Letter To The Editor:

This in reply to a letter written by Village Administrator - Bob Coles -

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Numerous people/ citizens have reached out, called/commented in support of this Facebook page and therefore a response is warranted.

In December of 2020, 2 childhood friends came together with a plan to create unity in the community of South Roxana. At that time the Village had little to no events. These two friends planned and prevailed over the last 3 years with numerous events. All events created by these two friends were not city-affiliated due to the lack of the Village involvement. These events were not to publicly validate these friends as they wanted to fly under the radar because the reason for these events was strictly due to the love of their community of South Roxana. The first event was a Easter Egg hunt in Spring of 2021. The next event was over July 4th of 2021 and a safe and fun event was created for not just our community but surrounding communities. This event had over 1000 people in attendance and much needed right after COVID. That specific event has grown and created fun for all during the 4th of July.

These 2 individuals had numerous meetings with village officials to create a cohesive relationship. During these meetings, the Facebook page has been discussed At every meeting, multiple times.

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The purpose of creating the South Roxana Neighbor Page (which is open to only those in South Roxana) is to build community engagement. The creation of this page like many others is for community information, neighbors asking questions, packages being delivered at the wrong home, animals missing or found, etc. This is not uncommon in towns, cities and other villages. There are also apps similar to this Facebook page like the next door app.

The fault that the Village states for facilitating disinformation is simply due to no transparency on the village's part. The Village is not transparent. There is no website. The bills, minutes, agenda, etcetera is not visible unless you FOIA this information and at times these are even denied. Surrounding communities seem to be transparent by showing these on their publicly-run websites and Facebook pages. The Village created a Facebook page in October of 2022. However, it is censored because no one is allowed to comment on any of the posts. The Facebook page in question by the Village Administrator is due to the fact questioning in this town is not allowed. In fact, some of the commenters on the South Roxana Neighbor Page Facebook posts have had visits at their home and threatening messages because of those individuals utilizing their freedom of speech.

In closing, we would like to challenge the media and citizens to request documents and audio from these board meetings as well as attending meetings yourself so that in the end the truth will be accounted for.

Sincerely,

South Roxana Neighbor Page Administrators

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