Friday, October 14, 2011

Cadge & Release™
Circle the Wagons

The reason they are building all those traffic roundabouts on and nearby Hunt Club Road is now clear. They are circling the wagons in Old Mill Creek.

Ha ha, as readers of this blog are redundantly aware ...
The Roundabout Runaround
the Villages of Lindenhurst and Old Mill Creek are engaged in a non-shooting war over the proposed trajectory of the Route 45 bypass. The citizens of Lindenhurst would prefer to see the bypass routed through the valuable undeveloped real-estate in Old Mill Creek. While the citizens of Old Mill Creek would prefer to see the bypass routed through the valuable sub-developments in Lindenhurst.

The theater of battle, so far, has been the op-ed pages, lately inundated with salvos of angry letters to the editors. The balance of power in this war of words would seem to favor the more numerous troops of Lindenhurst, however the opposing forces of Old Mill Creek (pop 178) have not been silent.

All of which is the premise for this week's Cadge & Release™:

The Cadge:

Daily Herald
Support Route 45 bypass plan
The traffic congestion that will be alleviated by the U.S. Route 45 bypass will benefit thousands of people in the region daily - not just the residents of the Heritage Trails and Forest Trails subdivisions. U.S. Highway 45 is a major arterial used by thousands of motorists daily. The current traffic jams impact people from the entire region.

I trust the expertise of the Lake County Division of Transportation and the professional engineers hired to work on the project, and their ability to consider the factors as they relate to the transportation needs of the entire region, not just the immediate area. There are many more reasons to support funding the proposed bypass than to oppose it.

The proposed bypass is a better alternative for the region than no bypass at all.
I hope that our Lake County Board members will support the recommendations made by the Lake County DOT regarding the transportation project that will benefit thousands of motorists who suffer through the Millburn Strangler day after day - and vote to fund the U.S. Route 45 bypass.

Jennifer D Andrew

Support Route 45 bypass plan
The Release:

Growth of sprawl
I am one of many area residents who has contributed to the suburban sprawl in northeastern Lake County. When I moved to Gurnee in 1987, there was no traffic. Grand Avenue was a country road with a stop sign at Hunt Club Road.

It took me 15 minutes to get to work in Libertyville. There was no rush hour. That was then. I built a house in Heritage Trails in Lindenhurst in 1996. It then took me 20 minutes to get to work.

It now takes longer and longer to get to and from work — anywhere from 40 to 75 minutes each way depending on the day and the weather. I adore my job, but I detest the commute. A significant portion of my commute is often spent just trying to get out of my neighborhood, Heritage Trails, and through the "Millburn Strangler."

I first learned of the proposed Route 45 bypass 15 years ago in the sales office of the Heritage Trails subdivision before purchasing my home. Yes, everyone who bought in Heritage Trails knew that a future bypass was planned, and that it was supposed to be located adjacent to our subdivision.

People who chose to build in the Forest Trails subdivision were also well aware that a future bypass would bisect their subdivision. People chose to build homes there anyway.

I was elated when Lake County decided to proceed with the Millburn Bypass, even though it is not a county highway. I participated on the Route 45 Bypass Citizen's Advisory Committee as the representative for the Historic Millburn Community Association, Inc. CAG members were told at the first meeting that we would be asked to provide input, but that we would not be voting to determine the location of the bypass.

Some members of CAG believe that the chosen bypass alternative will best resolve the traffic congestion and improve the traffic flow in the area. Other members were upset with the selected route. Emotions are escalating.

The sentiment expressed by those opposing the western bypass route appears to be that they would rather have no bypass at all if they can't have the location they desire. There are many more reasons to support the proposed bypass than to oppose it.

The proposed bypass is a better alternative for the region than no bypass at all.

Jennifer Durot Andrew

Growth of sprawl

Operatives will recognize the tried & true technique of the letter-blitz: send the same letter to multiple newspapers. Editors, happy to publish free content, typically play along. And if they like your letter, send it out again in a week or two, signed by someone else.

Operatives however may not recognize the identity of the author of the above letters, who is also an employee of the village of Old Mill Creek ...
Government Employees
Village of Old Mill Creek
By your LakeCouyntyEye's rough estimate, Old Mill Creek is trailing Lindenhurst in published missives by a factor of five to one. Government operatives in Old Mill Creek are encouraged to quickly convene a letter writing committee if they hold any hope of closing their missive gap.


Anonymous said...

Great catch Eye. The public has got to get up to speed real fast. This is nothing more than big Lake County money buying votes of the County Commissioners. The PAC trail is all telling.

Anonymous said...

Tim Smith, wielding that golden, diamond encrusted bludgeon, comes off like the wealthy, insulated numb-skull that he really is!

Here's a news flash, Tim: IDOT is starting to believe that you've been less than honest with them. That also includes some of the communications they've received from Marty Beuhler from the Lake County Department of Transportation that bare a striking similarity in wording to your own. But hey, what do you care, Tim! The Village of Old Mill Creek will probably pay your legal fees if the doo-doo hits the oscillating device. If not, I'm sure the Lake County Forest Preserve will buy some more of your land to cover those legal bills. Hope there's enough in your Village coffers to hire poor Marty after the Board members decide he's the best fall guy.

Lake County politics, even the gilded edged kind, still make me feel the need to shower!

Anonymous said...

Great catch eye! Looks like Tim's mouthpiece is at it again...what she fails to mention is that the vast majority of the public want the land to go through her friend and bosses land over in the east! If all the final options were viable then why wouldn't the county want to run the highway in the east, where development could take place around it, instead of shoehorning it into the west side which now has been fully developed.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this typical Old Mill Creek...have your village staff write in letters using the various forms of their names and not making any mention of the fact that they work directly for Old Mill Creek as they pretend to be just another 'regular concerned citizen'-what she's really concerned about is his money and his favors!

Serenity Seeker said...

As a Lindenhurst and Lake County resident, I am entitled to my opinions and I am entitled to share my views freely. I, too, pay taxes and am a registered voter. I am a resident of Heritage Trails and a Libertyville teacher of 34 years. I also happen to be the chairperson of the Historic Millburn Community Association, Inc. and am the Deputy Clerk for the Village of Old Mill Creek. I serve on the Citizens Advisory Committee and am also a parishioner at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church. I am very active in the community. My community involvement does not negate the freedom of speech afforded to me and to all citizens of our country.

You can weave your own fantasies, but if you are going to go after people personally and slam them, have the courage of your convictions and identify yourself. Cowards take pot shots and then hide under the cover of anonymity... Furthermore, it is apparent that your views lack merit or you would be better able to support your position based on facts rather than resorting to slander and personal attacks.

What we don't need are nameless bullies with far too much time on their hands. I think you would be better served and more credible if you stuck to the facts and left personal attacks out of it. I have no hidden agenda. I expressed my views in the Letters to the Editors that you so kindly republished here. They express my feelings on the issue. Please note that they do not contain any personal attacks.


Jennifer Andrew

Anonymous said...

Funny response when someone gets caught with 'their hand in the cookie jar' and suddenly they take the high road as they come clean. Not sure if I'd classify the other comments on her as bullying. The fact remains that her letters would likely never have made it here had Ms. Andrew not omitted the important fact that she works for OMC in her letters instead of trying to deceive the readers into believing that she had nothing at stake for supporting a western option. Choosing to leave that little detail out and using different versions of one's name can easily be seen as dishonest and is certainly not befitting someone holding a public office.

Serenity Seeker said...

Excuse me... Hand in the cookie jar... Come clean... Deceive the readers... Nothing at stake... Different versions of one's name? Dishonest? Holding public office? Nice try. I have nothing at stake other than traffic congestion or no traffic congestion. Try as you might to sensationalize a rather boring and straightforward situation, reread my letters to the editor and tell me where you find the word "west." I said that a bypass was better than no bypass at all... A bypass... NOT east or west.

Anonymous said...

You chose to have your opinions made public, yet not disclose your ties to Old Mill Creek. Rereading your letters I do see that you only indicate a bypass is better than no bypass, but your letters seem to be trying to reframe the issue from East vs. West to West or nothing. So to give you the opportunity to set the record straight,
Would you be in favor of funding for an Eastern bypass?
Are you only in favor of the bypass if it is the Western bypass?

Barney Baxter said...

hi Jennifer,

I too am a strong believer in our First Amendment privileges. But I'm sorry if something in this post offended you. Please feel free to reproduce, here, the factual inaccuracy or personal attack from that post. I will be happy to issue a retraction.


Anonymous said...

Failure to disclose an interest, Jennifer, is deceptive. Your letters give the impression that you are MERELY a concerned citizen, as opposed to an employee of the direct beneficiary of the western bypass AND a concerned citizen, and in that, you were deceptive. Moreover, the Illinois Department of Transportation has been advised of your letters and their lack of candor. We wonder why it is that you felt the need to deceive by omission when it appears that you've already got Marty Beuhler to do what you wanted. Your statement that you "trusted" Marty's judgement, in light of the omitted information regarding your bias and interest speaks volumes. Lawyers must "Avoid even the appearance of impropriety" and you would do well to follow the same tenant. I note that you have also failed to note the inaccuracies you claim, even when invited to do so. At some point, Jennifer, silence is seen as an admission. You were deceptive in your failure to disclose, deceptive in the suggestion that the eastern bypass group wants no bypass at all, and deceptive in your cry of unfairness here. Look in the dictionary, Jennifer. Those that engage in deceptive practices are deceitful. Are you deceitful, Jennifer?

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Jennifer. I know what it is like to be personally attacked by those who "bravely" hide behind anonymous postings with their silly insinuations.

You had the guts to put your good name out there with your opinion. They don't.

They can intelligently debate your positions if they wanted to but they prefer personal attacks and insinuations. That's why they don't sign their names.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Mr. Atsaves, my name is Ed Erwin, and I challenge you to to show me where in the above commentary, Ms. Andrew was the victim of a personal attack and "silly insinuations".

Ms. Andrew clearly failed to disclose in her letters to the editor in the News Sun and The Daily Herald, that she was employed by the village that stands to benefit from the LCDOT's choice of the western bypass of Rt. 45, nor that she was the Chairperson of the Historic Millburn Community Association, Inc. I have enjoyed the exchanges you have had with commenters on this blog, and understand from those that you are a lawyer. Are you really saying that Ms. Andrew's credibility cannot be judged, in part, by what she fails to disclose to the public at large? Are you really saying that deception cannot occur through a failure to disclose? I hope not.

Ms. Andrew's letters were, in fact, carefully crafted. She notes in one letter that she appreciates that the County is stepping up to build the bypass even though it was not a county road. And yet, in her comments here, she discloses that she was a member of the CAG. As a member of the CAG, she had to know that the basis for the need for the bypass has nothing to do with the nature of Rt. 45 itself, but in fact the combination of the misalignment of Millburn and Grass Lake Roads, both of which are in fact Lake County roads, and the presence of the protected historical district at their intersection with Rt. 45, an historic district which she herself chairs. These are significant omissions that speak to a bias and interest that this blog and its commenters have noted.

I grow weary of these claims of cowardice because someone doesn't include their name. I have posted under my name in the past and two hours later received a call from Ed Sullivan, Jr. regarding my comment. I found that disturbingly invasive. Moreover, I note that in both Ms. Andrew's and your own cases, the cry of the unfairness of anonymity usually comes after the commenter has made a cogent point, for which she, and you, fail to have an adequate response.

In Ms. Andrew's case, she clearly framed her letters to 'cast dispersion' upon the people who do not want the western bypass by merely stating that they do not want a bypass at all. In fact, the only people saying that are Senator Schmidt and Representative Osmond. The proponents of the eastern bypass are advocating a better plan, a less expensive plan, and a safer plan, not "no plan".

I have lived in Lindenhurst for over 20 years. I know this intersection intimately. I have personally witnessed a number of accidents occur there and have driven through the debris of scores more. I do question LCDOT's choice of the western bypass because I have never been a proponent of roadway designs that are backfilled with after-thought and aftermarket berms and barriers to make an otherwise unsafe design marginally less disastrous, and yet significantly more expensive.

Ms. Andrew has a right to her opinion. And I have a right to note that she did not fully disclose her interest in her letters. My name is Ed Erwin, Mr. Atsaves, and I think you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

I believe that all people who feel strongly one way or another about an issue are biased... Isn't that the point? The people who have chosen to criticize the person for writing letters to the editor are deceiving themselves and the readers here. They are in fact lobbying anyone who will listen to them on the County Board to vote against funding the bypass. The board will vote on whether or not to fund the bypass. The board is not voting on east or west. So yes, it is west or not at all. I urge the county board to vote yes!

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:45pm
Of course you do Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Actually, anon 10:35, that's not the point. Feeling strongly is one thing, having a vested interest in the outcome is quite another. Jennifer has a vested interest in the outcome of this decision in a couple of ways, and she deceived the readers by not disclosing this. Read her letters. Jennifer carefully crafted her letters to a manner that sees just a little beyond the school teacher from Libertyville. I'd bet a dollar that the lawyer from Temple Farms who testified at the transportation committee hearing helped her with these. They're subtle; far more subtle than her bleating replies in the comment section. She impeached herself in the comments, something the blow-hard lawyer Louis totally missed. But he's an inconsequential lightweight; a purveyor of blibberblabber. Watch out for Jennifer, however. She's the one connected with the big GOP bucks driving this western bypass nightmare down our throats. It's noteworthy that our Tax-and-spend Republicans are foisting a plan upon us that is 1.4 million dollars more expensive, so thing, in real terms, 3.3 million more expensive. But hey, it's property tax money, and Tim Smith pays a dime where we pay a dollar, so what do they care?!?!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "We wonder why it is that you (Jennifer Andrew) felt the need to deceive by omission (of Ms. Andrew's title of Deputy Clerk of V. of Old Mill Creek) when it appears that you've already got Marty Beuhler to do what you wanted."

Why. I'll bet $1 the "why" has everything to do with money....for those in power:
1. serving the wants of the elite rather than the needs of the constituency and
2. trying to protect their phony political reputations so they can stay in power to continue this wasteful, self serving nonsense.

As always, follow the $ and take a look at the recent "campaign contributions" including $2,000 from Tim Smith to the Bonnie Thomson Carter Committee on 7/1/ 2011 and $1,000 from Tempel Smith, Jr. Trust to the Suzi Schmidt Campaign on 9/20/2011. Both "campaign contributions" can be confirmed on the IL Board of Elections site.

What is killing Lake County is the Daily Herald keeps endorsing these multiterm sellouts back into public office, year after year after year after year.

It certainly pays to have "connections" in Lake County.