Co. Board Member Gillam Retracts Facebook Posts: Sign of Weakness?
Recently on Facebook, Kane County Board Member Becky Gillam began a series of posts regarding the Longmeadow project. She began by saying that what the opposition has said about the project is misinformation, and that she hoped to clear up any issues by providing accurate information to the public. After 3 days she deleted all posts, leaving behind a cryptic message about how "there can't be any civil discourse about Longmeadow, apparently."
And then a day later, she deleted that, too!
Since no one got a screenshot of her posts, we have to summarize what she said below. One of our members sent an email to her and she responded that she was offended that ANYONE commented on her PUBLIC Facebook post in opposition of her "facts" and that she would never have done such a thing to us. . .
So basically, a politician is saying that if anyone opposes what they say then they will not allow it. Open discourse in a democratic republic is not permitted, at least not in Kane County! We thought she was welcoming the debate as a healthy thing for citizens, allowing them to make up their own mind instead of having the "truth" shoved down their throats. But it turns out that some politicians really are that insecure, and controlling enough, to squash a debate and demand that the people accept the will of the legislators! Who voted them in, anyway?
Is their argument for this $200M project really that weak that it cannot stand the light of question?
Read our summary of her posts with commentary below. Our initial response to her can be found HERE.
Send Gillam an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let her know what you think about this censorship and ask her why she doesn't value the feedback of the people!
Upon posting, members of Taxpayers Against Longmeadow began commenting on her posts, pointing out various things, the most important being that she made her first post about a truly insignificant aspect of our argument (she started her campaign by disagreeing with our use of the term "tollroad" in regards to LMP, stating that it won't be under jurisdiction of the Illinois Tollway Authority. It doesn't matter for citizens because in essence it WILL be a tollroad, because we'll have to pay a toll. . .is that really hard to understand?). She was asked to comment on the FACT that KDOT's research shows NO reduction in traffic after Longmeadow. So a second post was written by her in which she addressed the issue.
In it, she said that it was true what KDOT's research shows, that Longmeadow will NOT reduce local traffic congestion, and that it will only work to decrease FUTURE traffic congestion in the area. She went on to say that this is what the board has been saying all along! Given that it hasn't been quite promoted this way, that most of what we've seen has been statements saying it will reduce traffic congestion in the area with no mention of it only effecting future congestion, we admit that this is a reasonable argument.
If great population growth is coming to this area, we must be prepared for it. Even if it is the result of bad planning (more on that in another post).
Gillam went on to state that the main reason we need this toll bridge project, is that there are 2,000 homes supposed to be built in Gilberts and Huntley west of Randall & Longmeadow which necessitates LMP. With so many homes being built, she claims, the strain on our local bridges will be enormous. Sounds reasonable, so we looked into it.
Huntley growth is really of no concern to us. They have direct access to I-90 so there is little reason to believe that 1,000 more homes there will effect us much at all traffic wise.
But, there is the Conservancy in Gilberts which Gillam mentions that is planning to build 1,000 homes right off of Galligan and Huntley Rd.-- almost exactly where LMP will end on the West side of it. Upon speaking with a realtor there, it turns out that the Conservancy only has direct plans for 300 homes, with the potential to add 600 more. They've only sold 12 UNITS so far this year, and MOST to Gilberts residents. They have ample access to a shopping district 1 mile North on Randall with the Algonquin Commons, and they have direct access to I-90 1 mile South on Randall for getting to work (assuming they work out East!).
On top of that, the Village of Gilberts is almost maxed out on the environmental waste water discharge that they are allowed into local streams, which means that those additional 600 homes will most likely have to pay for their own land application systems, which is not a great selling point to say the least.
So far, we haven't seen the numbers in growth that add up to needing a $200M bridge on the taxpayer's dime, so where is the county's justification for it?!?!?!?!