Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome New Jeromites!

I posted the following comment to SJ-R's recent article regarding the Village of Jerome's (Illinois) recent annexation of some remaining unincorporated Woodside Township bordering Jerome, and Springfield, Illinois.

Welcome new Jeromites! Thank goodness this puts an end to the leaf burning. As far as Park street, it really needs work, and has for ten years - it's the one big let down here. About the small town 'feel' of Jerome - it exist. I love this little village, and I'll often drive through our streets rather than Springfield's just to experience Jerome. The police are great. Call them, and they are there in less than five minutes - always! Jerome police are not just trying to pass out tickets, or make arrest. They have always treated me, and mine with civility, and generosity. The public service department is fantastic. They have gone far beyond their responsibilities to help with yard waste, spraying for insects, picking up unwanted materials - just like clockwork. After the tornadoes, to see all of these fine folk working together to help us recover was an amazing thing I'll never forget. Despite being surrounded by an ever more threatening Springfield Jerome manages to remind me of the way Springfield used to be decades ago. So welcome to the village ya'll.

Would I like curbs, and sidewalks? Absolutely, I really would! Yet, that's it - that is the only complaint I have about Jerome. I have lived in Jerome for twelve years now, and I have never regretted our decision to move here - other than when I discovered to my horror that District 186 gerrymandered the map which determines which high school our kids go to.

In one of the most obscenely rigged maps I have ever seen our part of Jerome somehow ended up having to send our children to South East Springfield High, while neighborhoods far closer to South East, for example those in Hawthorne Place, are skipped over. And if you look at the map, and the way it has to narrowly run down a single road for miles to get to Jerome it is pretty obvious it was done for political reasons - skip over better off whites, and pick on Jerome in the name of balancing the racial equations of Springfield's schools.

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