Let other leagues maintain new fields

The facilities at Ehlert Park are facing two challenges.

The baseball diamond built and maintained by the Babe Ruth League of Western Conference Baseball is being requested for use by other leagues and teams that have not contributed to the facilities and with too short of notice to properly accommodate them. Separately, the village wishes to expand facilities at the park, including another diamond, soccer field, etc.

I see these concerns as integrally related. Western Conference Baseball and the Little Leagues have demonstrated what can be done by volunteer efforts and fundraising by independent organization toward providing spectacular venues within the village. At present, we have several 60-foot base line ballparks but only one 90-foot base line ballpark.

I suggest that the village modify the Ehlert Park improvement plan to make the new diamond a 90-foot base line park. Then allow traveling teams and any other leagues that wish to participate to sponsor the field. They would be responsible for raising the funds, with some matching monies from the village and the state, and provide the labor to build and maintain this field.

Similar arrangements could be made with the American Youth Soccer Organization and others to develop the various parcels. In this manner, the full development of the Ehlert Park improvement plan can be realized at a tremendous cost savings while simultaneously increasing community involvement and developing closer ties between individuals, organizations and the village.

This will also reduce the conflicts that the village is dragged into between organizations competing for the same limited physical resources.

Timothy Brown

Thanks for quick cleanup after Fourth

Who cannot remark about the cool efficiency of the Riverside Public Works for its set-up and, later, its quick clean-up after the July 3 concert and, the next day, after the July 4 activities in Guthrie Park? Mike Hullihan and his crew deserve a round of applause for a job well done.

Come the day after the July 4, one wouldn’t know that nearly a thousand people had partied there. But credit must also be paid to those who staked out their portion of the park for family celebrations and cleaned up afterward. Riversiders are that way. Grumpy’s also appreciates your patience in the face of a multitude of customers both days. Our crew worked its heart out to accommodate. Hopefully, it was enough.

David Moreau

? David Moreau is the owner of Grumpy’s, which is across the street from Guthrie Park in downtown Riverside.

Over-the-top letter has no place

I am not a PEP or a VIP. I am a Brookfield resident who reads your paper for news of my community. Usually your articles and editorials are balanced and informative, and the letters to the editor, although often emotional and biased, contribute to the debate.

I do not expect balance in the often partisan letters to the editor, but I do expect the editorial staff of the Landmark to exercise good judgment in selecting letters to publish. You should not have published the letter from Mark A. Roegner (“PEP leads to ‘hell in a handbasket'”) on July 6, or at the very least you should have edited it.

In his letter, Roegner uses excessive hyperbole by saying that in the three months of the PEP regime the Village of Brookfield “has gone to hell in a handbasket,” he implies that three violent crimes are the result of negligence by the village president, states that all lawyers have brains “the size of a pea” and makes the claim that “people are moving out of Brookfield faster than ever.”

Name calling, absurdities and unsubstantiated claims do not belong in a quality journal. Please be more selective and responsible to the readership in the future.

Craig Goldwyn

‘Idiotic’ letters an embarrassment

I am writing this letter in response to Mark Roegner’s latest letter (“PEP leads to ‘hell in a handbasket,'” July 6), and the many other “politician bashing” letters that are written by him and a few other Brookfield residents.

There are rarely letters like these written by LaGrange Park or Riverside residents. They are truly an embarrassment to our village and if Brookfield is, as Mr. Roegner says, “going to hell in a hand basket,” they may be the reason.

People read these letters and think to themselves, as I do, “What’s wrong with these people?” Although there are only a handful of people who send these letters, they just keep coming and are making Brookfield look ridiculous.

The letters are not written with good intentions to send a message to the village or its board. They are written to slander our village leaders. I have had many opinions on issues in the past and have voiced my opinion through letters sent directly to Bill Russ or the village board. This way, my opinion is heard by those who care to hear it and those who can do something about it. I am also not embarrassing myself or my town in the process.

Mr. Roegner listed three crimes that have taken place in Brookfield since Mike Garvey became president. He clearly suggested that Brookfield is falling apart since the election. Are you kidding me? Do you really think these crimes would not have taken place if Russ were still village president? This is just one example of how idiotic and unnecessary these letters are.

I believe that Mr. Russ, Mr. Garvey and all of our board members have devoted a lot of their time and effort to continue to make Brookfield a great place to live, and they deserve to be respected for that.

With that being said, Mr. Russ, you may also consider not writing any more “Roegner style” letters. I believe that pulling together and being peaceful and respectful towards each other will help our village’s image even more than street repairs and flower planters.

Becky Davis

Raising questions for Brookfield

I have just completed reading the July 6, 2005 issue of the Landmark, and there are three articles devoted to various topics related to the Village of Brookfield, all of which are bound to bring up some serious questions.

Article #1: “Layoffs coming to Brookfield village hall, Public Works.” The Landmark reports that four Public Works employees will reportedly lose their jobs, in addition to one part-time Public Works employee and one member of the department’s clerical staff. “The village board feels these cuts are necessary to help with the budget crisis,” said Public Works Director William Brandt.

It has been proposed for some time now to change the village’s water meters for a number of reasons. They are old, prone to failure and may result in a loss of revenue due to leakage. It also takes a great deal of time and effort to manually read them. The change to remote reads would enable the village to have computerized billing even on a monthly basis if desired.

Since the Village of Brookfield has $6.3 million in the water fund as surplus, could not a portion of that surplus be used to fund the water meter change? This could be accomplished with Public Works personnel and result in a savings to the village for the installation and avoid the laying off of personnel.

“[Brookfield Village President Michael] Garvey, however, deflected responsibility for the cuts, saying the recommendations came from Village Manager David Owen.”

If you believe that, you’re still waiting for the tooth fairy. All of the projected firings are personnel hired during the Bill Russ administration. Could there be a lawsuit looming on the horizon?

This article also states, “the general fund will receive a boost in the form of some $500,000 in transfers from the water and garbage funds. According to [Finance Director John] Dolasinski, the transfers are being done in order to make up for two years during which water and garbage fund money was not transferred to cover administrative costs in those areas.”

The village board had an ordinance up for a vote to accomplish the very same thing during the Russ administration and Trustees Kit Ketchmark and Garvey voted it down. What has changed now?

Article #2: “Brookfield street repair plan in the works.” The village board will vote on soliciting bids from private contractors for a crack sealing program estimated by village engineer Derek Treichel to cost just over $35,000.

Anyone with just a little bit of knowledge knows that a private contractor has to pay prevailing rate to its workers. The prevailing rate for asphalt workers is almost double that of the wage and fringe rate for Public Works employees. How then could it result in a cost savings?

The Public Works employees could do far more lineal footage of crack sealing for the same expenditure. But then they wouldn’t be able to lay off workers.

It seems odd that the director of Public Works states that crack sealing was never a priority and crack sealing was on the back burner. One would think that such an important task would be a matter of course in the everyday maintenance of Brookfield’s streets.

Article #3: “Brookfield plan group reconsiders off-street paving requirement.” A proposed ordinance “floated by village staff” that would force all homeowners to pave off-street parking areas was not voted on by the Brookfield Plan Commission. They have agreed to ask the village engineer whether gravel would be a good enough compromise to held reduce dust and improve the look of the village.

I would like to know where the pavement idea came from. Intuition tells me that it came from someone outside the village staff. Many residents objected to the proposed paving ordinance, citing the logic, “why should homeowners be forced to pave off-street parking areas when in fact the alleys are predominantly unpaved?”

A real interesting part of this article is that the village’s planning and zoning administrator said it has been commonly believed that an existing ordinance required residents to pave their private parking areas.

“The dust-free ordinance we thought we had doesn’t exist,” she said. Add this to the list of requirements that the village has been enforcing that are legally unenforceable.

I have recommended for a long time that a code enforcement/economic development professional be hired. It is also imperative that the village’s building code be codified and updated, particularly since the adoption of the 2020 Master Plan.

Wilfred “Wil” Brennan