In response to recent social media posts regarding the Young Family Christmas Exhibition I felt it was important to share the Village’s perspective. The Village has repeatedly offered to work with the Youngs so they can present the display in a way that keeps everyone safe. The Village has never stopped the Youngs from presenting their display, and was ready to work with the Youngs if they chose to present the display again this year.
Just two years ago the Village spent $10,000 for a professional security firm to help manage traffic attracted by the display. We have even asked the Village staff to help control traffic during evening hours and on the weekends through the holiday season. And they have done so–sacrificing their own holiday time with their families. Trustees have also donated countless hours in this effort. These are not the actions of a Village that is trying to prevent anything, but rather one that has met its obligation to insure public safety while still allowing the Youngs to continue to present their display.
In recent years the Youngs display had grown so large that it was creating parking, traffic, and safety issues for the surrounding neighborhoods. For example:
- Traffic jams at times were so large that emergency vehicles and personnel would be prevented from responding to aid Village residents and visitors.
- Visitors trespassed on neighboring properties and stoops.
- Cars parked and drove up on lawns causing damage to sprinkler systems and yards.
- Children walked in the road in the dark and in the midst of the heavy traffic.
- Music and lights would sometimes be left on until midnight or later keeping kids awake on school nights.
- Traffic prevented neighbors from participating in their own activities.
- Structures and extension cords littered the yard all year long.
This display has extended beyond the holiday season, lasting from 10-14 weeks. The Village has been proactive in trying to allow the display while also addressing these community impacts. Unfortunately, the Youngs did not clean up their display by March 31 as required by their permit. Only after repeated warnings from the Village violations were issued in the first week of May. The Village offered to dismiss the violations several times through the summer and fall if the remaining materials were removed. Mr. Young did not do so. A trial was held and a fine imposed.
I sent this message to set the record straight and to describe the steps the Village has taken to work with the Youngs while protecting the community. Please stay safe and enjoy your holiday season!
Mayor Brian Herrington