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Local News

Plainfield trustees debate input on policy making

Discussion in response to September crash near Plainfield North

PLAINFIELD – More than half of the Plainfield Village Board meeting Monday was devoted to trustee and public comments.

At the beginning of the meeting, Trustees Ed O’Rourke and Jim Racich argued after O’Rourke’s remarks in response to a Sept. 22 incident in which a Plainfield North High School freshman was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of 248th Avenue and 119th Street while riding her bicycle.

In a video of the meeting posted on YouTube by the village, O’Rourke said that residents had since called and spoken about the lack of sidewalk continuity in the area.

“Part of my concern is the input of the board,” O’Rourke said. “I think it’s part of us to have input on policy, and I don’t know that we’re getting a lot of that input. So in other words, if there’s sidewalks to be installed and we’re spending over $1 million, maybe it’s worthwhile to have a little bit more discussion on where that money gets spent.”

Racich responded in the video that under Robert’s Rules of Order, no one has ever censored or stopped O’Rourke or any board members from speaking on a matter.

“You could’ve had all the opportunity in the world to discuss a situation like that,” Racich said to O’Rourke in the video. “I don’t think anyone here has ever stifled anyone. If you have a situation that is disgruntling, you should discuss it – not only with the administration but bring it up to the board.”

The conversation went back and forth for a couple minutes, before Racich said to O’Rourke that he was only rebutting what O’Rourke said about the village administration and board.

“It’s a disparaging remark, made not only to the administration but to this entire trustee board,” Racich said.

O’Rourke then responded, “I’ll ask you Mr. Racich, how easy is it to get something on the agenda? A topic on the agenda?”

“Bring it up with the administration,” Racich replied.

After 25 minutes of trustee and public comments, the board then unanimously:

• Approved the purchase of up to 6,000 tons of road salt from Compass Minerals America Inc. at a unit price of $45.58 a ton. Village Administrator Brian Murphy said it’s the lowest price per ton the village has paid in at least nine years. The village paid $107 a ton two years ago, he said.

• Approved snow removal services and unit prices from K&D Enterprises Landscaping, Winninger Excavating Inc., Antrex Inc., Acres Group, John Green Excavating Company, Shreve Services, Fazio Landscaping and Baish Excavating for the 2016-17 winter season.

• Approved a variance for a monument sign at St. Mary’s Immaculate Parish on Route 59 in excess of the village’s current maximum height and area limits.

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