Civic Duty not a buzz kill
The natural light filled many of the basement offices in this 1960’s building, but not the one in the conference room, there were no windows to be found. You could hear the government grade, fluorescent bulbs humming overhead, reminding you where the light comes from. While at least half a dozen people crammed into this sunless space, a sense of trust and a confidence that everyone’s opinion mattered began to form. There were no silly thoughts that needed to be concealed. There wasn’t a backlash from the gang for bringing up ideas no matter how futuristic or outlandish they might be. “Did you know that cars might one day park themselves?”, one man asked. Our thoughts were suddenly hijacked into thinking about floating cars and parking studies that would be needed to take the unknown into consideration. What I soon realized was that we were safe from ridicule and rejection and that the Land Use Sub-Committee of the Downtown Master Plan (DTMP) had begun to gel.
One particular person in the group had a compelling story. They had joined after a couple of meetings had already taken place, but were instantly welcomed. Their demeanor was noticeably different than one might have expected given the recent events that had occurred. When the 88 Park Condos development passed the zoning board, the property owned by this person potentially might suffer the most impact. Human nature usually reacts in retaliation, the filing of law suits or the blaming of government and/or people. You don’t always expect people to join forces or contribute to a public cause. You see, this story is a shining example of civic responsibility and putting a greater cause before our own needs. I am very proud to have served on this committee, but more importantly, to have had a front row seat to witness humility and grace.
When did civic duty go bad? There are many opportunities we face on a daily basis when we are given a choice – do we fall to natural human instincts and fight back against something because that’s our initial knee jerk reaction, or do we thoughtfully consider all of the options before us and do what’s right & not necessarily what’s easiest? In today’s world, we are given choices, how blessed we are to have those choices. I hope to take the time to always choose what’s right over what’s easiest. I hope you do too.
Not to say that a wonderful and great debate should not happen! Through debate and healthy discussion, ideas are honed. All of the DTMP meetings have been open to the public and opinions have been solicited throughout the entire process. On April 1st there was another opportunity to hear about the master plan. All the committee chairs presented their findings to the Zoning Board. The trustees were present and much discussion was had.
I’m not shy about heated debate or passionate discourse, but when people get crazy or rude, that’s a buzz kill. There’s got to be a better code of conduct, some basic etiquette.
Mos Def, Rapper
On a “lighter” note….Do you like pizza? Be sure not to miss the the 1st Annual Pizza Wars & Eagle Jam hosted by the CHMS PTO on Friday, May 2nd from 6 – 9 pm. This event is designed to be a fun, family event for the entire community. Guests will enjoy 3″ x 3″ slices of 10 of the best pizza restaurants in our area (did you know we have 5 in our town?!) and vote for their favorite one while listening to CHMS students perform on stage. By the way, I’m still tallying which is the local favorite so send me and email at [email protected]
or go to my blog
and let me know yours!
Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princes; Indian Guide Dad; a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker. Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around Clarendon Hills. It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings. He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting Clarendon Hills
residents and even a little about Clarendon Hills history
. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.