Is a church the right thing for Eight Corners? It’s an open question, one that can be seriously argued from both sides, one that deserves a serious discussion from both sides – because, folks, that’s the only plan we have on the drawing table at the moment.

A local businesswoman has shelled out over a million bucks to invest in one of the most ambitious building projects in recent years in the village and more than a decade at Eight Corners.

And yet during a Plan Commission hearing last week in Brookfield, the project received scant examination by commissioners on that board, and the examination it did receive gave the impression of half-formed views and complete confusion about the process.

Nearly a decade ago, Brookfield embarked on a serious planning process, which produced the Brookfield 2020 Master Plan. Halfway to 2020, even the Plan Commission doesn’t seem to have a handle on exactly how to approach these serious planning issues. While discussing standards of planning for the church project, talk kept going back to property taxes, even though that is not one of the standards the Plan Commission was required to consider.

It’s not about property taxes for individual properties; it’s about planning. Is this the best plan for Eight Corners? If yes, why? If not, why not? – from the perspective of planning.

It wasn’t particularly comforting – we’re sure to Linda Sokol Francis it was even less comforting – that the Plan Commission seemed to have no idea what it was voting on, and then reversed their vote when it became clear (only after an audience shouting at them) that they’d voted exactly opposite of what they’d just been saying.

Whether or not one thinks that a new Methodist church is the right thing for Eight Corners, the woman who has poured her life savings and a year’s worth of time into such a bold proposal deserves better. Heck, Brookfield deserves better.

Time to talk turkey on cellphones

How many more people have to get seriously injured before either the state or more municipalities pass laws making it illegal to talk on a cellphone while driving? Newspapers – including this very one, this week – are rife with stories of drivers chatting away on their phones before barreling into another vehicle or pedestrian.

Beginning this year, Illinois made it illegal to text while driving or talking on a hand-held cellphone in a school zone (which are everywhere and come upon drivers without them even knowing it).

It’s time to expand that law to include talking on cellphones, unless it’s in hands-free mode, generally. If a phone call is so engrossing that it demands your complete attention, pull over.