Don’t stick me with ‘onion’
I cannot stand by and allow the Tribune Chronicle to disparage my name with an “onion” without responding.
Contrary to what was reported, I was never part of a committee that reviewed bike lanes in Niles. Furthermore, I never received any email nor public notices of a committee meeting, and therefore did not know of any meetings. Anyone who says differently is a liar.
While I do support bike trails and bike lanes, they are not suitable for every location. Before installing a bike lane, regardless of location, I believe it is the responsibility of the mayor to hold a public meeting to explain what is being proposed, and to get input from citizens before the bike lane is installed. That’s how I would have done it, but that’s not how it was done by this mayor. Instead, without much discussion, all of council, including myself, voted to add bike lanes on Hartzell Avenue.
Shortly after they were installed, Hartzell Avenue residents began receiving citations for parking on the street in the bike lanes. They brought their complaints to the mayor and council by way of petition signed by many residents on the street. I then called for a public grounds committee meeting of council and for the mayor to hear their complaints. Many residents attended; however, the only elected officials who showed up were me and Councilwoman Mindy Devorich. I realized during this meeting that the idea of a bike lane on Hartzell Avenue was a bad idea.
As a follow up, I brought in legislation to remove the bike lanes due to overwhelming objections by the residents. Except for Mindy and myself, all other council members voted against the request of the residents to remove the bike lanes.
My first priority will always be the citizens of Niles, and I always will be available to listen to their concerns, unlike council members who didn’t bother to attend my public grounds committee meeting to hear their concerns. If only the mayor had held a public meeting with the residents on Hartzell Avenue beforehand, we could have had these discussions for a more informed vote before the bike lanes were installed.
If you really want to know those who deserve an onion, just ask Hartzell Avenue residents.