Peninsula Township Board meeting, Nov. 14, 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo
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(Editor’s Note: In light of the recent Township meeting where conflict arose over building heights and other issues, OMP resident Lou Santucci says the country was founded on protest and the voicing of opinions. Read on for his thoughts. And if you’ve got something to say about anything related to the Old Mission Peninsula, write it up and send it to me, [email protected]. -jb)

Tsk tsk tsk, they say. You should be nice to us. Let us make decisions you don’t agree with. Keep quiet. Don’t criticize our actions, that is mean. Etc etc etc. 

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This country was founded on protest. Imagine the fiery speeches given in Boston and Virginia. I am sure the patriots were told to lower their voices and be nice to their British appointed officials as they taxed them and took away their rights. 

Let’s be clear here. The so-called mob did nothing more than clap when someone said something they agreed with, or boo when someone said something they disagreed with. It might have lasted a few seconds a few times. Look at the tape! Good grief, is that what people from Illinois consider mob rule? I’ve watched that tape again and don’t see anything approaching mob rule.

I see people upset at a township board who take any criticism of their official action as a personal criticism. In addition, there have been numerous actions by this board that ignore the true sentiment of the vast majority of people.

Peninsula Township resident Marty Lagina speaks during the public comment time at the combined meeting of the Peninsula Township Board and Planning Commission | Jane Boursaw Photo
Peninsula Township resident Marty Lagina speaks during the public comment time at the combined meeting of the Peninsula Township Board and Planning Commission on Nov. 14, 2023 | Jane Boursaw Photo

Too often in the past, the public has not shown up at a meeting like this one at issue. I am sure it came as a surprise to the township board that people actually turned out and spoke out forcefully about several issues on the agenda. That was democracy in action. To call it mob rule is an attempt to shut down opposition to wrong headed decisions.

Mob rule was seen on TV just this week in New York at the Christmas lighting ceremony.

On the contrary, five or six people speaking from their hearts and 20 or so people clapping is not mob rule.

I am a student of the 1960s and a Vietnam era vet who served in Asia. I am proud of the folks who showed up at that meeting to voice their opinions on both sides of the issue. Are our township officials so delicate when they were challenged at the meeting that they consider it mob rule? If so, as President Truman so aptly put it, if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. 

One more thing. The height issue is important to people. It is not a trivial matter as some would have it.

And saying you shouldn’t have buildings higher than 35 feet counting a basement because of fire concerns doesn’t ring true. We could have a ladder truck with bigger ladders. I wonder what our insurance rating (ISO) and costs are because of a lack of a ladder longer than 24 feet.

-Lou Santucci, Peninsula Township Resident 

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A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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