By Paul Gorski
This article is in response to: “Guest Column: IDOT to fundamentally change the ambience of Rockton” by Dean G. Mohring from the Nov. 5-11, 2014 issue, online at http://rockrivertimes.com/2014/11/05/guest-column-idot-to-fundamentally-change-the-ambience-of-rockton/. No, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is not planning to pave over the village of Rockton, but the agency is planning significant road expansion in the village.
I currently serve as a Cherry Valley Township trustee; so from one township trustee to another, Mr. Mohring, do not give up your fight. I neither support nor challenge IDOT’s apparent decision to make three lanes from the Rock River bridge to the four-lane Highway 2, north of the village. I am simply offering advice to Dean Mohring and anyone else who wishes to challenge state agency decisions.
First, continue to challenge IDOT’s decision through public comments, letters, e-mail and calls to IDOT. Hold your own public forums on the topic. Township government is the government closest to the people and is the perfect means to hold these meetings and document public opinion on the topic. Do not let up.
Second, enlist the help of county and village officials. Bring to the table any other local government official willing to take a stand on the issue. Have the village and county take up the issue at their meetings and issue a public policy statement on the plans.
Lastly, the project will not move forward without funding. Talk to our local state senators and state representatives about your alternate plans. Encourage them to question the funding for a project the local community might very well object to. You might even be able to muster enough votes downstate to alter the project plans.
Again, I do not have a stake in this particular road project. I probably have friends who are anxious for the road development work and construction jobs that it promises to bring. I am offering a basic outline on how to challenge state agency decisions using this example.
I was a bit disappointed that there was only one online comment made to the original article, and no tweets or likes. This sounds like it could be a controversial issue. Perhaps many residents support the plan and there is no issue. If you live in Rockton and have an opinion on this project, for or against, write your own letter to the editor or post a comment online.
Rockton residents may contact Rockton village officials at: http://www.rocktonvillage.com/.
Paul Gorski (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper.
Posted Nov. 12, 2014 Issue.