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Letter: Hammond Village making bad decision

To the Editor:

I looked up in my old and dog eared Webster Dictionary, the word Village. It said, "The people of a village, collectively," Then, I looked up the word Board: It said, besides the obvious, "A group of administrators, Council." Then, I looked up the word Council and it said, "A group of people called together for consultation, advice, etc. A group of people CHOSEN as an administrative or legislative assembly." No where in the dictionary did it say that a board or council knows more than the citizens they are representing.

I honestly don't believe that anyone in the Village of Hammond is against progress. And I personally don't think the street/sidewalk project is a bad one, except, in my opinion, we don't need wider streets and sidewalks in a residential area. It's just merely ill-timed. For the director of streets to ask anyone in this village, who is against this project, "if we care about the safety of our children," is not only resorting to, in my opinion, a form of mental blackmail, but the statement is insulting. We all care about our children in our neighborhoods. WE watch them ride their bikes, skateboards, rollerblades and scooters on our streets. Putting in sidewalks won't change this. If a strange car sits on our street to long, I call the police to have them check out why they are there, I'm sure anyone else would do the same. So don't even suggest we don't care about the safety of our children. If YOU care about the safety of our children, then you should be more concerned about the walking path going to the High School on TT. Do you honestly believe a white line will keep the children safe from wandering cars?

But I'm sure that parents of these children are also concerned about providing a heated roof over their heads. Not to mention seniors on a fixed income. Our taxes are high, health care is high, our water bills are high, heating our homes is unbelievably high, gas prices are out of control and food is going up. I honestly don't think people can take much more. Yet we have a Board that seems to think we have an unlimited supply of money to hand over for a project that we feel is not necessary right now. On top of that, they will destroy our trees, that not only makes our property appealing but takes away needed shade and will drive up the cost of cooling in the summer. Anyway you slice it, it will cost the residents money.

I asked a Board member a couple of years ago, why are you on the Board? The answer was, "because someone has to look out for the residents." I, for one, would like to know when that changed.

The meeting last summer at the school was an indication of how this Village feels about this project. And I've heard Board members say that they are listening to us. But I say, "YOU AREN'T HEARING US." You make motions, have them seconded and it's a done deal and we have to live with the consequences. In my opinion, there's something fundamentally wrong with that. We're supposed to be living in a democracy. Put this project to the vote and prove you are truly listening to us.

Dale and Bonnie Jotblad