Path Forward for Village of Delta Questioned at Council Meeting
During the Public Comments portion of the March 15th Delta Village Council meeting, Delta resident Kyle Comers addressed the members, giving his opinion on his preferred direction of the Village and how it differed from the Council’s. Mr. Comers was one of three candidates interviewed for the recent vacant Council seat that was eventually given to Art Thomas. He explained he was there to better express his views on the future of Delta than he was able to do during the interview process.
“I just want to give a statement of my views of the path forward for the Village or how I would like to see the Village run. I understand it’s different on how the Council sees it, said Mr. Comer. “I just feel the purpose of municipal government, especially a small village like ours, is to provide very general services and public safety. Actively pursuing a policy of population growth and trying to get people to come here, I just don’t see that as a requirement of small municipal government. I look at villages like Fayette, Lyons and Metamora that manage to stay small and grow and aren’t doing what we’re doing.”
Mr. Comers did admit he was unaware of the policies of those other local governments or what their respective visions were for their future, but he did say he was essentially counting on Delta to remain small when he moved there. He also said that an increased tax base gained from an increased population would not be enough to maintain an already stressed infrastructure, especially when some of the population growth is fueled by tax abatements.
Also questioned by Mr. Comer was the Council’s perceived direction the citizens of Delta wanted to go versus his perceived belief of the direction Village residents want to be taken. As an example, he brought up the plan for a municipal electric company the Council had placed on the ballot several years ago that was “soundly defeated” by the voters. “I have a sense the people are not 100% on board with what’s going on,” said Mr. Comer and further stated that the Council had chosen someone, in Mr. Thomas, who they knew was on board with their agenda to fill the vacant seat just to protect their agenda. There was no response to Mr. Comers other than to thank him for his comments.
In other news, Village Administrator Brad Peebles related some details of a recent Zoom meeting conducted with the District liaison from Senator Sherrod Brown’s office regarding the Biden Administration’s Recover America program. The program includes funding for USDA projects which allows the Village to proceed again with applying for the Grant/Loan program to assist with the reconstruction of Fernwood Street from Wood Street to Taylor Street
Another benefit of President Biden’s program is the likelihood of a stimulus payment to the Village without stipulation. The initial draft of payments based upon census population indicate Delta may receive as much as $610,000. There was no established time frame for these payments and it was clear this could change before actually taking place.
Pictured: Kyle Comers addresses Council on Delta’s future direction.