It’s time to fund RB improvements
Contrary to what some letter writers think, I think now is exactly the time to look closely at properly funding our schools and their infrastructure. All of this area’s school districts are going to be looking for money in the coming months.

Let’s face it, we have aging school buildings because these communities have been reluctant to vote for proper renovations over time. So now we have to pay for the benign and not-so-benign neglect of past generations.

Our area still has remarkably low taxes compared to many others. And I certainly understand that for folks on a fixed income, any increase in the cost of owning a home is substantial. But because of our reluctance to raise taxes, we have gravel alleys and crumbling streets?”and schools that desperately need improvements or replacement.

If we want to save money, we need a combined school district of the grade schools and Riverside-Brookfield High School. We would eliminate several superintendent and district staff salaries, be able to look cohesively at both infrastructure and educational planning, and spread the costs across a much larger area (and diverse tax base).

I don’t know what Mr. Drazan has been smoking (“Time to stop RB renovation plan,” Letters, Dec. 14). Perhaps he’s neglected to notice the educational value that Jack Baldermann has brought to this community. RB is a school we can all be proud of?”it is not his empire unless it is an empire of learning.

And where, precisely, does Mr. Drazan think we could build his $30 million “Brookfield” high school? (Which, by the way, would serve only the north half of town, since the rest of town is in the LT district.)

I guess we could build it in the parking lot next to Gross School and play football in the vacant lot next to the Broadway fire station. Or perhaps our kids should just go to the Proviso schools? I’d love to see Mr. Drazan put together the process to de-annex from the RB district. That’s not even a mildly viable threat.

Perhaps Mr. Drazan would like to go to that school when it is so hot that the kids can’t concentrate. I’m sure that Mr. Drazan never enjoys air conditioning or good heat in his home or vehicle.

A proper HVAC system that evenly heats and cools the entire building is not a boondoggle when you have computers in every classroom, and you want to offer kids classes year round. And many of our kids (and their teachers) are in that building from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. each and every day.

Maybe back in his horse-and-buggy days it was OK to sweat it out, but not today. Has Mr. Drazan tried to walk around that school? There was no plan?”it is a hodgepodge of buildings and levels and hallways.

The science labs are state of the art?”for 40 years ago. The electrical systems can’t handle the additional load of technology. As my daughter says, half the population of RB seems to be mice and cockroaches at times.

The problem is that sooner or later the fixes we need now will be forced upon us. And if fixing the problems are forced upon us because of code or law violations, those fixes are going to cumulatively cost us much more money than we could spend today to solve these problems thoughtfully.

If we are going to maintain a viable and stable community, we need good schools and good infrastructure. We also need a good and diverse tax base of businesses, more dense (and expensive) housing, and people improving their homes.

As the commercial says, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” Well, we’ve put funding our infrastructure into the “later” category for way too long?”and every year that goes by means that things get more and more expensive.

Patrick Cunningham

Can’t Brookfield manager handle job by himself?

What kind of funny games are the Village of Brookfield playing? First they fire a bunch of people who keep the village running because money is tight, and then they turn around and hire an assistant manager (“Ginex picks assistant village manager,” News, Dec. 14) for $93,000 a year, who is a close friend of Mr. Ginex?

How do those people who lost their jobs feel when they read that?

There has never been an assistant manager before Ginex was hired, so is it possible the job is more than he can handle by himself? Mr. Sbiral is also supposed to be the code enforcement director. I thought we have people to do that.

The bottom line is “take care of your pals.”

Ted Schwartz

Just don’t stop on the railroad tracks
This is in rebuttal to the letter written by Ted Schwartz in the Dec. 7 Landmark regarding the train crash in Elmwood Park (“Railroads need to make rail crossings safe,” Letters).

I am not sure where he gets his common sense, but I work for the railroad and at least I know the facts.

I know for a fact that people do not use their common sense when it comes to crossing or stopping on the railroad tracks. People play Russian roulette with the tracks and trains all the time.

Not to say that the people who were involved in this accident lived their life dangerously, but they stopped on the tracks, and this is a dangerous thing to do.

If people would use their common sense, they would know not to stop on the tracks while they are waiting for a light or waiting for cars to move at a stop sign. …

People are continuously walking over the tracks or along the tracks, thinking they are safe (one never knows when a train will come), and yet this is private property. If there is an accident, it is their fault.

I can assure you that when the NTSB investigates the accident, which they already have, they will find that the drivers of the cars were at fault, because they were stopped on the tracks. Chances are good that the engineer of the train was going at the proper speed. Unfortunately, the railroad will have to pay, again, for something that is not their fault.

Yes, it is a shame that this accident had to happen and many people were hurt. But if people did not stop on the tracks, this could have been prevented, whether they were waiting for a light or not.

Eugene Kirk