The opinions expressed on the Rants and Raves of Mac McIntyre (that's me in the picture) are solely those of its author and are shared for the purpose of encouraging dialogue about life and issues in DeKalb County, Illinois. I welcome your comments, public or private, and encourage your participation in community affairs.

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Monday September 11, 2006

A Letter that's not fit for print

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Editor's note: The following Letter to the Editor was submitted to John Kelleher, Managing Editor of the Daily Chronicle, on October 30, 2004. It was not published. There was no reason given for not doing so. It's their newspaper. This is my website. :-)

The letter was written in response to a political statement that Grace Adee, a founding member of the Sycamore CARE group, published in the Chronicle in reference to the Waterman anti-growth referendum, sponsored by Waterman's REAL group (the names of the groups and the communities are different but their goals and methods are the same).

That referendum failed. It's interesting, to me anyway, that the Chronicle gave lots of press to REAL's efforts prior to the election but have scarcely mentioned the results. When the CARE groups referendum passed in Sycamore, the results made front page news stories.

Go figure.

Dear Editor:

I am offering an alternative opinion to that expressed by CARE member, Grace Adee, in her Oct. 30th letter to the Editor. Perhaps I can answer or clarify some of her questions and assumptions.

Ms. Adee states, "[Government] services [she] listed will all need personnel, equipment and maintenance of the same. Impact fees are of some help, but they are paid only once."

Owners of newly constructed homes, existing and new residents, pay annual real estate taxes just like those existing and new residents who live in pre-owned homes. In fact, residents of average new construction homes pay considerably more property tax, per household, than residents of average existing homes. Taxes have been on the rise in DeKalb County for far longer than we have experienced growth.

Ms. Adee states: "The Sycamore School District is now facing financial problems because of the growth of subdivisions and the influx of students combined with the county's tax cap."

Sycamore taxpayers generously approved a referendum a few years back, before growth was an issue. There was evidently enough money left over from that referendum to proceed with construction of a field house that was once thought impossible to build without it being a joint effort of the park and school districts and requiring a referendum for funding. Before making an empirical statement perhaps all factors should be considered. Perhaps a school district comprehensive plan would have alleviated finance difficulties.

Ms Adee states: "Most new subdivision residents have jobs out of town and commute. It is now known that commuters do most of their shopping close to their job site. The building of rooftops alone does not generate business. Business now tends to look for the areas that provide the most incentives in addition to work force."

I wonder if Ms. Adee would provide LOCAL data that shows where Sycamore's new subdivision residents work and shop. Such data would be extremely helpful. I fail to see how new customers could possibly not generate business. And as for commercial and industrial site selection; those who say that the number and variety of rooftops are important considerations are those who make the decisions that determine site selection.

Mac McIntyre


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