All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Monday, March 06, 2006

Lessons from History: United We Stand, Divided We Get Density!

While studying the Revolutionary War with my son, I observed a parallel between Colonial America and Brookfield. In retaliation for the Boston Tea Party, England closed Boston's harbor thinking deprivation would break the colonist's spirit. But instead of cowering, other colonies rallied and sent Boston aid, which stimulated colonial unification. No longer thinking of themselves as Virginians or Pennsylvanians, they started thinking of themselves as AMERICANS. They united and worked together for liberty.

Remember their war cry? NO taxation without representation. Sound familiar? Do you feel represented?

That history lesson illustrates the importance of a united people. Four years ago 2nd district residents fought against the density of VK's Capitol Heights. They rallied and pleaded but lost. The Shire and TIF #3 were protested too but lost. Why? Because those colonies fought alone.

Then came VK's Swanson Swap. This issue grabbed the attention of most colonists. Protest signs appeared in every subdivision. People no longer thought of themselves as being from this district or that subdivision. Instead, we united and prevailed in an unprecedented victory made even more amazing considering the City's clandestine involvement with VK. The MJS informed us, that VK "grew so frustrated…. that he turned to city Development Director Dan Ertl for advice. Ertl called Gibson to ask how Ertl 'might work with Vincent to help meet district needs.'" Because we united, we were able to defeat even the combined forces of VK, the School District and City Hall.

Next, the Calhoun Road south expansion (another proposal benefiting VK's development). City Hall basically ignored the neighborhood's pleas stating 4-6 lanes were necessary. The Calhoun project steamrolled ahead until 750 petitioners opposing it slowed it down. Without the impending election and public pressure, I doubt any significant reductions would take place.

As one petition signer said, I'll need help when they widen Brookfield Road near my neighborhood, I'll sign. Ah, a change in thought! Instead of thinking like a colonist, she was thinking like an American. What happens to one area affects us all; this time it's your neighborhood—next time mine. We all pay the taxes that fund these projects; shouldn't we be represented?

On April 4th, you have the privilege of choosing our city's next leaders with your vote. Men fought and died to give us that right. Don't waste it. Apathy will lead to four more years of the same. Cindy Kilkenny, Jerry Mellone, and Lisa Mellone will represent us--the taxpayers--whose property taxes account for 70% of our city’s income, instead of the developers-- whose commercial property only contributes 30%.

Aren’t you tired of the battles and misinformation from City Hall? Let's work together toward a better Brookfield instead.

United we stand, divided we FAIL. Together WE make a difference.

We are Americans.


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