Home City park Park District Played Key Role in Eliminating New Lincoln Park School Site – Decatur Tribune

Park District Played Key Role in Eliminating New Lincoln Park School Site – Decatur Tribune


Editor Paul Osborne

LAST WEEK’S victory for opponents of building a new school in Lincoln Park is the result of the Decatur Park District throwing in the towel and deciding not to sell the land to the Decatur School District . As I wrote in last week’s column, which came off the press shortly before the Decatur Park District announced that it would not be selling Lincoln Park to the Decatur School District, I have felt the school district had the votes to go ahead and build a new school on the Lincoln Park site. While chatting with Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. on Thursday, I wrote in that column that what could stop the project is if the Decatur Park District decides not to sell the property to the school district – which happened. I wrote in last week’s column: “Whether you agree or disagree with the decision, the school board has the final and only vote on the matter. “Of course, the Decatur Park District Board must be prepared to sell the park to the school district. “I haven’t seen any contrary movement as I write this column – but things could change by the time you read these words.”

Obviously, things changed with the Park District’s decision to leave the school board without a vote on advancing the Lincoln Park site. Over the years, the Decatur Park District has always been sensitive to negative reviews. I think all elected officials should be sensitive to criticism even if it’s not pleasant, but the park district struck me, as a newspaper editor, as more sensitive than other public agencies. This is just an observation based on calls I have received over the years from someone in the park district regarding articles in the Tribune.

The opposition did not have much of an impact on the city council when several attended council meetings to ask the council to take a stand against the Lincoln Park site. The city council was not and is not directly involved in school district decisions beyond the provision of necessary services such as water, sewer, etc., regardless of where a new school is built. The opposition also went into effect at school board meetings and may have affected some of the board members, but it seemed the majority of the board was ready to go ahead with the Lincoln Park site. . Clearly, the opposition found fertile ground in their contacts with the Decatur Park District and shut down any further talk about building a new school in Lincoln Park.

The last sentence of my Viewpoint column for June 6, which focused on the “composition of the opposition”, stated my final point of view: “I am not a bettor, but if I were, I would not bet against the victory of the neighbors. this battle. Three weeks later, the opposition won, and the Lincoln Park site for a new school issue was dead.

The Decatur Public Schools School Board Finance Committee had planned to hold a meeting on August 2 to discuss the feasibility of using the Woodrow Wilson Junior High site for a new Dennis School, but due to flooding in several DPS facilities, including the Keil Building, the meeting was postponed to a later date.

• BEST WISHES to Shelith Hansbro who has been selected by the Decatur Park Board of Commissioners to serve an unexpired term for a park board commissioner seat. Shelith will complete the remaining term ending in April 2023. I have known Shelith for many years and she has the experience and temperament to be an asset to the park board.

• ANOTHER TERM Republican Jim Root didn’t have an easy road to serving as sheriff of Macon County. After winning the 2018 sheriff’s race against Democrat Tony Brown, it took him three years to prove he actually had more votes (16) than Brown, and by then he was left with nothing. only one year on the mandate instead of 4 years. He won his battle for the Republican primary election against Cody Moore and, for many, with no Democrats on the primary ballot, it was believed that the race was over and the general election in November would not be only a formality since his name would be the only one on the ballot for the sheriff. Last week, Macon County Democrats announced that Shannon Gutierrez Seal would be the Democratic nominee for sheriff as she seeks to be Illinois state’s first female sheriff. Two days later, she was forced to withdraw from the race because she had voted in the Republican primary for Cody Moore, so she could not run as a Democrat in the general election. There are ongoing legal wrangles over another Democrat taking his place. on the ballot – but she was never on the ballot so… I don’t see anyone, at this point, beating Jim Root for another term in the sheriff’s office in November.

• ROAD REPORT “One thing I can say about the speeders on Route 51 South—they drive at the same high speed even when there’s heavy fog! The “blinding fog” we experienced early in the morning last week did not result in careful driving which was apparent when vehicles drove past me. Thank goodness there wasn’t a car stuck on the road somewhere in the fog in front of them! Maybe it’s just me, but I was driving down South Main Street one afternoon last week and a city bus sped past me, obviously going over the speed limit! One of these days, if a cyclist passes by me going over the speed limit, I can return my car keys and walk to the office!!!! (smile)

• The last weeks The “Scrapbook” article about Decatur’s first “motor wagon” resulted in an email and photo from subscriber and former resident George Irish. George wrote: “Enjoyed your article on Hieronymus Mueller’s Benz Motor Wagon. The attached photo is of the Mueller brothers with Bryan and my great-grandfather, MC Irish apparently in the vehicle mentioned in your article. “I appreciate the Tribune from afar. Unfortunately, I remember many of the names and places you feature…must get old.

Thanks, George, for the email and the historic photo. The photo is reproduced on page 14 of today’s edition of the Decatur Tribune.

• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 am to discuss issues facing our community and Central Illinois.