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letters to the editor

Updated: September 7, 2012 6:04AM

One political float
was banished from
Sandwich Fairgrounds

We were fortunate to be a part of the “Freedom Days Parade” on July 7. However, before the parade, the Sandwich Park District phoned to inform me that the Board of Directors of the Sandwich Fair Association would not allow the “Wanted New Mayor in Sandwich” float on the property of the Sandwich Fairgrounds. This one float had to park elsewhere and was not allowed to line up with the rest of the pre-registered and pre-paid participants.

The Board of Directors of the Sandwich Fair Association, which may include all of if not a few of the following — city of Sandwich 3rd Ward Alderman Harold Dannewitz, Wiley Updike, John Wagner, Scott Breunig, Nancy Rex, Bill Haag, Larry Dannewitz, Gene Frieders, Ken Tyrrell, James Webber, Matthew Wilson, John Hallaron and Dick Delp — made the decision.

I am not sure if all of the above mentioned individuals agreed upon and made the decision to bar the “Wanted New Mayor in Sandwich Float” from the fairgrounds. We thought perhaps the Board of Directors of the Sandwich Fair Association were preventing all “political” floats from lining up on the Sandwich Fairground property, but other “political” floats were allowed.

Why was this one float singled out and not allowed to line up with the other floats? What happened to freedom of speech? We need change in the city of Sandwich, and possibly in the Sandwich Fair Association Board of Directors.

John Luttrell


Activism is important
to combat criminals

I just read the article about the numerous burglaries in the Pigeon Hill neighborhood and the subsequent neighborhood meeting.

The residents who prompted this meeting and took the time to distribute flyers and ‘rally the troops’ should be commended. That kind of activism really makes a difference.

City officials tell us that these crimes are not focused on a particular neighborhood but rampant throughout the community. Maybe the real issue is why we have so many folks here in Aurora that commit crimes. Is there something about Aurora that attracts these people?

I think the police do a great job, but it would be much easier for them if we had fewer criminals in Aurora to begin with. You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Sharon M. Jacobs


Aurora housing panel
needs more direction

For the past several years many residents, School District 129 and myself have pushed for a restructuring and/or a better approach to work with the Aurora Housing Authority. Last City Council I asked Rick Guzman (the mayor’s chief of staff), how are we going to make the AHA an effective part of this community? He did not give any real direction or communicate a solid plan by the mayor administration to do so. This notion that Aurora needs more “cheap housing” to support a regional problem, is the wrong path for Aurora. Currently District 131 has 83 percent of its students classified as free and reduced lunch, District 129 has 63 percent free and reduced lunch. This translates into no fees being paid by the vast majority of the students in two-thirds of our city, most of this costs covered by the rest of the families. This is not meant to be mean spirited or non-compassionate for families that need a hand, but these percentages along with extremely depressed property values indicate an out-of-balance approach to this issue.

How long does a chief executive officer allow a board completely appointed by himself, to thumb their noses at this community, costing the taxpayers ten of thousands of dollars in expenses for legal and consulting, impacting millions of dollars in property value, and countless police man hours?

Not long ago, the mayor became enraged when I asked a perspective board appointee her opinion on the direction of the AHA. He threatened to have the police remove me from the council for asking such a simple question.

It is clear now that we have not asked enough questions of these individuals the mayor appoints to a board that has such a great impact on our city. So why has the mayor not made appropriate changes to the board and set a direction that is in the best interest of our community? When will a plan be presented to move this in a positive direction? Another couple of simple questions.

Alderman Rick Lawrence

Fourth Ward


Foreclosure can be
a downward spiral

Stepanie Lulay’s article, “Aurora neighborhood up in arms over burglaries,” is an excellent follow up to a previous article about the difficulty in policing foreclosed homes. This is probably a nationwide problem.

Foreclosures are a burden not only in police expense but also in reducing the tax base. And foreclosure may discourage the victims from keeping up their voter registration — which is part of another nationwide problem. A community can get into a downhill spiral of empty homes, strained police coverage and no way to express dissent at the polls.

We learn in the article that police have no right to enter a foreclosed property unless there is proof the house has been entered. Who made this rule? Seems like the whole subject needs discussion at a higher level. Although, in the old days, the neighbors would resist foreclosures, but nobody wants to see that again.

John Heinz


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