Village hall is not feeling well these days, no not well at all.
I feel badly bringing this up so close to Thanksgiving but village hall must be suffering from constipation – of the severe and chronic variety. Unpleasant but not life-threatening, right? Unfortunately, there is evidence that constipation is symptomatic of a more serious problem – Hoarder Disorder, and the Mayo Clinic warns us that hoarding has “other factors often associated with it, including paranoia and other avoidant traits.” Yikes.
Two rotting buildings, one sitting in plain view, which village hall purchased and we now own are but the latest glump in the works. The Altenheim properties have sat decaying for 11 years while the master negotiator has failed to close deal after deal. As if that weren’t enough, the mayor is still hoarding all the levers of control and playing coy with that vision thing and scurrying to avoid informed opinions from the owners (us) to that 11-year-old question, “Now that you’ve bought it, what are we going to do with it?”
The 512 Desplaines eyesore, meanwhile, has only been rotting for two years but, hey, we got it for almost free! The village administrator has been getting contractor “quotes” since February and is searching for the “Sure We’ll Bail Out the Chumps Who Elected the Goofs Who Bought Disastered Properties But Don’t Have the Scratch To Put a Roof On the Joint” grant. Great vision and planning, boys.
And like clockwork crazy, village hall blames Rory Hoskins, our commissioner of Health and Safety (the building department), who had the audacity to tour these buildings and photograph the squatter droppings (“There have always been squatters there! Hrrumph,” they grunted) and this newspaper (“Our idiocy is not newsworthy!” they groaned).
The problem is, of course, that these buildings are not a one-off situation but a pattern. Much goes into the VH funnel, but little comes out except those little nugget emails announcing parties and other free stuff.
“Compulsive hoarding behavior has been associated with health risks, impaired functioning, economic burden, and adverse effects on one’s community,” the people at Mayo tell us.
How about a Thanksgiving Sports Challenge? List any/all initiatives that have gone into the village funnel but never came out, and we can start with the most recent: 512 Desplaines rotting in plain view, Altenheim lying fallow for 11 years, the hoarded Altenheim Survey, the hoarded second video gambling public hearing, and not a word/not a plan for our decrepit sewer system.
Calderone has been in office since 1995 and mayor for four terms. Two years ago he and his coattails ran on absolutely nothing, unless he wants to count Cruise Nights. Calderone asked for our vote to “Keep It Going,” but there doesn’t appear to be any “It” in “It.”
Ah well, a cure for hoarder disorder is impossible without self-awareness.
But constipation is easy to cure. Get “It” Going!