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Safety First: Kaplan Avenue

posted Mar 4, 2015, 6:53 AM by Doug Roberts
Firstly, I want to reiterate my condolences to the folks who lost their home on Kaplan Avenue and wish them all well as they pick up the pieces.  You can drop off clothing and other donations for the victims at Village Hall, and cash donations may be made to C.A.S.T.  Please join me in helping our neighbors cope with this horrible tragedy.  

Today I am worried about the next tragedy waiting to happen on Kaplan Avenue.  Have you walked or driven by the site? There's a chain link fence and a sign in small print there that says, basically, "Do Not Enter."  This fire happened over two weeks ago. One section of the house looks like an unsupported wall with a ton of debris behind it that could be blown over in a gust from one of these nasty storms we keep getting.  What would happen to the neighboring homes if that topples over?  What if somebody is walking or driving by?  And what if kids go in there and decide to play around in the wreckage? (As a young boy I might have considered doing such a stupid thing myself!)  What if somebody's pet dog or cat is scavenging in there and ends up injured or worse? Any number of things can go wrong with a disaster zone like that. Where is our Village Board to protect us from this potential disaster? Why aren't they doing something?

 Section 53-8 of or Village Code very clearly states that the Mayor can take action to guard the safety of people or property, which, in this case, would be to  call an engineer to condemn the site, demolishing it, and adding the costs to the tax bill, a matter which would likely ultimately be settled upon sale of the property.  How many more weeks must we all wait and hope that this unsafe condition doesn't cause further damage or, worse, injury to any neighbors?

This is not proactive leadership that takes action to safeguard the public interest.  You deserve better. I won't be afraid to advocate that our new Mayor make tough decisions on behalf of public safety.  Please vote on Wednesday, March 18, and please consider donating to help the victims of the Kaplan Ave fire.  Thank you,