ST. CHARLES – Citizens Tuesday once again attended a Campton Hills Village Board meeting in force to speak on the controversial alcohol and substance abuse treatment facility proposed for the former Glenwood School site.
Even after five public hearings, the opposition remained strong at the Kane County Fairgrounds.
But supporters spoke, too.
Criminal defense attorney Kathleen Colton said everyone is entitled to their opinions, but not their own facts. Inaccurate propaganda is being distributed against Kiva, she said, and a mob mentality of “not in my backyard” has arisen.
Her husband, Patrick Colton, agreed. He described Kiva’s plan as reasonable and said the public’s outcry is confusion, anger and fear.
“I will not allow unfounded fear and anger discourage me,” Patrick Colton said, urging the board to do the same.
Fliers have portrayed Kiva Recovery as a road to high-crime neighborhoods. Many Tuesday said the facility would go against the village’s rural setting and expressed concerns for the safety of residents, particularly children.
As a first responder, Elgin resident Pat Hilbrich said neighbors of the facility have legitimate concerns. Addicts, he said, are desperate.
“Desperate people are predictably unpredictable,” Hilbrich said.
Similarly, Campton Hills resident Ron Petrucci said he lived with an alcoholic who would have done anything for a drink.
“There is a place for a treatment center, but not on the border of Campton Hills,” Petrucci said.
Bob Buchta, a St. Charles Township resident associated with Glenwood School, said it would be gratifying for Kiva Recovery to use the Silver Glen Road property because Kiva’s mission is similar to Glenwood’s: Both aim to serve and help people.
“I honestly can’t see how this would be any different,” Buchta said.
Cindy and Michael Gillespie expressed concerns that Kiva Recovery would expand after getting the village’s approval and that health privacy laws would prevent the village from monitoring the clients.
Although the village intends to conduct an informal poll about Kiva through postcards mailed with the December newsletter, several citizens, including Adam Bosch, said it should be put to referendum.
“Let’s not forget this is a for-profit facility,” Bosch said. “They’re in it to make money.”
Residents, including Jim Sparks, also told the board not to approve the proposal just because another governing body, such as the county, might approve it in the event the village denies the plan.
“Our first step is right here,” Sparks said. “We can stop this.”
Should it go to another governing body, he said, “then we tackle that one.”