by Chris Studor
March 15 township trustees meeting
Township trustees say residents will soon have the opportunity to weigh in on the future of Hinckley Township as part of the township’s comprehensive plan update.
The newly formed steering committee is working with trustees and representatives of OHM Advisors to formulate questions that will appear on the survey.
Trustees said OHM Senior Planner Arthur Schmidt has been gathering public comments submitted directly to him and to trustees in an effort to identify which areas of the plan need to be updated.
Trustee Melissa Augustine said the survey is likely to consist of two pages, front and back, and has suggested the survey be mailed to all township residents.
“I think the best way to get the survey out would be to mai l it to each household with a postage-paid envelope printed with a return address because then you could avoid people turning in multiple surveys,” said Augustine. “I’ve already heard of homeowner’s associations, as well as township groups and clubs, that are going to advertise when the survey will come out and urge residents to participate in it.”
OHM was hired to assist the steering committee in identifying areas of the comprehensive plan that need to be updated. Once a final recommendation is made regarding areas to be updated, the matter will be turned over to the township Zoning Commission for a vote, before turning the matter over to trustees for a final vote.
At the March 15 trustees meeting, Hinckley resident Nikki Long, said she wanted to make it clear that the group, Protect Hinckley, “does not have anything against the members of the Citizens Steering Committee themselves but has voiced objection to the selection process of the committee which she and other members of Protect Hinckley felt were biased.”
“I want to dismiss rumors that Protect Hinckley asked that the entire Steering Committee be abandoned,” said Long. “My motivation comes from growing up in Chicago during a huge government scandal and I promised myself if I ever moved back, I would work to hold government responsible. I want to move forward and I do think former Trustee [Chris] Kalina, [Jim] Burns and Augustine have done some good work.”
To insure the township was represented properly, Trustees Monique Ascherl and Jack Swedyk suggested three additional members of the community be added to the steering committee. Ascherl suggested three applications be randomly selected and those individuals be added to the committee.
Augustine said she hadn’t received any complaints from residents that the selection of steering committee members was unfair but said she would not object to picking three random numbers from the 100 applicants.
Three application numbers were randomly chosen by computer and the names Jim Bialosky (currently an alternate to the Steering Committee), resident Terry Walrath and residents John and Anna Lishner were selected. Bialosky agreed to serve as a full member as did Walrath but Augustine said she was not able to reach the Lishners to see if one of them wanted to serve as of press time.