It’s bad enough that the decision to move our City Hall was made with no input from the public. The decision to sell the square block was made with the plan to allow more apartments to be built with no consideration about our older housing stock(apartments and single family). The city will be impacted by this decision for years to come.
Well now there is another opportunity to speak out about an organization that has been part of this community for nearly 40 years, Voluntary Action Center (VAC), providing transportation and nutrition services to many people in the community. Indeed a grassroots initiative that started with one bus and grew into a highly regarded premier service adding to the overall quality of life in the DeKalb community. At its September 14th meeting the DeKalb City Council voted to award the contract for transportation to another party, Transdev, as they were the lowest among three bidders. The reason given was that the state and federal funding would be in danger of being lost if the lowest bidder was not chosen.
This came up for the first time with no previous public consideration. Council had to decide after looking at over 100 pages of detailed information to digest. It doesn’t seem proper that after nearly 40 years of service that a huge, worldwide conglomerate can come in and pretty much take over from an organization that has laid the groundwork for a premiere service. Part of the funding comes from the Huskie/NIU predominately funded by students…What happens if that funding source changes? Why did such an important topic not get discussed at a COW meeting?
Public input and involvement does not seem to be what Council values…the City Hall issue and now the VAC issue. There is no time set aside to discuss options of important matters…COW meetings would be an excellent opportunity for Council to discuss a variety of topics in PUBLIC opening the opportunity for a variety of sources to give input. This trend of pushing the public aside is not good governance. It seems that Council should take a closer look at the VAC issue…they can reconsider and take a closer look.
VAC is a class act that services many and adds to the quality of life for our community.
Everyone I talk to is stunned. Please, DeKalb citizens, stand up and question this decision. Citizen involvement is the only way to get Council to rethink its position.
Respectfully, Bessie Chronopoulos
Note: Letter to the Editor does not reflect the views or opinions of DeKalb County Online, its’ members or staff.