Monday, June 21, 2010

Unite on June 28th and Promote Lake Michigan Access

UPDATE*****Last night the Mayor released a statement that told residents there would be no license given, the fence would come down, and the staff would develop a plan for the public enjoyment of this street end. I want to thank all of you for your emails and calls to support public access to Lake Michigan and the street end program. This result has come forward because of your expressions.
Thank you!

The request to continue the privatization of the Prospect Ave. street-end really drives home the need to promote public awareness and interaction with the lakefront. Currently the Prospect Ave. street end is barricaded and used by the adjacent owner as their private back yard. While the lakes majestic beauty is in full bloom, the vista down Prospect is the obstruction of our lake with an old iron fence and dense privately maintained foliage that enforce private property use of these public lands. Please come to the meeting and petition the Mayor and City Council to tear down these fences and obstructions to allow public view and access to our lake.

Please look at our city website at and download the agenda for the June 28th for information on the time of this discussion in front of the City Council. Let the Mayor and City Council understand our connection to our public lands, lake, and values concerning community rights and expectations. Words from my colleges on the Council have been weak and very confusing as they have been on the fence and non-committal on protecting the public right for access to our lake. Request that they step up and take affirmative action at this meeting to really open up this street end to the public. FREE PROSPECT AVE. STREET END!

June 2010 Table Roundup

Our Social Hosting Ordinance to help prevent teen drug and alcohol abuse will be getting a tweaking using best practices used in neighboring communities. Bottom line here is that parents can't take a hands off approach and need to be proactive on guiding the actions of children in their homes. Party houses that tolerate teen drug and alcohol abuse is not okay.

Discussion of government consolidation continues with the merger of the Lakefront and Environmental Commissions. I think that together they can unify their passion and expertise for a greater impact on our environment.

A filibuster emerged to delay the continuation of our Downtown Alliance Strategy's funding (Special Service Area) mission to promote the success of our core business district. While the jury is still out on the payback for this mission, the signs are positive and the consensus from a majority of our property owners and business leaders seems to be supportive. After a 60 day window for appeals the SSA will come back to the Council for a final vote.

UPDATE- This item was pulled from the agenda and use of Tasars seems to have been put on hold.Police were scheduled to carry Conducted Energy Devices "Tasers" in the coming months as another instrument of force to preserve the peace in Highland Park. I voiced my minority objection if the Tasers use would be to control upset suspects instead of an alternative to deadly force. Officers should be instructed to continue to put their hands on disorderly suspects and not resort to Tasers in my opinion. Tasers have caused death and large lawsuit settlements paid to the suspects. Hope neither of these results happen in Highland Park.

Highland Park Historical Society will hold its annual Antique and Classic Auto Show on July 31st between 11am and 3pm.

2010 vehicle sticker design will be honoring the 100th year anniversary of our Chamber of Commerce of Highland Park. I would ask you to shop local and support our merchants which in turn provides needed revenues to support the community services that we all enjoy.