Almost a month after Trustee McDonough’s outburst at a Village of Manhattan Meeting demanding that Administrator Kevin Sing and Mayor Doyle protect Sweedler Road, the same road where she happens to live, Manhattan Township Road Commissioner speaks out. Jim “JB” Baltas spoke directly to the Mayor and Board at the Village Meeting on February 18th, 2020 about the lack of government transparency :
Good evening. I’m JB. I am Manhattan Township Road Commissioner. I am here tonight to speak towards the lack of transparency between the Township and the Village.
On August 21st, 2019, WJOL broke the news about Cherry Hill Road bypass. As I was trying to find out more news about this bypass, I spoke with Will County Farm Bureau and was told that conversations about this began as early as April 2019 with Village Administrator Kevin Sing. Why is the Village of Manhattan making plans for a road that is under the jurisdiction of Joliet, Manhattan, and Jackson Township[s], as well as Will County Highway Department, without notifying any of us?
On January 17th, 2020, I was invited by Jackson Township to a CMAP meeting, and was informed that Cherry Hill Road and Hoff Roads were truck routes as proposed by the Village representatives Kevin Sing and Mark Nelson during a meeting they had with CMAP on January 8th. Why is it on January 10th when myself and Trustee Woodcock [Manhattan Township] had a meeting with you Mayor and Kevin Sing and was not mentioned that the Village was making plans for roads underneath the Township’s jurisdiction once again?
In June of 2019, I spoke to a resident who informed me about a cul-de-sac that the Village was proposing to be put on Sweedler Road. How is there transparency when Township, Fire District, and School District hear nothing about this? We found out at last month’s meeting where the idea came from, but why does it take three years for this to come to the attention of other taxing bodies that are affected by this cul-de-sac? How am I supposed to use taxpayers monies wisely and plan improvements when there is no communication between the Village and the Township?
The Village is claiming they wanted to be transparent with their residents, however when I hear all the planning that will affect the Township from everyone else except the Village, it doesn’t make me believe that the Village truly wants be transparent. And when I say it will affect the Township, that includes the residents of the Village because the Village is within the Township. This area is in no way, shape, or form ready for a project like NorthPoint. The infrastructure is not here and this is my transparency. This is no good for the Village, Township, Jackson Township, or anybody else that travels through this area. So I’m telling the Board now and these taxpayers I don’t want a one-on-one meeting, but in public.
Say no to NorthPoint.
Watch the video for yourself:
As we recently learned through FOIA, the Village has been actively working with NorthPoint behind the scenes to protect Sweedler Road at the expense of other residents. Why are they keeping the Township government out of the loop? More importantly, why are citizens not involved in this process?
Video courtesy Dan De Caprio