On Nov. 7, I took the opportunity to attend the Environment and Energy Commission (EEC) meeting to again pitch a recommendation that the village adopt a residential exterior lighting ordinance to curtail light trespass between neighbors.

The proposal was originally championed by Mrs. Bonita Robinson and her son, Vernon, because such ordinances have been adopted by other municipalities in Illinois, as well as endorsed by the Dark Skies International Association. Lighting is an environmental issue for people, flora and fauna, birds, bats, and bugs. It was heartening to have the EEC include the lighting ordinance with their 2024 work plan.

There was another matter that was confusing. Members of the EEC discussed doubling the single-use plastic bag fee to fund the village’s sustainability initiatives. There was a claim that the current fee was “not changing the behavior” of shoppers without citing the metric for measuring the lack of effectiveness of the 10 cents per bag charged at the points of purchase — such as: Are shoppers using fewer plastic bags at local stores?

If that is truly the cause of the revenue reduction, then claim victory rather than doubling the bag fee to increase the sustainability fund.

Chris Donovan
Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!