Letter to the Editor, Suburban Chicago
News, The St. Charles Sun
So, how did we get to here? Half a world away a war has erupted,
yet here in the Tri-Cities our concerns are much more mundane —
like taxes. Life goes on, they say. Or does it? Ought we not be
more concerned with what happens globally, yet impacts us here at
That's why the upcoming April 1 Broadband referendums in the Tri-Cities'
incorporated areas are just another mundane local issue. Our continued
success in the global economy is the real issue.
My voluntary involvement as a key proponent of the Broadband initiative
has brought me into discussions with some impassioned and well-intentioned
people of the opposite opinion, but I fear they're missing the bigger
picture because they're thinking locally, not globally. In fact
they are thinking extremely locally, as in "me" and "my
taxes" (when in fact bonds, not taxes, are the planned funding
vehicle, to be paid off by subscriber fees). Or, they are espousing
the importance of sticking to their principles that government has
no business in business, and it's unfair competition for private
entities (which of course, we all know, always play fair). Well,
by sticking to "their principles," it could harm the rest
To me it's quite simple. We live here in the tranquil Fox Valley,
the envy of much of the Chicago area, itself the envy of much of
the world, and we worry about the local things while we should be
pondering the viability of the Tri-Cities as a global competitor.
Our vulnerability to national and global events couldn't be clearer
than during the past three years — need I mention by name
the many large corporations that have closed their doors locally
at no fault of the people who worked there, but as victims of events
far and wide?
And, what will help us guarantee our future viability in the world
economy better than the 21st century infrastructure of a world-class
fiber-optic system that our Tri-Cities municipalities want to build
for us, right to the doors of our homes and businesses, if we give
them the chance — not the money, the chance? That's all they're
asking for: the green light. With the city staffs seeing the benefits,
having done thorough due diligence on the project the past two years,
our elected leaders have collectively delegated the responsibility
of saying yes to us, the voters, but it's a decision we voters know
very little about. That's why I, and a small group of like-minded
citizens, have spent the past month planning and delivering informational
presentations to civic groups throughout the Tri-Cities, trying
to get the word out but with no deep-pocket funds available to us.
(By the way, election law inhibits the city staffs' ability to push
either for or against a referendum issue, so that's why we've had
to step forward to get the word out).
You, then — the citizens, the voters — need to know
the facts before you vote. Visit our Web site at www.tricitybroadband.net,
which provides full information about what the broadband initiative
is and is not, and why we need it. Download our flyers and read
them. Above all, plan on giving us the green light for progress
by voting "Yes" for the Broadband initiative on April
1. Even if you don't usually vote, this is your time — your
voting "yes" will positively influence your well-being,
and that of your city, in a very concrete way. It doesn't get more
local than that.
John Glenn Co-chair, Fiber For Our Future Citizen support group