Power plant proposal tensions continue in Oakwood Hills, 3 resign from board

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A suburban town is divided and its residents in an uproar over a power plant that is set to be built near their homes and schools.

Three members of the Oakwood Hills village board resigned late Wednesday night. Among them was Melanie Funk, who has board president for just over a year. She says plans to move out of town after local bullies and threatened her over a $450 million natural gas power plant she and the board were entertaining for the suburb.

Locals blame her almost exclusively for creating the tension in their town.

Opponents of the idea, site environmental concerns, health risks, and quality of life as reasons to walk away from the proposal . Signs dot the yards of so many who would be affected by the plant.

Last night hundreds dressed in red delivered a call to action. They want a show of force and they need money to fight the plan they say they knew little about until recently.

It was a plan so secretive, people like Ricciard claim the board acted illegally.

In a letter to the board of trustees, Funk walks away as village president emotionally bruised and professionally scarred in the process, saying, "... I no longer feel that I can continue to take the abuse that I have been subject to over these last few months...you will learn that neither the board nor myself have done anything wrong and that we have followed the laws that we took an oath to do. We never had secret meetings and we have already been cleared of that accusation... The last few months have taken a toll on my health and my family."

Next meeting with new interim village president scheduled for Oct 9th.

 

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6 comments

  • Joe Resident

    1)The picture is not even in OAKWOOD HILLS,
    2) In the news you said Nuclear plant
    3) find the facts and dont ride on fiction
    4) most attending were not from oakwood hills.

  • flabberghasted

    Keif’s Reef is an awesome place but several miles outside the village limits. Oakwood Hills has one lake and no motorized boats are allowed. It is even more beautiful than the river you stood next to for these shots. If you would like to “investigate further, please know that the village officials have NOT been cleared of the violation of the law, however the law in itself is flawed. They clearly broke the law, but hid it for so long that the clock ran out and the AG might not be able to prosecute. WE are hopeful that the AG will make an example of this board and these actions and that the laws will change so that these discoveries which violate the public trust can be prosecuted no matter how much time has lapsed. Ms. Funk has lied once again in a public interview, she is a very troubled person and it was indeed the right thing for her to do by resigning.

  • former resident

    As a former resident, the only person I recognized is Joe Riccardi. His home is not in Oakwood Hill though. He resides in a more expensive neighborhood in unicorporated Crystal Lake that would look directly at the plant. I’d oppose it too if I were him, but he is not a resident of the town. and likely doesn’t care about the financial and infrastructure issues that plague this community so let’s make sure there is transparency on his side too. I don’t think this Board handled everything correctly ar all (most local politicians don’t have training or the skills), but reviewing opportunities that may help resolve the problems facing this community should never be a mistake. Perhaps Ms. Funk is evil, perhaps she’s incompetent or perhaps she simply thought she was reviewing all possible opportunities for her community. In any case, I hope Joe never serves his community and finds the tables turned on him. My gut says he won’t. It’s easier to throw stones then to serve. Plus, Idon’t think he’d risk someone like himself attempting to destroy his reputation.

  • lala

    Most people are clueless; when a person or corporation petitions for a variance the board has to see it through unless of course they want to get sued. people need to be a little more involved in small villages if they want to be informed whats going on. the meetings usually have maybe one maybe two residents attend. I am curious how many will step up to the plate in the next election.