County Board members should take road ‘less traveled’ in vote on asphalt plant

Many years ago, our venerable American poet, Robert Frost, wrote a poem titled “The Road Not Taken.” It begins:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler…”

The gist of the poem is that life sometimes presents us with difficult decisions and that often a decision that is popular and temporarily rewarding is the road more easily taken. Often, the road less traveled is more difficult because it may be unpopular, but it may be the more morally and ethically correct of the two.

As elected members of the Winnebago County Board, you have a difficult decision to make Oct. 27. Will you decide to approve William Charles’ application for a special-use permit to construct an asphalt plant in the quarry on East State Street? A “yes” vote would appear to be the most politically advantageous position, particularly since William Charles and some board members have labeled this “a done deal.” Is William Charles in a position to influence our governmental structure to that extent?

On the other hand, it has become obvious that placement of the asphalt plant near residential neighborhoods will be disruptive of the way of life of residents, with the imposition of fumes, noise, traffic and decreased real estate values. A “no” vote would not be popular with the William Charles conglomerate, nor with some board members, but it would be the correct moral and ethical thing to do for your Rockford neighbors. Will you take the road less traveled and vote “no”?

Robert Frost concludes the poem by saying:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Jerry Bohumolski

From the Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2011, issue

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