everything we can to address their concerns,” said Pinkett- Floyd, with board member Susan Wiggins saying that discussions going on in closed sessions, both at the library and with the park district, cannot be made public at this time. When asked when and if there would be any movement forward toward building a new library, Carlson responded, “Perhaps you should ask the park district.” Wilsey summed up that library architects have presented a new design for a 50,000-square-foot library “that will be within the library property lines and will not infringe on the park’s air rights.” “The library looks forward to working with park officials in the coming weeks and months to agree on construction easements and other building decisions,” Wilsey stated.
Experience the solar eclipse at the Helen Plum Library
Helen Plum Library is now giving away free CE and ISO certified safe solar eclipse glasses to card holders at 5 p.m. while supplies last. Glasses will be available at the front circulation desk for Helen Plum Library card holders and members of their families. Additional pairs will be available at the Helen Plum Eclipse Event held on the north plaza deck on Monday, Aug. 21, from 12:30 until 2 p.m. Join the library for Sunny Lemonade and Moon Pies, and a great vantage point for viewing the eclipse. NASA predicts that the peak eclipse will pass over Lombard at 1:19 p.m., when the moon is expected to obscure 87 percent of the sun. During the eclipse, the temperature will drop, stars can appear, and birds can even become confused and start chirping their nighttime songs. You can trust Helen Plum Library to keep your eyes safe, so that once all the fun is over, you can get back to books. No registration is necessary. For more information about any of the programs or services available at Helen Plum Library visit www. helenplum.org or call 630-627-0316. The Helen Plum Library is located in downtown Lombard at 110 W. Maple St. and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
Residents reminded to use caution and follow safety tips when viewing solar eclipse
Residents and visitors to Lombard will be able to view a partial solar eclipse at approximately 11:54 a.m., on Monday. The Lombard Fire Department is reminding anyone interested in viewing the event to use caution due to a risk of eye damage. “There have been reports of ineffective eclipse glasses being sold in the area and we’re reminding residents that if you’re going to view this event, you should follow safety tips from NASA,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Howell. “We’re also asking parents to make sure that children know not to look at the sun during the event.” Since Lombard is outside the path of total eclipse, residents are advised to never view any part of the eclipse without eye protection. Safety tips from NASA (https:// eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety) include: • The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight. • Always inspect your solar filter glasses before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions. • Always supervise children using solar filter glasses. • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter— do not remove it while looking at the sun. • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. • Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer—the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics. • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid driving during the eclipse as the temporary darkness could cause confusion to drivers. For more information visit https:// eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety and https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.
Breen: State Board of Education numbers for Senate Bill 1 are outdated
ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK
Not having official numbers from the nonpartisan Illinois State Board of Education didn’t keep critics of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to the Democrats’ school funding reform bill from opposing the measure during a committee hearing on Aug. 9. In order for general state aid to go to school districts, the budget imposed by lawmakers last month requires an evidence-based school funding model. Such a model is found in Senate Bill 1, which Democrats sat on for two full months before sending it to Gov. Bruce Rauner in early August. Using his veto authority, Rauner changed the bill in several ways when he finally got it. One change was to remove what he and Republicans characterize as a Chicago Public Schools pension bailout worth hundreds of millions of dollars. On Aug. 9, House Democrats invited school administrators from half a dozen school districts to Chicago to testify against Rauner’s changes during a nearly four-hour committee hearing. Despite the hearing being in Chicago, Democrats acknowledged CPS was not asked to testify. Regardless, Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, said the critics lack any foundation. “We’ve got the Illinois State Board of Education, which is a neutral scoring agency on this, still looking at the numbers from the amendatory veto,” Breen said, “and so we’re all sitting here guessing.” Numbers from ISBE were transmitted to Rauner’s administration on Aug. 7, but Rauner said Aug. 9 that his staff found errors and requested ISBE rework the numbers. It’s unclear when the numbers will be released, but Rauner said once they’re done and reviewed they’ll be put out as soon as possible. Breen also pointed out during the committee hearing that ISBE numbers for Senate Bill 1 are outdated because it distributes several hundred million dollars less than what lawmakers ended up approving, and no more recent calculations have been released. “I know there’s at least ... $450 million somewhere floating around in the ether,” Breen said. Hundreds of miles away in Peoria, SB1 sponsor state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, held a news conference blasting the governor’s changes as something that will hurt school districts across the state, but provided no data to back up his claims. On Sunday, the Senate voted 38-19 mostly along party lines to override the governor’s amendatory veto of the measure. State Sen. Sam McCann, R-Plainview, was the only Republican to support the override effort. All Democrats voted to override. Last week, the House scheduled a floor session for Wednesday, Aug. 16, the same day as Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Breen said it’s obvious there won’t be a vote to agree with the governor’s changes and an override won’t pass the House because it doesn’t have a supermajority of Democrats. He said it’s time to find an agreeable solution so taxpayers know their money is being spent appropriately. “Why would we not fix these issues and … try to get as much money to the kids that need it?” Breen said. State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, agreed. “I would urge my colleagues that care about the students to craft a more perfect bill,” Ford said. There are a several bills lawmakers can gut and replace to deal with an evidence-based funding model. It’s just unclear if and when that will happen if SB1 dies and lawmakers have to start over from scratch. Rauner last week urged lawmakers to keep working toward a solution.
Lombard police: Drunk and impaired drivers will be met with zero tolerance this Labor Day
Labor Day weekend road trips and local celebrations are fun and festive, but the Lombard Police Department is reminding residents that due to alcohol and drug impaired drivers, it is also dangerous. This Labor Day, Lombard officers are partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation to stop drunk drivers and help save lives. The high-visibility “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown runs from Aug. 21-Sept. 5. During this period, law enforcement will show zero tolerance for impaired driving or seat belt law violators. The Lombard Police Department will be out in full force to discourage drunk and drugged driving and a roadside safety checkpoint is scheduled for the overnight hours of Friday, Sept. 1. “Residents need to understand that driving impaired does not have an upside,” said Lombard Traffic Unit Officer Paula Rojas. “More than 10,000 people die every year from impaired driving because some people like to pretend that certain laws don’t apply to them, but to be clear: In every state, for every person, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has made it even easier to get home safely when you’ve been drinking, with the free SaferRide mobile app, available through iTunes and Google Play. The app allows you to call pre-selected contacts or a taxi, and also identifies your location so you can be picked up. Officer Rojas and the Lombard Police Department want you to know that two easy steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for drunk driving are to always designate a sober driver and to never let friends drive drunk. Other important tips include: • You can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you serve is involved in a drunk-driving crash. • Make sure all of your guests designate a sober driver in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers. • Serve food and include non-alcoholic beverages if hosting a party. • Give your car keys to a designated sober driver before the party begins. • Take the keys away friends who attempt to drive drunk and call them a ride. • If you do not have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab, sober friend or family member to pick you up, or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober. Just don’t drive drunk! • Always buckle up; it is your best defense against a drunk driver. The Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown is made possible by federal highway safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. For more information visit www.villageoflombard. org/drivingsafety.
Tri-Town Toast fundraiser Sept. 9
Tri-Town YMCA will be raising glasses and raising funds for program scholarships at its ninth annual wine-tasting event on Saturday, Sept. 9, 1-5 p.m. The event, open to the over-21 public, will be held at and hosted by Famous Liquors, located at 105 E. Roosevelt Road in Lombard. For $20 at the door, attendees will be able to sample spirits, wines, and beers, including some local favorites. Early- bird tickets are available for $15 online at www.tritownymca.org. All attendees will receive 12 tasting tickets. “This is a great event for friends to enjoy together while supporting an organization that really makes a difference on a local level. Many families benefit from Y scholarships or subsidies,” said Whitney Cimaglia, Tri-Town YMCA Board president and Toast event chair. Vendor tasting booths will be set up inside Famous Liquors. Cheese samples and appetizers will also be available from Trader Joes and Old Town Pizza. Raffle prizes and silent auction items, featuring local establishments as well as Cubs jerseys signed by Joe Maddon and Kyle Schwarber, will complete an action- filled afternoon. The silent auction is open online at www.cherryfish. com/tritowntoast or is available by downloading the Cherryfish app. “We are so excited to have handcrafted beers from Noon Whistle and spirits from Burke Beverage, along with premium wines from Quara, Scotto Cellars and Quintessential. We will feature 90-plus wines and wineries that have been seen in ‘Wine Enthusiast’ and ‘Wine Spectator,’” said Jeff Sukowski, owner of Famous Liquors. The event is also sponsored by Republic Bank, Terra Vista of Oakbrook Terrace, Hidden Key Escapes of Naperville and Jim Hendry, MLB executive with the New York Yankees. “This is the second year that we have partnered with Tri-Town YMCA,” said Sukowski. “They’ve worked to make this event better than ever with the addition of some great auction items and baseball memorabilia. It’s a pleasure to be associated with an organization that has been serving this area for more than 50 years.” For more information, contact Tri-Town YMCA.
Sen. Cullerton works to streamline state purchases
Illinois now has a streamlined process to improve the way state government entities purchase goods and services. Villa Park Democrat Tom Cullerton’s bipartisan initiative, Senate Bill 8, is a reform aimed at taxpayer savings that was signed into law recently. “Eliminating red tape and streamlining the purchasing process will make it easier for local businesses to bid on state contracts,” Cullerton said. “Our local businesses are the heart of our economy. It’s our duty to make this process easier and more transparent to help encourage economic development in our communities.” This new law expands the ability of state universities to purchase needed products and services without having to navigate through costly and time-consuming red tape. Illinois would be allowed to enter into joint purchasing agreements with other governmental units, and vendors would be given more flexibility when registering or submitting a bid. “This new bipartisan law will speed up the process and save valuable taxpayer dollars, all while helping our local businesses grow and prosper,” Cullerton said. This reform was initiated due to concerns that procurement rules can be difficult for vendors, state agencies and universities to navigate. Cullerton has also been working to pass a series of structural reforms. They include a government consolidation plan, term limits for legislative leaders, workers compensation reform and changes to the school funding formula. Another bill Cullerton is urging the governor to sign is Senate Bill 3, a proven bipartisan government consolidation model to spread DuPage County’s success throughout the state. Cullerton worked with DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin to eliminate duplicative units of government and simplify the process that allows government entities to consolidate. The DuPage County model is expected to save taxpayers $100 million, so Cullerton has worked to make the model available to other counties throughout Illinois. Illinois has more than 7,000 units of government that are often duplicative and outdated, so Cullerton envisions large savings to local taxpayers across the state. Senate Bill 3 would enable Illinois to consolidate more units of government than any other state in the nation. “This one small step will improve government services and lower property taxes without making a sacrifice in services received,” Cullerton said. “Every day Gov. Rauner puts off signing this reform is a lost opportunity to guarantee government is evolving with the needs of the people. The time to act is now.”
Elmhurst-Edward Health among Most Wired
For the third year in a row, Edward- Elmhurst Health has been named as one the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems. The recognition is based on the 2017 Most Wired survey by the American Hospital Association and Clearwater Compliance, a provider of healthcare compliance and cyber risk management solutions. Edward-Elmhurst, a system that includes Edward Hospital in Naperville, Elmhurst Hospital and Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, also made the Most Wired list in 2015 and 2016. Prior to their recognition as part of a system, Elmhurst Hospital made the list in 2013 and 2014, and Edward Hospital was named in 2014. The annual Most Wired survey is a leading industry barometer that measures information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. Nearly 700 organizations, representing 2,158 hospitals (39 percent of all hospitals in the U.S.), took part in the 2017 survey. According to the survey’s results, Most Wired hospitals are using smart phones, telehealth and remote monitoring to create more ways for patients to access health care services and capture health information. Edward-Elmhurst’s “Most Wired” efforts include: • MyChart patient portal (https:// mychart.eehealth.org/mychart): Available online and via mobile app, patients can communicate with their doctor, manage appointments, access test results, request prescription renewals and more. • Real-time online scheduling for doctor visits and tests: New and current patients can visit www.eehealth. org/make-an-appointment to schedule an appointment with one of more than 120 physicians, physician assistants or advance practice clinicians with Edward Medical Group, Elmhurst Clinic, Elmhurst Medical Associates and Elmhurst Memorial Medical Group. Patients can also schedule lab tests, mammograms, heart scans and other procedures. • Use of CardioMEMS and Reveal LINQ, implanted devices that allow physicians to remotely monitor the conditions of patients with heart conditions. • Real-time Wait Times: Available for ER, Immediate Care and Walk-In Clinics at www.EEHealth. org • HealthAware (www.eehealth. org/health-aware): Free, online assessments measure risk for addiction, anxiety, breast cancer, colon cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, lung cancer, sleep disorders and stroke. In addition, Edward-Elmhurst is enhancing and developing a wide variety of tools and programs, such as video and e-visits, price-shopping tools for health care services and more.