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  • Victor Milani

Letter To The Editor: Councilman Keith Czerr Weighs In On Northfield Municipal Parking Lot

The following is a letter to the editor from Northfield Village Councilman Keith Czerr in regards to the situation surrounding the future of the vacant and recently demolished city bank lot next to Northfield Village city hall, slotted to become a municipal parking lot.

I talked with several people in regards to the village property, the now empty plot of land where the old bank was just recently demolished next to city hall. In regards to what we were to do with the vacant lot, I received many positive ideas, and I felt pretty good. I thought I would be looking forward to something that I could stand behind and feel proud. I was caught off guard at our last council meeting in February, where in our engineer's report there were plans in place for an asphalt parking lot. All the positive ideas previously talked about did not come that evening. When talking to folks I was looking for someone to express another point of view, as I could be wrong here. No one would challenge my thinking apart from a friend and kind of like a brother to me. You see, him and I we have roots here; this is our home. So I respect his point of view on this municipal parking lot idea as opposed to a place of beauty and perhaps participation from our community to go more toward our Mayor's original idea of “beautification”. You see, I want no part in any parking lot idea and frankly I am extremely disappointed and ashamed at the switchback from the "green space" idea.

My aforementioned colleague expressed the notion that "we can’t make a small park where folks to gather, that’s just crazy thinking! Think about the liability. Look at the traffic on Northfield road." I know the folks you talked to agree with you on this. I know we can go to fifty residents now and they more certainly will back up this parking lot idea and oppose this Green Space idea. But can you wrap your head around just a parking lot? Can you wrap your head around the idea that by the time Council and the Mayor are done and finished the amount of money that will be spent on this? And who just exactly who will it actually benefit? Do you believe it will benefit the residents of Northfield? Use your own judgment.

One of our council members who happens to be a highly educated man says “We need a Municipal parking lot." He was the same Councilman who was responsible for “Corridor Overlay Project” which basically a blueprint on how private business owners may develop property on the route eight corridor. Ironically I was opposed to the idea because I felt that we should encourage business to develop tastefully but not to go as far as laying it out for them. But now here we are, Shameful just to pave the lot, paint some lines for parking, and voila! Many great thoughts during the “OVERLAY” days. And then to say and compare our one square mile town to other municipalities. “Other towns have Municipal parking lots".

I want your input. Wouldn’t it be nice if for once we thought outside the box? Yes, we are a one square mile Village, and yes we know, traffic is crazy on Northfield road. We can no longer ride our ten speed down the middle of Northfield road. Did you ask for this crazy traffic? I didn’t vote for that and I don’t believe you did either. Perhaps this is our chance! Why keep spending good money on something that is not well thought out. I could express some pretty cool ideas myself, you see I am not that high up over there in city hall so at times member’s ideas get discounted. A vote happens and you get just what you get, an asphalt parking lot. Nothing more. “Full steam ahead”, and “moving on”. What do you prefer?

This could be a great time right now, to get our tiny little one square mile community involved in something! Something that all of us can be proud of, something that each and every one of us can have a say and or help. Don’t you think we should hear from you? Whether or not you agree or disagree with Green Space/Parking lot. I believe in my heart that whatever happens here in Northfield is your business.

If you care to express your opinion on this matter with me, Northfield Village Councilman Keith Czerr, please by all means send a text with a reply to my phone at 216-799-1431. I believe our Mayor may want to know your opinion in this matter you can call extension 11 at the city hall phone 330-467-7130. I know he expressed to me many times about "beautification and green space”. I know he was always for that, and I am not sure what changed. Thank you for your kind attention in this very important decision.

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