Church may still close parking lot on April 15

By on April 12, 2012

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—The Community Congregational Church’s parking lot at Shannon Street and Route 47 might close on April 15, despite efforts by the village and the local businesses to work out a deal with the church.

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce agreed to pay up to $500 for an appraisal of the parking lot, and village officials have shared the results with the church. However, the sign indicating the closure of the lot as of 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, April 15, still stands, and posts have been erected around the church’s parking lot this week.

Elburn Village Administrator Erin Willrett declined to release the results of the appraisal to the Elburn Herald.

According to Willrett, both the village and the chamber made a written request to the church to keep the lot open while the village and the businesses in town work together to try to come up with a solution that will work for everybody.

“We’re all trying to put our best foot forward together to find a solution that is the best of all worlds for the village, the businesses and the church,” Willrett said.

During the Village Board’s executive session on Monday, the board discussed consideration of the purchase of real property, but Willrett said she could not confirm that the discussion was about the church’s parking lot. Discussions within an executive session are not open to the public or the press.

Prior to the session, village officials said that there might be an announcement coming out of the session, but that did not happen. Businesses in the area have asked the village to purchase the lot, to continue to accommodate their customers.

As of press time, Community Congregational Church moderator Sharon Lackey has not returned several phone calls, and Rev. Michelle Prentice-Leslie, the church’s interim minister, said she is a staff person and cannot speak for the church.

According to Willrett, the church council meets on Thursday.

“They have the right to do anything they want with the lot; they own it,” Willrett said

2 Comments

  1. OneWhoCares

    April 12, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Elburn Village Administrator Erin Willrett declined to release the results of the appraisal to the Elburn Herald.

    Lets see…that’s public record and the request for information was denied. That’s against the law! What about the freedom of information act? What else is going on behind closed doors that the general public should know about? I guess that city personal don’t understand that 95% or more of the general tax paying public don’t want a the church lot to be bought. The 3 bars already have enough parking for the consumption of alcohol. Then too the city is attempting to make ready the First street gravel pit for parking.

    I congratulate Community Congregational Church for finally standing ground to make Elburn a more of a respectable place to walk in.That lot would make a great place for a quit zone that Elburn needs badly. All the intoxicated people in the bars leaving make a walk in the heart of our town dangerous. The liquor establishments should be on the outer edges of our town not in the middle of it.That way they would be able to buy the land they need for their patrons to park instead of attempting to put it on the backs of Elburn tax payer’s. Something is seriously wrong with the priority’s of Administrator Erin Willrett with her job discription.Maybe someone should explain it to her.The tax paying public not the local business is the concern .Seems like there is a conflict of interest. Then too let the public know what your being paid to do with tax payer money. Hint…( GOVERNMENT CODETITLE 5. OPEN GOVERNMENT; ETHICSSUBTITLE A. OPEN GOVERNMENTCHAPTER 552. PUBLIC INFORMATION )

  2. OneWhoCares

    April 12, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    During the Village Board’s executive session on Monday, the board discussed consideration of the purchase of real property, but Willrett said she could not confirm that the discussion was about the church’s parking lot. Discussions within an executive session are not open to the public or the press.

    ** NOTICE ** Elburn Village Administrator

    GOVERNMENT CODETITLE 5. OPEN GOVERNMENT; ETHICSSUBTITLE A. OPEN GOVERNMENTCHAPTER 552. PUBLIC INFORMATIONSUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONSSec. 552.001. POLICY; CONSTRUCTION. (a) Under the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government that adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people, it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to implement this policy.(b) This chapter shall be liberally construed in favor of granting a request for information.
    Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

    Sec. 552.002. DEFINITION OF PUBLIC INFORMATION; MEDIA CONTAINING PUBLIC INFORMATION. (a) In this chapter, “public information” means information that is collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business:(1) by a governmental body; or(2) for a governmental body and the governmental body owns the information or has a right of access to it.(b) The media on which public information is recorded include:(1) paper;(2) film;(3) a magnetic, optical, or solid state device that can store an electronic signal;(4) tape;(5) Mylar;(6) linen;(7) silk; and(8) vellum.(c) The general forms in which the media containing public information exist include a book, paper, letter, document, printout, photograph, film, tape, microfiche, microfilm, photostat, sound recording, map, and drawing and a voice, data, or video representation held in computer memory.
    Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 1035, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

    Sec. 552.003. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:(1) “Governmental body”:(A) means:(i) a board, commission, department, committee, institution, agency, or office that is within or is created by the executive or legislative branch of state government and that is directed by one or more elected or appointed members;(ii) a county commissioners court in the state;(iii) a municipal governing body in the state;(iv) a deliberative body that has rulemaking or quasi-judicial power and that is classified as a department, agency, or political subdivision of a county or municipality;(v) a school district board of trustees;(vi) a county board of school trustees;(vii) a county board of education;(viii) the governing board of a special district;(ix) the governing body of a nonprofit corporation organized under Chapter 67, Water Code, that provides a water supply or wastewater service, or both, and is exempt from ad valorem taxation under Section 11.30, Tax Code;(x) a local workforce development board created under Section 2308.253;(xi) a nonprofit corporation that is eligible to receive funds under the federal community services block grant program and that is authorized by this state to serve a geographic area of the state; and(xii) the part, section, or portion of an organization, corporation, commission, committee, institution, or agency that spends or that is supported in whole or in part by public funds; and(B) does not include the judiciary.(2) “Manipulation” means the process of modifying, reordering, or decoding of information with human intervention.(3) “Processing” means the execution of a sequence of coded instructions by a computer producing a result.(4) “Programming” means the process of producing a sequence of coded instructions that can be executed by a computer.(5) “Public funds” means funds of the state or of a governmental subdivision of the state.(6) “Requestor” means a person who submits a request to a governmental body for inspection or copies of public information.