The Tri-Cities are not an island
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 home?

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 of us.

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 St. Charles


Fiber For Our Future supporting Tri-City Broadband for Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles, Illinois

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