05/13/2005: Working With What You've Got...
If you’re at all wondering “why is Karen too busy to post” as often these past days. Well, the long story short is found in these three articles about the proposed Jail site and neighborhood protest activities as the “Hot Topics” here in Dennis Hastert Corner. There was a “Special Meeting” of the Harvest Hills Homeowners Association on Wednesday to cover more resident concerns and questions - Hope fades for residents fighting county jail site by Mark Foster (Daily Herald Correspondent):
”County board member Jim Mitchell on Wednesday told residents from the Harvest Hills subdivision in St. Charles that they have little hope of stopping plans for a new jail at the Kane County Judicial Center campus.
The residents want the jail built elsewhere, arguing that such a facility near their neighborhood would create unacceptable risks for them and especially their children.
“The only way the jail is going to have a new site is a vote by the county board,” said Mitchell, a Republican from North Aurora. “There’s not a real chance it will change. The more money that is invested in the plan, the less likely it will be changed.”
The county board last year voted to build a 600- to 700-bed jail next to the judicial center at Route 38 and Peck Road.
The neighbors said the jail should be located farther west in a rural area.
“Let’s move this jail,” resident Erika Signorella told Mitchell. “It should not be here next to our homes.”
Mitchell is the chairman of the county board’s judiciary and public safety committee and a member of the jail project steering committee. He urged residents to cooperate with the county through a citizen advisory panel to help design the exterior of the jail building and help determine the policy for how inmates are released.
“I truly believe that if this facility is done right and, with your input, the effect on you will be minimal,” Mitchell said, acknowledging that the jail would serve to increase vehicle traffic in the area.
Mitchell said the aging, crowded jail on Fabyan Parkway in Geneva is inefficient, and that a new jail will ultimately save money for the taxpayers….”
For more on this "exciting" (to be sure) development here in the Windy Outback, click on the "more button.
Moving right on to the Thursday night first meeting of the Citizen Advisory Committee to provide in-put to this project:
Residents ready to advise county on jail issues by Paul Dailing (Kane County Chronicle):
”GENEVA — They might not be able to move a planned jail, but a new group could help the jail fit in with the community.
On Thursday night, the citizens advisory committee for a planned county jail met for the first time. The committee is composed of representatives selected by 12 groups that include park districts, cities, school districts and homeowners associations. Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay said that the committee will have input on security, aesthetics and "issues relating to how Kane County can be a good and safe neighbor to the community."
She said there is one issue on which the committee will have no say.
"This committee is not about site selection," McConnaughay said in introductory remarks to the group.
The jail is planned for the Judicial Center campus at Peck Road and Route 38. Some neighbors have protested the site, saying it is too close to residences, Heartland Elementary School and a children's soccer field….”
And this from the Daily Herald’s Patrick Waldron, Kane jail committee starts work
”Two members represent neighborhoods surrounding new facility’s building site
Though it remains incomplete, the resident committee organized to advise county leaders on the new jail project had its inaugural meeting Thursday and learned a bit about the years of work ahead of it.
At a basic level, the 12-member committee will be asked to provide feedback as to what the new jail should look like and act as a liaison between county residents and county board members.
“This committee is about any issue that relates to how Kane County can be a good and safe neighbor to the community,” said county board Chairman Karen McConnaughay, a St. Charles Republican, greeting the new volunteers.
Three seats on the panel remain unfilled.
Given the pure volume of calls, e-mails and questions for and against the jail project coming from the nearby neighborhoods, committee members Sam Parma and Sue Tills could become the most high-profile names.
Parma, a resident of Geneva for five years and a South Barrington police officer, is representing the Fisher Farms subdivisions. Tills, a resident of St. Charles for 11 years, was selected to represent the Harvest Hills subdivision.
Those developments border the Kane County Judicial Center campus at the corner of Peck Road and Route 38 west of Geneva, where the county proposes to build its 600- to 700-bed jail. The new lockup would replace the chronically overcrowded, 400-bed jail on Fabyan Parkway in Geneva sometime between 2007 and 2009.
The balance of the committee is made up of individuals from a mix of municipalities, law enforcement agencies and community groups.
Jim Urhausen, a local developer from St. Charles, was selected to represent the chief judge’s office. Elburn Police Chief James Linane was picked to represent the Kane County Chiefs of Police.
Geneva Plan Commission member Mim Evans will speak for the city and Geneva school board president Dean Kilburg will handle the duties for the school district.
The city of Elgin selected building and zoning officer John Rothenberger as its representative. John Kerr, a St. Charles park board member, will represent his district and the Geneva Park District.
Mary Anne Gilkerson will represent the League of Women Voters, a group that has actively studied the county’s jail problems.
Representatives from the cities of St. Charles and Aurora, as well as a Kane County at-large committee member, have yet to be selected. ….”
Karen on 05.13.05 @ 12:01 PM CST