Letter: Looking forward

By on March 19, 2009

During the last 15 years, Elburn has experienced tremendous growth. One of the consequences of that growth has been the virtual division of the village into three distinct areas, each with their own distinct culture and needs.

Prior to 1980, if you said you lived in Elburn, you likely lived within three or four blocks on either side of the rail line and three blocks east or west of Route 47. Beginning in the early 1990s, however, the Prairie Valley, Prairie Highlands and the Theis Property annexations created substantial development within the village’s newly expanded northern border. The continued build out of the Blackberry Creek subdivision, though temporarily slowed, will drive our population growth in our southern area for many years.

As your village president, I promise to work to unify our village by providing greater transparency in government. This will be accomplished through improved communication on our website, through the newspapers and inserts in water bills; it is important to provide a clear message about what the village is working on and, when fitting, obtain feedback.

Our residents should have a more user-friendly website. We will provide more information to include, but not be limited to, proposed new developments, infrastructure needs within the various areas of our village, compliance with new legislative mandates, changes to local ordinances and upcoming events.

By enhancing Internet accessibility, I would like to encourage more participation in the process. Most of our younger residents go to the web to get news and information, and while we have used our village website as a communication tool, it could be enhanced to provide more up-to-date information about ongoing projects and more timely posting of minutes from our meetings.

I would like to see a more prominent link on the website for the Town and Country Library, the Elburn Chamber of Commerce and the Community Center. The Friends of the Library are planning several activities, including a plant sale in May, and they are also working on a community cookbook. Our police department has established a CERT (citizens emergency response team) through grant money from FEMA. Participation in this program is voluntary, and what better way to get to know your neighbors and become prepared for an emergency in the process? You can go online to sign up for these sessions.

When a town grows as fast as Elburn did during the last 10 years, it is a given that there will be some pain associated with that growth. The needs of our newest residents are decidedly different than those of our more seasoned residents. We should be sensitive to both of those sectors.

While the economy has impacted almost everyone, it has now presented us with an opportunity to come together as a village. Many residents have expressed interest in a park district; there are many young families who are looking for such amenities, and I will pledge my support to those residents and work with interested citizens to promote such a referendum during the next term. While it may be several years before we have an Elburn Park District, there is nothing to prohibit a park board composed of volunteers to study the needs of our citizens by gathering input from the entire community. We may be able, at some future date, to be annexed into an adjoining park district through future development.

During the interim, I will continue to encourage participation and support for those amenities that we have now—always looking forward, never back.

Patricia Romke
Elburn Village President