Tag Archives: Jim Michels

Blackberry Township Supervisor resigns

BLACKBERRY TWP.—Blackberry Township Supervisor Dennis Ryan resigned his position last week, following numerous disagreements with township trustees on a variety of issues.

“I’m sorry to have to do this,” Ryan said on Tuesday. “There were just too many disagreements as far as policy.”

Ryan said that he was consistently outnumbered 4-1 in votes on issues.

One issue that had recently become problematic was regarding a lease the township had on McNair Field. The lease, which expired in 2013, was with Burr Ridge company Transmission Relay Corporation, and included a provision that granted use of 5 of the 20 acres for Kaneland area athletic leagues in exchange for a fee of $1 per year. According to officials, the checks were never cashed.

The township has been in the process of attempting to renegotiate a lease with the owners. Ryan was to follow up with the owners during the past month, but according to trustee Harley Veldhuizen, he had not contacted them.

Ryan said he did not agree with the township’s involvement with the property, and felt that the trustees were trying to create an “under the table” park district, without a referendum.

After the township meeting on Tuesday, trustee Tim Norris said that Ryan had been “out of his element” and that the position had been “more than he could handle.”

Norris defended the township’s involvement with the Kaneland athletic groups and McNair Field.

He said the township was simply enabling the local clubs to use the field. According to Norris, the township holds the lease for the property, but the clubs have done all the work on the field.

The township is now trying to come up with a reasonable dollar amount of rent per acre for the new lease. He said the township pays the rent and the liability insurance, and the clubs do everything else.

Trustee Jim Michels is taking the lead on the communication with the owners.

“We’re stepping in the right direction for Youth Baseball,” trustee Veldhuizen said.

Trustees on Tuesday unanimously voted to accept Ryan’s resignation and then tabled a decision to appoint a successor to replace him until the March meeting.

“The township has 60 days to replace him,” Township Road Commissioner Rod Feece said.

Ryan has only been in the position about a year, so unless the township has a special election, residents will have to wait another three years to elect someone else.

Letter: Thank you to the Elburn Lions Club

I had one of the surprises of my life on Saturday, Jan. 19, when I was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellow Award by the Elburn Lions Club. This letter is to say thank you to the Elburn Lions Club for this recognition and also all that they have done for me, my family and the extended Elburn community over the years.

I have tried to extend the principles of Lionism that I have learned in Elburn to the other activities that I have been fortunate enough to be involved in. It was back in 1975 that I became a member of the club, and I was sponsored by Bill Callaghan. Then, as now, the club has had great leadership. Thank you, Lions, for this recognition and for the opportunity to serve.

Jim Michels

Letter: Thank you for the honor

I am writing to thank the Elburn Lions Club and others for selecting Carole and myself as the Grand Marshals of the 2011 Elburn Days Parade. It is an honor that we will treasure for the rest of our lives.

As many of you know, I retired in October 2009 to be more attentive to Carole, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in October 2004. Since then, she has gradually declined, but is “still Carole,” with a great outgoing personality and sense of life, who lives in the present, not in the past or in the future. The 40-minute ride in the parade was a great pick-me-up for both of us.

We have been blessed, as many of us have been, by living and/or working in and around Elburn and the greater Kaneland community, where we are accepted for who we are, and not for what we have. We have worked together, as others in the past, to make our community better. And, there is no better example of this than the Elburn Lions Club.

My dad, who was very active in the Aurora Noon Lions Club, was not a person given to slogans, etc. But when he died in 1964, we found a card in his wallet with the following written on it that embodies Lionism and has become our family creed, as follows: “I expect to pass through this world but once; any good that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again”.

Jim Michels

Letter: Wrestling builds character

Wrestling is not the most glamorous sport in high school, but it builds long-term character traits. All sports require extensive training, conditioning and skill, but wrestling adds the discipline of “making weight,” which requires additional sacrifice and work. And wrestling requires persistence, too.

There are few sports that are as equal as wrestling. Currently, there are 14 weight classes from 103 pounds to 285 pounds. This makes young men of all heights and physical build equal on the mat. During a match, each wrestler is on his own and has to rely on his own initiative and drive to succeed.

The character traits that wrestling builds are exemplified by several examples listed below.

Think of the nervousness of facing another person on the mat. This builds confidence in one’s ability to perform under pressure. Think of losing a match only to have to wrestle again in a short time. This teaches one to accept temporary losses and to go on to new challenges. Think of the thrill of winning a match. This teaches one to go on again.

Think of this contact sport and the physical and mental exertion of three two-minute periods in which one has to go “all out” with no one else to rely on for help, other than one’s coaches who are shouting instructions from the corner of the mat. This teaches a young man self reliance and competiveness and the ability to defend himself.

I don’t know whether a wrestler stays with the sport because of family or peer pressure, or whether he stays with the sport because he really enjoys it. Whatever the reason, I hope that they agree that the sacrifice and hard work are worth the effort as they will reflect back on their experience many, many times in their life.

As they go forward beyond high school wrestling, the athletes should think back on their
experience and learn from it. They can see that when they get behind in points, it is more difficult to get back on top. This is true in life also. Think of how only the excellent end up placing in state completion; the very good end up in conference competition and the good wrestlers fall short of those accomplishments.

When they are in the job market, they have to beat out others that they do not know, and they have to be in the good to very good category, or the very good to excellent category, to provide for themselves and their families.

I am proud of all wrestlers at Kaneland High School, past, present and future, for they have developed or will develop into fine men. We are also proud of their coaches and their families for all of their sacrifices of time and effort.

I am especially proud of Monty Jahns and Jeremy Kenney. Their demeanor and professionalism is superior to most other coaches and programs. Our community is indebted to them, and we wish them the best in all that they do in life.

Jim Michels

Letter: Thank you, Dave, for your service

This letter is to thank Dave Anderson for his 14 years of service as Supervisor of Blackberry Township. During his tenure, Dave has significantly advanced the township and the position of supervisor to a new level of professionalism.

Some of the important items that he has accomplished were to improve the communications, finances and services within the township. He did this through his common sense, small business experience and friendly attitude developed during his lifelong residence in our area.

We will miss his stewardship. However, we have respect for him for moving on to pursue another leadership role within our community, with his commitment to run for the position of village president of the Village of Elburn.

Jim Michels
Trustee, Blackberry Township