Lisa Stone tells Buffalo Grove board of her water worries
For those who missed Lisa Stone's tenure as Buffalo Grove trustee, last week's village board meeting provided a CliffsNotes version.
The former trustee, who was elected in April 2009 and recalled from office in November 2010, returned to village hall April 2, to alert the board to public health concerns she believes exist with the wells supplying drinking water to the Pekara subdivision, which is just outside Buffalo Grove in unincorporated Lake County.
Stone was given nearly 20 minutes to speak, exceeding the time allowed for public comment.
In that time, she challenged Village President Jeffrey Braiman to have her thrown out, took shots at village Clerk Janet Sirabian and Trustees Jeffrey Berman and Steven Trilling, and suggested Braiman resign as president.
Braiman, for his part, said he still didn't understand her points after the 20 minutes at the board meeting; "a lot of time on the phone," including one 40-minute conversation; and the time she interrupted his dinner at a local restaurant.
Stone's appearance can roughly be divided into three acts.
The first act commenced after the board stopped taking public comment and while it was in the process of honoring the Buffalo Grove Area Chamber of Commerce for its 40th anniversary. Just when the chamber's executive director, Lynne Schneider, was about to say thank you, Stone appeared to insist she be given the right to speak.
Braiman said the public comment period had passed and she had missed it, but Stone said, "I was here. And I am here. And I had (throat) surgery this year, so if my voice didn't carry, I am sorry."
Braiman said she would be allowed to speak in due course, but Stone demanded to be the next to speak, adding, "If you won't let me speak next, I will, and you can actually then have the police take me out if you would like."
She then said Braiman was aware of what she had to say, based on previous conversations, "(and) you don't want me to speak tonight."
"Lisa, I have no idea of what you are speaking about," Braiman said.
"Oh, of course you do," she said, adding it had to do "with water."
Braiman asked, "Do you want us to have you removed?"
She replied, "If that will get you to resign from president, perhaps."
The second act began when the board began taking comments during a public hearing on the subject of electrical aggregation. Stone said she had something to say on the subject.
It was at this time when she hinted at what was to follow by alluding to the ZIP codes of Buffalo Grove and surrounding areas, asking whether electrical aggregation is "just a Buffalo Grove 60089 relevant issue that you are speaking to tonight? Or are you speaking to Lake County and Vernon Township?"
Braiman said, "We have six villages that are in this group."
"So if someone in unincorporated Deerfield 60015 or unincorporated Lincolnshire Prairie View 60069, if someone comes to their home ... pretending to be ComEd or whatever, should they call Buffalo Grove or should they call Vernon Township?"
"I would suggest they call Vernon Township and the county of Lake."
"Because we're Buffalo Grove 60089 ..." she said. "Do we have any other ZIP codes in Buffalo Grove?"
Which leads to the third and final act, when Stone was given time to speak on her issues.
But before she could get to that, she urged village Clerk Janet Sirabian to memorialize what she was saying verbatim, adding, "For those who are here, she won't do it."
She then reiterated that she is the first elected official in Illinois to be recalled, telling the audience, "There is a point to what I am saying, so bear with me."
She then said her recall was funded in part by past and present elected officials.
"Apparently I was recalled for my unprecedented, unconventional behavior as a trustee, as I sought truth and was relentless and persistent with both elected officials and officials on this board and elsewhere, in seeking honest answers regarding the Land and Lakes landfill."
She then digressed into a short allusion to what she has referred to as an altered email from former village Manager William Brimm, as well as brief references to the Shaw Environmental report on the Land and Lakes landfill, and the lost tape of an executive session during which the Shaw report was discussed.
She lamented the fact that village meetings during her tenure are only available from the village on DVD rather than online, because, "they lost the password."
Stone was interrupted by Braiman, who advised her that she had five minutes left, to which she replied, "When I called you last week, you didn't want to know a darned thing," before telling him, "You are using my time."
She then told the board, "There is an address in Buffalo Grove, called 800 Krause Drive, in Buffalo Grove IL 60089. It's ... a bogus address. They use it for (sewage treatment for) the Pekara subdivision that serves 5,000 people in unincorporated Deerfield ... 60015, 60069 ... you know those areas that are not Buffalo Grove, but they go to our schools, they do pay taxes."
She then said she believes "there has been a gross violation of human rights, of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act for many many many years."
She mentioned that she posted a report about the defunct Hoffelder landfill along Milwaukee Avenue. After she made some remarks about Berman and further references to the Land and Lakes landfill, Braiman warned her that her time was running out.
"I'm going to give you two more minutes," he said. "Please get to the point."
She then said that there had been an address change from Deerfield in the 60015 ZIP code to 800 Krause Drive in the 60089 ZIP code.
What Stone was likely referring to is a change in the mailing address of a Lake County water treatment facility.
According to Lake County Director of Public Works Peter Kolb, the old Administration and Laboratory Building on the east end of the sewage treatment plant site, a building that, he said, still exists, was located on Pekara Drive. The mailing address for the plant prior to about 1991 was 15170 W. Pekara Drive, Deerfield IL 60015.
The Water Reclamation Plant was expanded in 1991-93, and a new Administration Building was built on the west end of the site. The mailing address was revised to 15501 Deerfield Parkway, Deerfield, IL 60015.
Kolb said the access road to the new Administration Building was given a formal designation of "Krause Drive" about 1995, and the new mailing address was established as 800 Krause Drive, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089.
At the board meeting, Stone then began to explore the issue of the existence of a wastewater treatment facility near groundwater drinking wells, adding, "It's not only Buffalo Grove. It's Lake County, it's far deeper than this."
It was at that point, that Braiman again began to warn her about time, to which she replied, "President Braiman, for your soul's sake, let me finish."
Braiman said, "We spent a lot of time on the phone. Once for about 40 minutes. Another time when you interrupted my dinner at a restaurant for about a half an hour.
"I still don't know what your points are after all that conversation," Braiman said.
Continuing her speech, she began talking about the Land and Lakes landfill, and the apparent disparity between two descriptions of its acreage, before Braiman finally called a recess.
After the meeting, Braiman said he gave Stone every opportunity to get to her point.
"I'm still waiting for her tell us what her concerns are. I still don't understand," he said.
When asked about the issue of the address, "It's an unincorporated area of Lake County. They asked for it to be a Buffalo Grove address for mailing purposes, for fire dispatch purposes only. We do not have any control over them. They are not contained within the Village of Buffalo Grove. We have no power over the county or the township in that regard."
As for the prospect of the Pekara subdivision receiving Lake Michigan water instead of relying on well water, Braiman said Lake County has asked Buffalo Grove whether it would contract with Lake County to provide Pekara with Lake Michigan water.
"We haven't really begun the discussions with Lake County. They just mentioned that that is something that they may be interested in. That is as far as it has gone."
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