Outside looking in‏

Hello there! I’m a long time reader, first time writer to your fine blog and I must say, I truly enjoy your work. Now, I’m not a resident of your village. Actually, I reside in Algonquin, but my home is on the east side of Algonquin and I travel through your community often. In truth, I grew up in Buffalo Grove and only recently moved out to your neck of the burbs two years ago after my parents decided to relocate in style and move to Barrington Hills. Prior to that I had never even heard of Carpentersville, IL. Now, I’m absolutely fascinated by your little town. And I’ll even admit as to why…the drama. I swear Carpentersville board meeting minutes are more engrossing than any prime time reality show. And your blog gives me all the extra delicious details that the stark agenda outlines leave out. Being out while looking in was, a guilty pleasure if you will. At least this is what I first believed. Now, as I become more aware of your community and its
struggles, my once casual curiosity has grown into a genuine concern. I can see that there are some very real problems that exist for the residents of Carpentersville today and I can see that those problems will someday very soon, no longer be your own.

I commute through Carpentersville on a daily basis. My son is developmentally delayed and because of this, we benefit from district 300’s deLacey program. It’s a great program that serves a greater cause and one that deserves a strong community to back it up. Last year, due to various familial and social contacts, I was able to raise hundreds of dollars worth of school supplies that was then donated to my son’s classroom. I did this because I, like many I am involved with, believe that a community is a reflection of the individuals who reside within and as such, we have an obligation to be responsible and productive citizens. So even though I do not reside in Carpentersville, my child is involved with an institution there and thus I consider it to be a part of my community.

That said, I can see that there are those among you who feel the same way I do, you take pride in your community and wish for others to do the same. It is in essence, the American standard, and a value upheld throughout the country. The only difference, however, is Carpentersville’s demographic, which is unlike anything else in the country. And those of you who speak such things, such as the need for reform, are then labeled racists. Which is ridiculous and a cop-out, but a reality in Carpentersville politics. It seems that this is especially true for residents on the east side. Those of you who have roots in this community that date back to when Carpentersville was a sleepy river town.

Prior to my child entering deLacey I considered myself beyond the reaches of your community’s drama. Now I see it on a daily basis. And still, I ignore it. Until today. Today showed me that not only can the drama in Carpentersville be a political issue, but a personal safety issue as well. After I dropped off my son at school, I made my way back to rt.31, or at the very least, tried to. I was delayed in my commute for front of me was a dilapidated vehicle swerving precariously in and out of the lane. At first I thought the driver must be drunk and I thanked God that my son was safe in his classroom while I looked for a way to change my trajectory. Prior to me having the opportunity to turn onto another lane and get clear of this dangerous driver the car simply, and quite suddenly, stopped in the middle of the road. And didn’t move. I sat for a while anxious and confused before the car finally turned, allowing me to go straight and get the heck out of
there.

Was it a drunk driver? No. It was a Mexican woman in her 70’s who was obviously being taught how to drive for the first time by the younger man sitting next to her. What’s worse was there was a small child in the backseat! This all took place on the road that runs in front of deLacey (you’ll have to forgive me, I do not know your street names by heart) as well as two other schools. And there were still children present in effort to make their daily commute. Consider then if a child was not paying attention, which isn’t too far fetched as any parent will tell you, and decided to cross the road abruptly. What would have happened? Is it safe to say that the streets of Carpentersville have on occasion been used for exploratory methods by those who have no right whatsoever behind the wheel of a vehicle. Now one could argue that this sort of thing could happen anywhere, but this isn’t anywhere, this is Carpentersville. And as statistics will show, there is a
higher concentration of people in this little town who not only lack a valid driver’s license, but lack legal citizenship, than the rest of the country.

Unfortunately I did not have my cell phone on me or I would have called the police immediately. But I also found it curious that there were no police to be found. In fact, I never see a Carpentersville police vehicle. Now coming from Buffalo Grove I can tell you that in most northwest suburbs, especially those closer to Chicago, there are cops EVERYWHERE. They saturate the streets, so much so that people would rather go the speed limit and take longer to commute in-lieu of receiving a ticket and paying the massive fines that go with them. And it is because of Buffalo Grove’s massive fines that they can afford their formidable police force. Believe me, I know how stiff those tickets can be! Is it to be understood that Carpentersville is in need of a larger police force? Why not raise the fines for driving offenses? Let those who commit the crimes be the ones to pay for the policing of them? But I am not familiar with state and local laws regarding such
matters, so I do not understand the process involved with mandating fines.

This has been one outsider’s opinion, but you only need to do a little ‘googling’ to see that the rest of the country is starting to take notice and forming opinions of their own. I just think that Carpentersville would and could be a thriving
community if politicians got out from behind their ‘safe zone’ and put
the racist card where it belongs, in the trash.

Always Watching,
P. Sherman

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