Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wood Dale’s Mayor correctly questions Roskam’s ability to get federal dollars for vital Il-6 tranportation project

I just noticed an article in Saturday’s Daily Herald discussing an important Il-6 transportation project, the long-planned major overhaul of Wood Dale’s notorious intersection of Wood Dale Road, Irving Park Road and the train tracks.

While I am in general fascinated by transportation planning (this is actually true, I studied Urban Planning at the University of Illinois), what I want to call your attention to is the following excerpt with quotes from Wood Dale’s mayor Ken Johnson:

And with the influential Henry Hyde of Wood Dale now retired from Congress, Johnson said he was skeptical about Washington ever coughing up the remaining funding needed.

"Can we count on a freshman congressman (Republican Peter Roskam of Wheaton) in a minority party to get us $30 million?" Johnson said. "Our federal people tell us no, so we'll just have to hope we can use that $11 million we already have to increase safety some other way."

The mayor and his federal people are correct. Roskam doesn’t have the influence of Hyde to deliver for the people of IL-6 and never will. This is not just because he is a freshman member in the minority. Henry Hyde was in the minority for most of his career, but was effective in gaining influence and respect because he wasn’t just a rubber stamp who blindly followed his party. Hyde, while very conservative, served his country in war and was able to cross the isle to support gun control and family leave legislation. We’re still waiting for Roskam to demonstrate some ability to be an independent voice and not just a rubber stamp. Until then residents of Il-6 will suffer the consequences.

14 comments:

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