Questioning Iraq war not unpatriotic
In response to the July 12 letter to the editor that was critical of “protestors” making their views known through legitimate tools such as the referendum or participation in parades (“Those not ‘in the know’ should butt out,” Letters), I have only one response: Pre-World War II Germany!

My ancestors all came here from Germany in the 1800s, so I was especially interested in studying the causes of WWII and the Holocaust, as well as the German and French resistance. In Germany in the decades leading up to WWII, it was considered “un-German” and “unpatriotic” for people supposedly “not in the know” to criticize Hitler and the Nazis and try to “backseat drive.”

Prayers for peace notwithstanding, most German people didn’t speak up or act up in public, and the criminals who ran the country plunged the world into war and terror.

Protestors went underground, and although the pockets of resistance in Germany?”and more famously in France?”helped many individuals to survive the war, discovery meant death. My father and uncles served in the U.S. Army in Germany during and after WWII, so I grew up in the tradition of being an active participant in our democracy. Resistance through public protests is very American, totally patriotic and is still legal in the USA. Let’s keep it that way.

President Bush has told the nation that, indeed, there was no direct connection between 9/11 and Iraq and no cooperation between Osama bin Laden and Sadaam Hussein. In fact, in one TV address, I heard him wonder how people could actually make that connection. The only real connection is that the United States wanted revenge for 9/11 and Iraq was a seemingly easy target.

If people who question the war, like me, don’t participate as citizens by using the power of the tools of our democracy, such as electing principled leaders, educating them as to our opinions, placing referenda on the ballots and publicly questioning the direction our country is taking, then we might as well just put up a “For Sale” sign on our country, sit back and watch our freedoms vanish.

Our country is divided in two on how best to leave Iraq (according to last week’s Chicago Tribune, more than 60 percent of Americans polled are unhappy with this administration’s handling of the war). All of us should let Rep. Lipinski and our other elected officials know what we are thinking and encourage them to work a lot harder for peace before it’s too late.

Cheryl Orth Chapman

Cook County deserves better than this
In regards to who should be the next president of Cook County, the people deserve someone who is qualified and knows how the job has to be done. The idea that Todd Stroger can be taught how to handle that job is a slap in the face to all the people who live in the county.

Why should we give such an important job like that to an apprentice? This county is in such bad fiscal shape, why would we choose someone who has to be taught what is needed to be president of Cook County?

Ted Schwartz

Garvey’s potshots are off target
In a letter to the editor, July 12, Brookfield President Michael Garvey takes some personal potshots at me and attempts to sling some mud while deflecting pertinent facts. It is unfortunate that things have to be discussed in the papers. I have expressed concerns with Mr. Garvey and have gotten lip service for my efforts.

In response to some of his allegations:

I have complained about the three-story building constucted at 4500 S. Maple Ave. The zoning allows for a maximum of 2 1/2 stories at that location. Would I complain about this if I were responsible for its occurrence?

The permits were issued when I was a Brookfield trustee and as such assigned as liaison to the Zoning Board of Appeals. But the project never came before the ZBA, so the assumption would be that the independent company that does code review for major projects in Brookfield and the Brookfield Building Dept. erred in their assessment of the project.

I did ask of the Building and Code Dept. before construction began if there was a need for any variances for the project. I was told no, the project was entirely within our zoning ordinances. A village trustee does not routinely review building plans. This is the responsibility of the Building and Zoning Dept.

The project did not break ground during the VIP administration; it was constructed during Garvey’s watch. When it became apparent that the building would eclipse the allowed 2 1/2-story maximum, the Garvey administration put their heads in the sand and ignored the issue except to point fingers and blame others.

I have always been concerned about building and development in Brookfield, probably stemming from my 45 years in construction and immense pride in our family’s over 100-year heritage in Brookfield. Yes, when I was a trustee I did feel that the Building and Zoning Dept. needed improvement, and we did make strides in that direction. We had an inspectional certification and years of building experience and a 6-hour-a-day blight inspector. All of these inspectors are gone, fired or quit.

Brookfield has hired an individual with a master’s degree in urban planning and is no doubt qualified in that discipline. However, Brookfield needs someone with experience in construction building codes.

Garvey says I leave out relevant facts in my letters, but I tell the truth as I know it, and that may not be what he wants. I will continue to write letters and attend village board meetings to express my concerns about items important to Brookfield. Keep your eyes open. We are about to have to pay for new water meters. In a little publicized move, the village board will vote to pass the cost of new water meters on to the residents while maintaining a large balance in the Water and Sewer Fund.

Wilfred Brennan