Huntley Village Board of Directors renames part of Kreutzer Road rather than family and residents’ opposition
Despite opposition from the Kreutzer family and a petition signed by more than 200 residents, Huntley Village Council voted Thursday to rename Kreutzer Road, west of Route 47, to Charles H. Sass Parkway.
The name change was intended to recognize Sass’ 20 years as mayor of the village after Sass lost his candidacy for re-election in April to then-administrator Timothy Hoeft. The eastern part of the road will remain Kreutzer.
When Linda Byrne, a family member whose maiden name is Kreutzer, learned on Tuesday that the village was considering renaming part of the road, she said it made her sick.
“It’s a complete shock,” she told the Northwest Herald ahead of Thursday’s board meeting.
The Kreutzer family first settled in Huntley in 1868, and Linda and her husband, Bill Byrne, said they have been steadfast members of the community ever since. Members of the Kreutzer family were founding members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and Kreutzer Farm continues to be a working farm, inhabited by family members.
A member of the Kreutzer family, Paul, became vice chairman of Huntley State Bank and provided personal loans to residents of the community during the Great Depression, Byrne said.
Frances Kreutzer, Linda Byrne’s mother, was also well known in the village, in the church and for her pastry skills.
“My wife’s family have the deepest loyalty I have ever seen in anyone,” said Bill Byrne.
The Kreutzer family said they had no problem naming something after Sass, saying he deserved the honor. However, they wished the village had found a different street or road.
Village officials and administrators said the intention behind the renaming of the road was never to insult the Kreutzers, but rather to honor Sass, whom they called a contributor to the construction of this part of the road.
Only trustee Ronda Goldman voted no.
The west side of the road, which is the part being renamed, was built in the 2000s. The road extension cost around $ 6.5 million, village manager Dave Johnson said.
“(Sass) has spent a considerable amount of time working to find funding for the road,” Johnson said. “The mayor has worked hard to get dollars from outside the community to offset these costs.”
“It was never about upsetting the family,” Johnson said.
Members of the Kreutzer family said they had not been notified in advance of the name change. Bill Byrne said a friend texted him about it Tuesday night when he saw the meeting agenda.
Looking back, Johnson said, it would have been a good idea to notify family members earlier.
A petition to keep the western end of the Kreutzer Road name unchanged began this week. He collected over 200 signatures in less than 38 hours.
Besides what they said, the historic consequences of the route change also angered some residents, with signs dubbing the Charles H. Sass Parkway section being put up even before administrators officially approved the route. name change.
“Government officials discuss things, they discuss them, examine them and then vote on them,” said Donna Britton, chairman of the Huntley Historic Preservation Commission. “Only this has already been implemented, and now it will be discussed. It is as if they are putting the cart before the horse.”
Johnson said that would not happen again. Signs were placed “out of order,” he said after the meeting, because the village had tried to keep the name change as a surprise to Sass.
“The idea was that we were going to move forward with this,” Johnson said. “I will maintain our record by being extremely transparent. … I will tell you that this has never been a problem with the village, and I do not expect it to progress.”
Goldman, who said she knew Frances Kreutzer, said she originally came to the meeting with her decision made, but after hearing the family’s public comments, she was ambivalent.
“Part of me would like to think about delaying it and discuss it internally, and the other part of me is ready to accompany my fellow directors,” she said.
Johnson said no address, other than one of the village facilities, is located along this part of the road.
Despite the Kreutzer family’s disappointment with the way the village board and officials handled the name change, Linda Byrne said they were pleased with the support they received from the community in her together, who signed the petition and contacted them.