The January 2017 meeting began with the Pledge lead by a new US citizen; a fitting start to the new year. Chairman Lauzen laid out a vision in which the Board will work in unity through the coming term.
The Longmeadow Parkway moved forward with an approved proposal to remove the trees along the planned route. While this proposal was scrutinized by those opposing the project, I would like to commend our staff as well as my colleagues on this very positive measure. First and foremost, this portion of the project (like virtually all facets of this project) came in well under budget. Secondly, the vast majority of the trees being removed are either dead or dying trees infected by the Emerald Ash Borer, or that of an invasive species such as buckthorn. These trees are being replaced on a 2 to 1 basis with highly sought varieties such as oaks and maples. During debate, the opposition routinely refers to the 8,000 voters in Dundee Township that opposed the project through a non-binding referendum. I believe then as I believe now that the vote was a result of false accusations and misinformation routinely spread by those in opposition. We have routinely been subjected to many of these accusations at the County Board meetings ranging from unfounded cost overages to the validity of federal and state studies which have all indicated that the project would be a positive for the region.
Later in the meeting I was appointed to serve on the Labor Management sub-committee. For a full listing of my committee assignments, please visit the County website here.