I found the article about “Village manager asks for too much money, says trustee” to be a very interesting read [News, Nov. 3]. It’s especially interesting given that Village Manager Tom Barwin recently informed area private schools they would have to fund the $26,000 needed to provide crossing guards to ensure that the children arrive safely.

Mr. Barwin said the 2011 village budget could not absorb this cost. Yet Barwin asked for more than $100,000 in seemingly discretionary spending in the 2011 budget. He asked for a $19,000 increase for special events and almost $50,000 more for contractual services. But Barwin has told the schools that the village cannot come up with $26,000 to allow children who do not attend public schools (although we as parents fund it) safe passage to school. Barwin is quoted in this article as saying, “For strategic issues we might need analysis and help … My belief is that managers have to have room to be creative.” Barwin seems to only be creative when it comes to spending and not cutting.

Mr. Barwin, here is some free analysis. Heed your own words and be creative to find the money to allow the kids who do not attend public school safe passage. I do not believe funding a $13,000 survey about how green our village is strategic; it is just stupid! Our children’s safety is far more important, would you not agree, Mr. Barwin?

Andy Boockmeier
Oak Park

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