PEP Party trustees turn backs on residents
The democratic process has a strange look to it lately in Brookfield. A developer pays a large sum of money to acquire property on Forest Avenue. They propose to build 18 three-bedroom townhomes on the property. The next step in their process takes them to the Zoning Board of Appeals to request a variance from the required two parking spaces per unit. The Zoning Board of Appeals denies their request for a variance.

All developers routinely try to build more units on properties by eliminating parking to enhance their profit. They invariably cite the economic feasibility of a project and no need for more than one parking space per unit.

After the denial by the ZBA, the developer presents his case to the Brookfield village board. A [super] majority vote by the trustees is required for the village board to overturn the ZBA’s finding.

Monday night July 24, the Brookfield village board voted to approve the variance for reduced parking. The vote was four PEP trustees for the approval, which was enough to overturn the ZBA. A large number of residents were present to voice their disapproval with allowing the development with reduced parking, but their concerns fell on deaf ears. …

This type of forced variance is reminiscent of the six-story built on Brookfield Avenue. That structure was also denied by the ZBA, but then approved by the PEP-dominated village board.

There is a definite positive benefit to higher-density development, particularly in the areas designated in the Brookfield 2020 Master Plan, but these developments should not be shoehorned into residential areas with no concern for the existing residents. It is appalling to see the hypocrisy exhibited by some of these elected officials.

Wilfred Brennan
Brookfield


Short and to the point

In response to Bill Russ and Wil Brennan’s recent letters to the editor: “You have got to be kidding me!”

Michael Towner
Brookfield

Michael Towner is a Brookfield village trustee.


Let common sense patriotism carry the day
Oh my gosh! All of the backlash because my first letter to the editor of the Landmark stated my belief that bringing our troops home from Iraq should not be a ballot issue as voted by the Riverside Township electors. Then someone responded to my remarks by comparing the U.S. with prewar Nazi Germany, where no one ever protested. I countered that response, and in the Aug. 2 edition of the Landmark, two more folks rightfully protested my right to protest.

Evidently, Mr. Glowacki did not read my article thoroughly. Everyone has the right to protest, because this is America and our leaders are working hard to preserve that right. I suggested that common sense and patriotism prevail.

I believe in World War II there was a saying that “a slip of a lip could sink a ship.” Too many in America are shooting off their mouth for their own political agenda rather than sticking up for the U.S.A. No wonder foreign countries are “not with us.” Overseas news media seem to feed on the negativism of the liberal U.S. media.

Regarding Ms. Helms’ letter (“Criticism of Bush not disrespectful,” Letters, Aug. 2), wherein she claims to what the well-informed know, I hope she further explores her “claims.” Each and every one of them can be refuted. A liberal, however, will never believe that.

Unfortunately we are at war, declared or not. It’s an unprecedented kind of war. And yes, many mistakes have been made. Fortunately, we are learning from them and striving to overcome them. Even in our personal lives learning, for the most part, is through mistakes we have made which oftentimes have proved very costly.

I truly believe that “common citizens” (not in the know) should stay in the back seat and aid and abet our troops and leaders with common sense patriotism giving credit where credit is due.

Marion Pierson
Riverside

Taxes only getting worse and worse
Last September I wrote a letter stating that we were all going to be taxed to death. Almost everybody dismissed that possibility. So now the chickens have come home to roost. Unfortunately, my warning did not even come close to where we are now.

The new tax bills have just arrived. They are a real shocker for most of us. … The real kicker here is that the worst is yet to come when the RB referendum taxes show up. The reassessments were about 39 percent.

Just [in June] the RB school board raised the salaries of the business manager and assistant principal to $110,000. Guess who was the biggest winner. [Superintendent Jack] Baldermann. Surprise, surprise.

His new salary is going to be [$225,000] plus perks. He went from a $90,000 range as principal in his last job to $225,000 for the next five years.

Note, the Taxpayers Against Taxes lost the RB referendum election. We had five men with a limited budget of $300, mostly our own money. Baldermann had an almost unlimited budget, because of misinformed fundraisers and contributions from suppliers.

The end result of this massive tax escalation, with more coming next year, is that our houses are reaching very close to becoming a community of unsalable houses unless prices are going way down. They may be soon unlivable because the taxes make many move away.

So what must we all do? Do what I am doing here. Get mad! Get involved. Be an active citizen. It is your responsibility to impact our leaders. Join our group or organize a group to fight the incredible cost escalations.

Go to every school and village board meeting. Ask questions and make yourself heard. Sound the alarm. We are in big trouble with no positive input from you and me. We must be heard! At least we must be aware of what we are paying for.

Frank Drazan
Brookfield

Thanks to Brookfield summer reading volunteers
On behalf of the staff of the Brookfield Public Library, I would like to extend a warm and heartfelt thank you to all the Brookfield teens who volunteered their time this summer to make our children’s Summer Reading Program a success.

Thirty-seven volunteers came to the library on a regular weekly schedule to help with all aspects of our programming: decorating, taking reports, helping out in storytimes, and doing whatever else we asked them to do. They were consistently punctual, cheerful, and generally a joy to have around.

These kids volunteered a total of 345 hours in June and July. We can’t imagine how different our summer program would have been without them.

The Volunteer Appreciation Party we held for them on July 28 was only a small way in which we could express our thanks. We are truly appreciative of our teens!

Cindy Moriarity, head of Youth Services
Brookfield Public Library


Forest Ave. project a political slam dunk
I am sure that everyone knows what a slam dunk is. Well, President Michael Garvey has now introduced to us a “political” slam dunk by completely ignoring the distressed venting of concerned residents and approving a townhouse complex of 18 units on a quiet street at 3627-31 Forest Ave. Not giving a care, President Garvey along with his trustees gave the shifty nod. …

President Garvey’s short-sighted thinking places immediate profits above long-term impacts and the goals of the 2020 Master Plan. Adequate parking for residents, customers, commuters and employees is important throughout the village. … According to the United States Department of Labor statistics, homes in the Midwest average 2.2 vehicles per household. Many families are at risk, since emergency vehicles cannot get through.

I wonder how the trustees and Garvey would like an overbuilt project like this built next to them? …

Like a bad tattoo, this political slam dunk will have a lasting imprint for the voters in our community.

Jane Harps
Brookfield