mother municipalih’.rnWhile it has heen gratifying to see 900rnpeople standing in opposition to a biggo’rnernnient boondoggle, the crowd isrnnot the reason we won tonight. ThernPernville extension is dead bceause TomrnHawes and the Roseoe Township Boardrnof Trnstees saw it coming seven vearsrnago, and thev ealmh’, quiedv, and deliberatcKrnlaid the gronndwork (quite literal-rn1) to sto)) it. Think about that the nextrnhme on decide not to vote because “it’srnonKa local election.”rnhi each of the cases I mentioned in mvrnView last month —the Ditzler and Hamberlinrnproperties, the Torres Market—rnthe ))e()ple inolved ncner had a chancernto keep their properh’, because there wasrnno goNcrnmental body that could iuter-rn cue on their behalf You can have rightrnon ()nr side; yon can have broad popularrnsupport; but unless you can translate thatrninto political power, vou’re going to lose.rnf,en the courts offer litde protechon: hirneminent-doniain cases toda’, goernnientrnis usuallv treated as the de factornowner of our land, hi order to win, vonrnha’e to proc to a goxernment-fundedrnjudge that you need it more than the govcnimeutrndocs.rnThe token Republican columnist atrnthe local CTannet paper has been crusadingrnfor cars to abolish township governmentrnin Illinois in the name of “efficienc’.”rnHe’s right: Renio’ing that laer ofrngocrnnieiit —the laer that is die leastrncxpcnsixe, least intrnsixe, and closest tornthe people, even though die people arernoften unaware of it—w’ouW make otherrnlaers of government more efficient.rnWithout township government. ChairmanrnCJolin would probablv be perchedrnon top of a bulldozer tomorrow, radierrnthan sitting in her office, tring to figurernout liow lier well-laid plans went so fiirrnastrax.rnOut in the hall, the victorious organizersrnare bracing for the coming round ofrnname-calling: ” I’hev’re going to sav this isrnjust anotiier case of NIMBY.” Of coursernit is, but what’s wrong widi that? Whatrnkind of socieh’ would we live in if no onerneer said, “Not in iii” back vard”? Yournwant to run a road through iii ancestralrnland? Sure, go right ahead. Have mvrnhouse while ou’re at it. Don’t botherrneven offering me fair-market alue; justrntake mv propert}’ now, and we’ll settle uprnlater.rnThe onh- problem w ith NIMBY is thatrnit iieer seems to extend beyond our rcsjjcct!rnc back yards. You sa v’ou want tornput a prison in southeastern WinnebagornCounh? Soimds good; I live in downtownrnRockford, so it won’t affect me. Yournwant to demolish Henry Hambcrlin’srnhome to put up a .school on the west sidernof Rockford? That’s fine; I live on the eastrnside, and my kids aren’t in public schoolrnan}v’a. \^i’ should 1 care that ChairmanrnColin wants to run a road througlirnTom Ditzler’s farm? He lives dovii inrnthe southwest part of die countv; I live uprnin Roseoe Township.rnI .ast year, longtime county board memberrn(and Chroniclea subscriber) PeternMaeKay challenged Chairman Cohn inrnthe Republican primarv. One of his chiefrncampaign promises was to stop the extensionrnof Perryville Road (which, at thatrntime, had not vet reached Illinois 173).rnHe knew he would have a tough timernbeahng Cohn in the citv’ of Rockford; hernwas confident, however, that he couldrnmake up for that with a fairly wide marginrnof victory in the northern part of dierncounh’. But on election night, he polledrnworse in tlie nordiern part of the countvrnriian anywhere else, and the deciding factorrnseems to have been his opposition tornthe Perryville extension. Many RoseoernTownsliip residents —including some ofrnthe people who are here tonight—wantedrnPerPiville to run up to Illinois 173 sorndiat diey could have more eonveiiient accessrnto die strip mails and chain restaurantsrnon Rockford’s far east side. Tlie’rndon’t mind driving through what used tornbe other people’s back yards; thev justrndon’t want odicr people driving diroughrntheirs. In the long run, however, we’rernonly going to rein in government if werncouple NIMBY widi the Golden Rule:rnDo unto others as you would have themrndo unto ‘ou.rn”Where were all these people whenrnvc verc fighting our battles down inrnRockford?”rn”I don’t know. Perhaps now they’ll beginrnto understand diat wc niav be fightingrnon a different front, but it’s all die samernwar.”rnOn the way out, we stop to talk to Tomrnand )an Ditzler, who have come to the oppositernend of die coiinh’ to stand up forrnhundreds of people who didn’t stand uprnfor them. If s a bittersweet reunion for thernDitzlers and Mark Dahlgrcn; the la,st timerndiey saw him, he was being hauled off torndie count jail for tr iiig to preycnt count}’rnworkers from cutting down a tree on thernland they had seized from the Ditzlers.rn”Have ‘ou had vour court date?” Janrna.sks.rn”Oh, yes.”rn”When are ou going to stop out andrnsee us? We’ve missed von.”rn”Well, the trouble is, they gave me arnyear’s probation, and there are two terms.rnI can’t come widiin 300 yards of mv arrestingrnofficer, and I can’t set foot on yourrnproperty.”rn”You mean you can’t go on die properh’rnthat die eoiuitv’ took.”rn”No, ma’am, I can’t go on your propert’.rnThe docuinent they made me sign listedrnyour address; it didn’t mention thernpropert}’ where the”re putting in thernroad.”rn”WHAT? ITrst, the} take o’er half ofrnour properh’ widi out cen pav’ing us forrnit, and now they’re telling us who we canrnand can’t invite on die land diev let usrnkeep? They can’t df) diat.”rn”Well, they did, ma’am. They mostrncertainly did. That’s what die}’ call ‘justice’rnhere in Winnebago Counh.”rnWe sa’ our goodbyes and head backrnout into die cold winter’s night. This battlernmay be over, but tiicre are many morernto come before a new spring arrives herernin Rockford. crnThe stone bridge that stopped the Perryville extension.rnMAY 2001/35rnrnrn