Green Party position statements
Following are the positions of the Boone/Winnebago Counties Green Party, as outlined by David Black, chairman.
The Boone/Winnebago local of the Illinois Green Party calls on the Winnebago County Board to levy a tax on refuse placed in landfills in Winnebago County to the fullest extent permitted by state law. We believe such a tax would have at least two positive effects:
l It would discourage out-of-county haulers from bringing refuse to Winnebago County landfills; and
l The revenues generated by such a tax could be used to establish recycling programs within Winnebago County.
We further call on all current members of the Winnebago County Board, as well as candidates for board seats, to take a position on this issue.
Recycling in Rockford
The Boone/Winnebago local of the Illinois Green Party commends the City of Rockford for requiring curb-side recycling as part of its contract with its residential waste hauler. However, we believe the city can, and must, do more on the issue of recycling. Specifically, we call on the Rockford City Council to pass ordinances that:
1. Require that recycling be made available to Rockford residents who live in multi-family dwellings; and
2. Require that all festivals and other special events held within the city limits offer attendees, at a minimum, recycling of aluminum cans and glass bottles.
We further call on all current members of the Rockford City Council, as well as future candidates for Council seats, to take a position on these proposals.
Renewable energywind turbines
Currently, northern Illinois is dependent on nuclear energy or the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity. The Boone/Winnebago Counties Green Party is concerned about the possibility of a nuclear accident, the problem of disposing of spent nuclear fuel, and the fact that fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource. We support the use of wind turbines as a safe, non-renewable, and non-polluting alternative for the production of electrical power.
We call on local units of government to modify their zoning laws to allow wind turbines to be placed on farmland as a special use. We further call on local units of government to grant special use permits upon proper application by those proposing to create wind farms for the production of electricity.
Wal-Mart in Belvidere
The Boone/Winnebago local of the Illinois Green Party opposes the plans to annex land to the city of Belvidere in order to develop a Wal-Mart superstore. We take this position for the following reasons:
l The coming of Wal-Mart could lead to the closing of small businesses, many of which are locally owned.
l Wal-Mart has a history of employee mistreatment including charges of forced overtime without pay, the taking out of life insurance policieswith Wal-Mart as the beneficiaryon the lives of employees, the use of less than 40-hour-per-week employees who are forced to pay for their own benefits, and hostility to employee organizing.
l Wal-Mart sells few, if any, locally grown or produced products. Instead, many of the goods it sells are made in Asia by underpaid workers.
l Wal-Mart is seeking tax and other incentives that have not been available to the businesses that Wal-Mart will displace.
We call on all current members of the Belvidere City Council to vote against annexation. Further, we call on all candidates for Council seats to take a position on this issue.
We are opposed to the plan to extend Perryville Road north from Illinois 173 to the Wisconsin border by 2007 for the following reasons:
l The increased land consumption caused by the extension would exacerbate growth, leading to crowded schools, strained local services and urban sprawl.
l Construction will lead to a loss of wildlife and cause damage to wetlands and other natural resources in the area.
l Illinois 251 and Interstate 90 should be improved to handle traffic increase.
l The county road system has more urgent needs, such as improvements for existing county roads.
l The Stone Bridge Trail is protected and registered with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission; a bridge over it or under it would destroy it.
We strongly urge the Winnebago County Board to stop waffling on this issue and cancel all plans to extend Perryville Road to the Wisconsin border.