In early February we received an invitation to participate in a Candidates Forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Bloomingdale/Roselle. We did think it odd that this organization that has never, in our recollection, participated in a local Itasca race had suddenly chosen to become active.
On Wednesday morning February 17, 2021, the Mayor received a letter from the League imploring the Plan Commission and Village Board to “approve the Haymarket DuPage Project.” Later that day, the DuPage NAACP emailed a statement of support for Haymarket Center DuPage, copying Roberta Borrino, the President of the League of Women Voters of Bloomingdale/Roselle, Dr. Lustig, CEO of Haymarket DuPage, Rep. Deb Conroy, plus Haymarket’s high-profile, PR firm and others.
After careful consideration, we have decided it would be inappropriate for our slate to take part in this candidate’s forum. The League of Women Voters of Bloomingdale/Roselle has clear ties to Haymarket Center and has already taken a position, even before the Plan Commission or Village Board has been afforded the opportunity to consider all the evidence.
Throughout this process, we’ve tried to be fair and transparent with all involved.
We have a responsibility as elected officials to uphold the law. And while not politically expedient, we will not be placed in a position by the League of Women Voters, the media or any candidate to take a position on Haymarket’s proposal prior to all the evidence being presented and being weighed by the Plan Commission. To do so, would violate our oaths of office, the rights of the petitioner and the rights of the interested parties.
Our thoughts on Haymarket have been well documented:
- We have acknowledged that opioid addiction is a serious issue.
- We have expressed disappointment in what we perceived to be a lack of transparency by Haymarket prior to the Plan Commission hearings.
- We have expressed concerns about the size of the facility relative to Itasca’s emergency response resources — EMS, Fire, Police.
- We have questioned the impact lost property tax revenues will have on Village of Itasca taxpayers.
- We have expressed concerns about how a permanent loss of other tax revenues will impact municipal services.
- We have offered to participate in identifying solutions for Itasca residents affected by opioid addiction.
Until the process is complete and the Plan Commission has offered its recommendation, we have a responsibility to refrain from taking a position on Haymarket Center DuPage’s proposal. But rest assured, we are following the evidence closely, listening to all the testimony and, as always, our final position will be based on what we believe in our hearts to be in the best interest of the citizens of Itasca. We promise you this.