Guest Column: Wisdom and integrity

I asked myself and other people attending the Winnebago County Board meeting of June 8—why do you suppose they could be so condescending to us in their comments? Then without discussion vote for the Puri/Cannell Special Use Permit. It appeared that they never heard the concerns of the citizens/taxpayers in the area immediately surrounding the PCD of Puri/Cannell.

The Rockton Township Advisory Board, the Rockton Township Trustees, and the Zoning Board of Appeals all unanimously turned it down. It just didn’t seem possible that the vote would be 19 for, 4 against with 5 absent.

Then, at the special meeting of the Rockton Township Board of Trustees, it was revealed why it seemed that the Winnebago County Board never heard our concerns. Our Board representative, Mr. Webster, who chairs the Republican caucus, told us that the audio transmission tape from the ZBA was mostly inaudible. Strange and convenient at the same time the Zoning Committee chaired by Mr. Chris Johnson and also membered by both Mr. Yeska and Mr. Webster from our district also never heard the ZBA tapes. The strange part is, if our representatives, Mr. Webster and Mr. Yeske, are on the Zoning Committee, why would they not have at least insisted that this austere gathering hear the three hours. of presentation to the ZBA? Not so. They probably didn’t have the time to listen to taxpayers’ concerns since, as Mr. MacKay says’ those people up there are against any expansion. So, they quickly got the request through the Zoning Committee and the County Board without any of these elected officials hearing or bothering to look into the concerns.

Example—Chris Johnson said on TV that they could not be concerned about the contaminated water problem. Another Board member said that the health problems would have to be proven to the Winnebago County Health Department; they are not the concern of Board members. If we can’t be concerned about real, legitimate problems as these than what do these board members concern themselves with? Greased skids from developers? That is the convenient part.

More rooftops can’t be a convenience to this Board of tax collectors because our County Board representative said that for every dollar of tax collected from a homeowner, that same home requires $1.25 of services provided by our tax collectors. That would be a burden. I would like to hear from this Board of tax collectors how much more it is going to cost those of us who don’t know what we need up here in the way of development. Will we have to pay for Puri/Cannell infrastructure; i.e., roads, stoplights, the community soccer field and parking lot, policing all the illegal activities that take place in those areas? Oh yes, and even water and sewer? I’m sure that since they really studied the myriad of concerns/objectives, they have an intelligent reply for us who will bear the burden that THEY are imposing on us.

It is written: “A worthless person, a wicked man is one who walks with a false mouth.” Proverbs 6:12 NASB. I suggest that the board members not look this up because the Book of Proverbs is full of advice about how to acquire Wisdom and Integrity. This would be like allowing the 10 commandments in schools—why—some of the students may begin to adhere to them.

Richard Ott is a Rockton resident.

From the July 5-11, 2006, issue

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