On Monday night, the Palatine Village Council voted 4-2 against Catherine Alice Gardens affordable supportive housing at 345 Eric Drive.
Against the good advice of the plan commission (7-1 in favor on July 16), the majority cited an overwhelming desire to protect that parcel as a manufacturing zone because "the economy is coming back," never mind the fact that the parcel has remained unproductive for 12 years, well before the start of the Great Recession.
And adjacent manufacturing properties have been given over to commercial interests that generate far less tax revenue than traditional manufacturing; worse yet, some remain vacant eyesores.
Wake up, Councilmen! Listen to your experts. Manufacturing as you knew it will not be returning to Palatine any time soon. But mental illness and disabilities are here to stay and demand a reasoned, compassionate response from a community that prides itself in being a caring hometown.
Or is the M word -- manufacturing -- a cover for some other fear?
Maybe it's time to update our council. We need representatives who are in touch with today's realities and tomorrow's challenges, not yesterday's.
Many thanks to councilmen Jim Clegg and Greg Solberg for their support of Catherine Alice Gardens. We'll remember their wise decision come election day.