To the Editor:
It seems ironic that the Kane County Chronicle would criticize Alderman Mike Bruno and me for expressing different viewpoints in an opinion piece titled “Commission can benefit from multiple viewpoints” (July 6, 2013).
I’ve struggled with the issue of property rights and historic preservation myself, but the Historic Preservation Commission is there to apply the standards equally to all properties within the historic district.
Mr. Zac Ploppert didn’t seem to comprehend this, according to some of his campaign statements, and I’m not sure that he truly understands the mission and the role of HPC. If one doesn’t agree with the fundamental principles of an organization, does it make sense to become a part of that organization? I wouldn’t want anyone on the Beautification Committee if they didn’t agree with the purpose of the program. I wouldn’t expect people to seek a position on the park district board if they didn’t think public parks were a good idea, or that we shouldn’t use public money for parks. The same holds true for any organization that has been created to serve a well-defined purpose.
Mr. Ploppert’s expressed opinion about personal property rights taking precedence over historical preservation guidelines leads me to believe that he does not fully comprehend the purpose of HPC. We either preserve historic property according to guidelines, or we eliminate HPC and let the property owners decide totally what they wish to do with their property. Different viewpoints should be welcome in any governing body, but an opinion at odds with the main purpose of that body seems counterproductive.
My reading of our preservation ordinance is that the intent is to appoint people to the HPC whose interest and experience relate to historic preservation and who are strong advocates of historic preservation. I may not agree with the City Council’s decision, but I will support it. I applaud Mr. Ploppert’s desire to serve, and I wish him well in his new position. I hope that time will erase any doubts any of us may have had about this appointment.
Alderman Dorothy Flanagan