Sunday, January 31, 2010

Small Wind Energy Code Passes

Last Thursday night, the Lake in the Hills Village Board of Trustees passed measures to allow Small Wind Turbines in the village in both a residential and commercial capacity.

I, for one, am pleased with this decision. I am proud of how the Planning and Zoning Commission so carefully considered this and came to a solution that included input from village residents. At the November 16 public hearing, there were several residents in attendance. One resident gave some great advice to include graphics in the ordinance and code to alleviate misinterpretations in the future. The final draft of the ordinance and code included this advice.

You will be able to review all the updates on the village website shortly.

Technology will force the village to keep a close watch on this because the wind turbines will surely be updated and change as quickly as iPod music players. It is a good precedent that we are forward thinking about how to introduce this type of energy saving measures into our village. Due to costs ($800 - $1,500 starting costs for small turbines w/o installation) a low level of interest in our area, I do not expect to see these going up on many homes right away, however, it is something that I see gaining momentum in the future as people become more educated on the subject.

For now - we have measures in place to address any residential or commercial needs for Small Wind Energy Systems.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 - The Year to Get You More Engaged!

Those who know me best, know that I do not make New Year's Resolutions.

Not sure why, but long ago I decided to never make new year's resolutions. It seems to me like resolutions lacked the plan to make them happen.

Dictionary says resolution is "the act or process of resolving" or "the act of determining"

Instead, I've made objectives each year.

Dictionary says objective is "something toward which effort is directed; an aim, goal or end of action"

That is more like for me - while the "plan" isn't necessarily spelled out - just by definition, there is much more action in objectives versus resolutions.

When I was formulating my 2010 objectives (see my other blog here if you are interested), it occurred to me that I didn't really list anything related to my post with the Village of Lake in the Hills. If I am honest - I think I will spend most of my time in 2010 continuing to listen carefully and learn more and more about how to best serve Lake in the Hills. But my Type-
A personality would have none of that vague, squishy, non-measurable mumbo jumbo.

So here is my one objective for my role as Village Trustee: Get residents more involved, more engaged in our local government.

Tall order, huh?

Here's how I plan to measure my success...

1. Get more people to come to my quarterly coffee talks. I had one non-press attendee at the last one in September so I have nowhere to go but up from there. My next one will be held at Einstein Bagels on Saturday Feb 27 at 9:00 am. As before, I will be treating anyone who wants to come out and chat to coffee - nothing fancy - just good old fashioned coffee. I'll have no agenda - I'll just come ready to hear whatever is on the minds of residents who care to come. Of course, I'll give you reminders over the next 8 weeks until the meeting.

2. Blog more about happenings at the Committee of the Whole and Board meetings. Since people don't seem to ever make time to come out - I will do a better job of alerting you to issues that we will be discussing and encourage you to show up or at the very least ask your opinion on them. This worked pretty well as it related to the Commercial Parking issue - I had several residents contact me with opinions leading up to that meeting. I appreciated that and believe we need more.

3. Encourage volunteer opportunities within the Village. I am working with a recreation specialist that I met at the Illinois Municipal League conference on putting together a workshop on how entities can engage more volunteers to meet their needs. I am convinced that more people would get involved in the community if they are a. invited or b. alerted to a need that they may be able to meet.

So there you have it. Thanks for tuning in and we'll be in touch more often in 2010.