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Village Staff Finds Experts on Board

Deerfield Village Board gives staff members valuable insight to craft composting ordinance.

When the members of the Village’s administrative team needed some expert advice to draft a composting ordinance, they had to look no further than Trustees Tom Jester and Mary Oppenheim.

Oppenheim and Jester gave those who had drafted the proposed law significant input at Monday’s meeting of the Village Board of Trustees so when the ordinance is put to a final vote it will cover good practices already in use.

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After hearing from Jester, Oppenheim and other Board members, Village Manager Kent Street promised to alter the proposal for the final reading of the new law next month.

As proposed, the ordinance limits homeowners to one composting bin per property or a pile no more than five feet by five feet by five feet. They must be located within three feet of a lot line and not on existing easements.

“We don’t allow it or disallow it,” Assistant to the Village Manager Jenny Maltas said after her presentation. “We want the ordinance so you can do it in your back yard.”

Once Maltas finished, it was time for Board members to ask questions. Oppenheim and Jester, two people who have been actively composting in their yards for years, were ready with suggestions.

“For 36 years I’ve been composting,” Jester said. “The best place is in the furthest corner of the yard. I have three Darth Vaders in my yard,” he added referring to the bins used.

Oppenheim fears the current proposal will not motivate the kind of sustainability the Village hopes to accomplish. “I’m afraid this will be limiting rather than encouraging,” she said. She was also unconcerned about easements. “They’ll move it and move it back. They always have,” she said of utility companies working in her yard.

Jester suggested an appeal process or exceptions for people who are already composting. Street then suggested his staff would develop more expansive requirements before the proposal returns to the Board for a vote.

In other business, the Board unanimously approved a subdivision on Meadow Lane dividing one large lot into two complying pieces of property.

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RB November 20, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Another ordinance because the board seems to have nothing to do other than come up with more rules to control us. Stop signs when consultants say not necessary, signage requirements that inhibit business, parkland development when the money could be saved, underpass construction on Deerfield road that took months and we gained something that needs to be painted every time we turn around and accomplished nothing. Tree ordinances, home FAR ordinances.....all this in the past few years. How did this Village possibly thrive for so many years without all these ordinances. Heck, they even passed an ordinance about backyard fireplaces recently. Enough!
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 21, 2012 at 06:53 AM
Steve, as elections approach, I'd really appreciate your help acting as an independent advocate for the community to try to dig a bit into some insight from the trustees up for election. I ask this with an attempt to try to put someone reasonable behind some hard, but fair questions for this group and about this group. Admittedly, they appear to be VERY lost on the important topics. But also admittedly, maybe I'm missing something as a relatively new resident. I keep thinking that I MUST be missing something because nothing important seems to be getting done and it seems like there's no progress and no goals. The candidates should be able to put their message out there, but I hope you'll also help us dig a little beyond these superficial meetings I watch online. What are the goals and what steps are being taken to achieve those goals in 2013 and beyond. How about a digital "town hall" where readers submit questions that you choose for the candidates? That's one way you can help us become more involved and make the trustees more accountable.
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 21, 2012 at 07:02 AM
BTW, for anybody who wants to take a few minutes, each of the candidates has answered questions from the Deerfield Village Caucus at http://deerfieldcaucus.org/2013-candidate-profiles. I've only read Rosenthal's answers. I was primarily interested in her answers about business. Nooooooot a whole lot of proactive goals. I'd like to see something more substantial than "very high on my agenda," "I remain in close touch," and " I am fully acquainted" but maybe that's just me.
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 21, 2012 at 07:17 AM
One more thing: I believe there is a new candidate running with "32 years of experience in the shopping center industry." Interesting. I don't know him or have any connection to him. Just interested in somebody with that type of background.

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