Sidewalk snow removal is key issue for Mt. Jewett council

Photo by Ted Lutz — This is the Mt. Jewett Borough Council for 2019. The group includes, left to right, seated: Councilman John Hayduk, Councilman Tom Geer and Council President Brett Morgan; standing: Mt. Jewett Mayor Annie Jo Wolfe, Councilman Rod Danielson, Councilman Gene Ginkel and Councilman John Keesee. Missing from the photo is Councilman Steve Hale.
Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

MT. JEWETT — It may have been a mild February evening Monday, but a chilly winter problem was a key hot issue for the Mt. Jewett Borough Council.
Like most Kane area communities, Mt. Jewett has an ordinance that requires property owners to remove snow from their sidewalks in a timely manner.
According to comments made Monday, it appears that many Mt. Jewett residents are failing to follow the local law on snow removal.
Chuck Paar, a former president of the Mt. Jewett Borough Council, said the failure to clean snow from sidewalks creates “a safety hazard, especially in heavy traffic areas.”
Wil Antrim, another former council president, also complained about the lack of snow removal on some borough sidewalks.
Councilman John Keesee, chairman of the Maintenance Committee, indicated that he plans to cite property owners who fail to remove snow from their sidewalks.
But he also called for the borough maintenance crew to “clean” snow from sidewalks on borough-owned properties.
He said it wouldn’t be fair to “clamp down on others” if the borough doesn’t maintain its own sidewalks.
According to a report from Borough Maintenance Supervisor Rick Kinner, Councilmen Keesee and Gene Ginkel volunteered to help the borough crew clear snow during a recent storm.
Kinner also praised local resident Tom Davis for his assistance in working with the maintenance department during and after snowstorms.
Councilman Tom Geer saluted Davis for being “a big help” during the snow events.
Paar claims many residents of Mt. Jewett are “disappointed with the caliber of leadership” on the council.
He called for the council members to “do the job you’re elected to do.”
Paar criticized the absence of Councilman Steve Hale, who has missed most council meetings in the past year. Hale works out-of-town.
“His inactivity speaks volume,” Paar said in reference to Hale.
He said, “certain council members” are leaving a “black mark” on Mt. Jewett.
Paar said his criticism of council is supported by many in the community.
“If you don’t speak up, you get what you deserve,” he said.
On the other hand, Mt. Jewett Mayor Annie Jo Wolfe heaped praise on the council members for their service to the community.
“It’s not an easy job,” she said.

For full article, check the Feb. 5, 2019 printed or e-edition of The Kane Republican