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Old 02-17-2008, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Liberty, IL (moving to Shelbyville, IL)
64 posts, read 257,126 times
Reputation: 36
Exclamation Barry is planning a growth campaign. Do NOT move there!

A few weeks ago, I was given a survey by the City of Barry about what amenities people want in the town, how the City can attract residents, etc. Many of the amenities they asked people if they wanted, such as "a college", are typically found only in towns of 10,000 or more. However, Barry only has a population of 1,310. My worst fears were confirmed: Barry is indeed planning a growth campaign to attract 9,000 more residents. To top that all off, they've already posted an advertisement on YouTube talking about its "extremely low crime rate, excellent school system, and high quality of life". While the latter of the three statements is fairly subjective, I can assure you that the other two statements are complete, utter lies.

Despite having a measly crime index of 70 on this site, violence in the town (beatings, aggravated assaults, etc.) has skyrocketed since the last time they did the statistics. Kids from Pittsfield (a neighboring town of about 5,000) have been coming to Barry to beat the living crap out of any Barry kid they can find. Ironically, fights also happen between Barry kids and other Barry kids all the time. Since the assaults are random a lot of the time, it seems like the assailants are beating people up just to be "cool". It's a very violent town. There was even a fight in the western part of Lafayette Park when the Apple Festival was there last October. Did anyone on these forums who went to the Apple Festival witness the fight? I sure did. The worst part about it is that no one usually gets arrested for the fights. All in all, I would say that no less than 10 people were beat up last year. That's 763.4 aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents -- over twice the national average of 287. I didn't mention the crime spree in Barry that actually made the local news. These two kids were burglarizing many houses and businesses in Barry for the purpose of supporting their drug habits, and they even set three trucks on fire.

The school system in Barry is abysmal, and the test scores prove it. Barry High School was rated a 3 out of 10 by GreatSchools.net, which rates schools based on standardized test scores. Test scores for math are over 20% below the state average, and reading scores aren't much better. The school that Barry consolidated with last summer, West Pike High School, only rated a 5 out of 10 on GreatSchools and didn't have much better test scores than Barry. The poor teaching quality of the teachers makes it impossible for a regular student to achieve decent grades, even when they ask teachers for help. The textbooks are also very poor-quality, further aggravating matters.

Bullying and underage alcohol/tobacco use are huge problems in Barry. I remember someone telling me that the Illinois State Police rated Barry as the worst town in Illinois for underage drinking and smoking. I don't know if that's true, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. It seems like more than half of the students in Barry either smoke or drink. But the police barely ever give out tickets to these underage drinkers/smokers or even the people that supply them.

All in all, I advise everyone to see through the City of Barry's utter lies and not move to this town. Given all of these facts, why would 9,000 more people want to move here? It's unsafe, the schools are terrible, and more than half of the students smoke or drink. Unless you're masochistic, stay away from Barry at all possible costs!
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:45 AM
 
44 posts, read 151,174 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks for the info Clint. I checked out the report cards on isbe.net and you were right. They are definitely all over the board with reading and math scores. The elementary school doesn't seem so bad until you get to the middle and high school scores. It's surprising to see those kinds of scores when the class sizes are so small. I think that the town will need to work hard on getting the school district up to par and curbing the youth violence before they worry about adding other amenities.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,481 posts, read 8,653,199 times
Reputation: 786
This is why many children in Barry go to the Quincy Public Schools
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Liberty, IL (moving to Shelbyville, IL)
64 posts, read 257,126 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessiegirl_98 View Post
This is why many children in Barry go to the Quincy Public Schools
Well, test scores in Quincy aren't that great either. Plus, the high school there has huge problems with illegal drugs...at least that's what I've heard.

I didn't even think that it was legal to go to a school in a different district than the one you live in...I thought you could get expelled from school if you did that.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,481 posts, read 8,653,199 times
Reputation: 786
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint_Noname View Post
Well, test scores in Quincy aren't that great either. Plus, the high school there has huge problems with illegal drugs...at least that's what I've heard.

I didn't even think that it was legal to go to a school in a different district than the one you live in...I thought you could get expelled from school if you did that.

Quincy High School does pretty well. QHS also doesn't have any more drug problems than any other school.

You can go in a different district, as long as you make proper arrangements. You have a pay an out of district fee.
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Liberty, IL (moving to Shelbyville, IL)
64 posts, read 257,126 times
Reputation: 36
Some news. In the Barry newspaper, they recently announced that the City Administrator has taken classes on economic growth.

This growth campaign will be miserable not only for citizens of the current City of Barry, but also for the people who choose to move there. Citizens of the current City will be angered at the loss of their rural lifestyle, while the cost of housing and crime (both youth and adult alike, even per-capita) will rise significantly. For both current and future citizens, either wages are going to go down or unemployment is going to go up, unless the City actually does something to attract high-paying employers into the area (which, given the town's current condition, I seriously doubt is going to happen).
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:45 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,385 times
Reputation: 17
Default Growth Campaign? Get Real!

As a longtime Barry resident, I must say that I do not agree with this post. The recent survey that Clint mentions in his post states that he received the survey. The survey was only intended to go to Barry residents. Why would someone from Liberty (20 miles away) get a survey about Barry. There were two versions of the survey: an adult survey and a youth survey. The survey this person is referencing is the youth survey, as this survey was designed by someone in the high school for as part of a class project. The response "college" on the survey is defenitley something that we all know could not happen. However, it does not hurt to ask the students. Barry is not recruting a college. That is not even sensible.

Barry is not conducting a growth campaign. There is no such thing as a growth campaign. If there was one more people would conduct one. The purpose of the survey, was to poll the residents on what kind of improvements the community would like to see. In any community improvement planning effort, this is an integral step in solving any problem. As Clint suggests, Barry seems to have several problems. However, I can assure you that Barry is looking for ways to improve their community, not to grow their population by 9,000 people.

In the last year, Barry's law enforcement is much stricter, and the recent consolidation is doing nothing but improving the school system. In addition, the community is working to improve its community facilities and services.

Barry is not like the picture Clint has painted, and it is not planning a growth campaign. It is merely trying to improve the overall health of the community. I think I would beleive a long time resident, rather than someone who seems to move around a lot (refernce Clint's various posts and the areas he has posted about). Barry is not as bad as it seems. Some people are just bitter and like to bring others down.
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Liberty, IL (moving to Shelbyville, IL)
64 posts, read 257,126 times
Reputation: 36
Default They're doing a "growth campaign" of some sort...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Resident View Post
As a longtime Barry resident, I must say that I do not agree with this post. The recent survey that Clint mentions in his post states that he received the survey. The survey was only intended to go to Barry residents. Why would someone from Liberty (20 miles away) get a survey about Barry. There were two versions of the survey: an adult survey and a youth survey. The survey this person is referencing is the youth survey, as this survey was designed by someone in the high school for as part of a class project.
Teachers at Western High School also get the "youth" survey...

Quote:
The response "college" on the survey is defenitley something that we all know could not happen. However, it does not hurt to ask the students. Barry is not recruting a college. That is not even sensible.
I still don't understand why they'd be asking if people want a college there. That has to be somewhere on their agenda when the population does reach 10,000...

Quote:
Barry is not conducting a growth campaign. There is no such thing as a growth campaign. If there was one more people would conduct one. The purpose of the survey, was to poll the residents on what kind of improvements the community would like to see. In any community improvement planning effort, this is an integral step in solving any problem. As Clint suggests, Barry seems to have several problems. However, I can assure you that Barry is looking for ways to improve their community, not to grow their population by 9,000 people.
If you really think there's no growth campaign, you should check out the "advertisement" on YouTube that tries to convince people about why Barry is so great. Please don't tell me that they're not at least trying to attract residents. Also, why is Innoventor (a team of 50 engineers from St. Louis) starting new offices in Barry (as announced in The Paper last week)? That's definitely going to attract at least some residents to Barry as well as surrounding towns (Hull, New Canton, Kinderhook, El Dara, etc.)

Quote:
In the last year, Barry's law enforcement is much stricter, and the recent consolidation is doing nothing but improving the school system. In addition, the community is working to improve its community facilities and services.
Apparently, if you know about the "youth" survey, you must have kids. Have they told you about all of the people that have been beat up at Western High School lately? I counted the number of beatings since the beginning of this calendar year, and on average, there's usually somebody getting beaten up each week. Sure, Barry has beefed up their law enforcement (the Pike County Sheriff's Department now patrols the city), but they're not doing much to prevent these assaults...especially when the people committing them are under 18. Some students have told me that you don't get arrested for assault in Barry unless you're 18 or older...and that seems to make sense. I remember when people were getting beat up at the Phillips 66 station, and the only people that got arrested for it were 18 or older. This is totally unacceptable because anyone who's at least 13 should know much better than to violently attack other people, and anyone regardless of age should be punished severely in some way for it. And, being a teacher at the school, I know how bad the textbooks are. Most of them are the exact same textbooks that West Pike and Barry used before the consolidation.

Quote:
Barry is not like the picture Clint has painted, and it is not planning a growth campaign. It is merely trying to improve the overall health of the community. I think I would beleive a long time resident, rather than someone who seems to move around a lot (refernce Clint's various posts and the areas he has posted about). Barry is not as bad as it seems. Some people are just bitter and like to bring others down.
I really hate to be negative. But sometimes, when the place you live (or more accurately, work) is this terrible, there's just no other way to explain it.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:17 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,319 times
Reputation: 16
Default Untrue......

As a citizen of Barry, IL, I am appalled at the gross misrepresentations Clint_Noname has given of our community.

I am unsure of the reason for the tirade and bitterness but writing false information without following up does concern me, even though there is much need for the freedom of speech.

First of all, I am a young and highly educated citizen. I do verify that there are problems with the city of Barry. However, there are also problems with every community, village, or city. Also, I do know the great lengths that people in our town go through to ensure that our community has a healthy and thriving economy that can support a school district. Right now, many residents commute to work. Wouldn't it be great if residents could work in the town that they live and not have to pay $3.61 for gasoline.

Living in rural Illinois is a great. However, more metropolitan communities are leaving us in the dust. They can offer more money for jobs, more housing, and more entertainment. The city of Barry is concerned, like most other communities in poor Pike County, that they need to make jobs available, that affordable housing exists, and that neccessary amenities are accessible. In order to do this some changes do need to be made. Minor improvements if you will. A growth campaign is not a likely story and a survey is just that, a survey. It helps the city get input from concerned citizen's much like myself and you. The city of Barry and many of its residents do take the comments that people make, even yours, and ponder them and try to improve the quality of life and attitude of Barry. Many cities are always trying to improve; streets, parks, lighting, water and sewer, etc. If a city was not looking to improve then I would be concerned. If you stand still while everyone else moves forward, then it is all for not.

For the YouTube advertisements, I did my homework. I searched on YouTube for the advertisement and could not find it. When I inquired with the city, I was told that a Video Graphics design company was given a grant to develop and provide rurual communities with informational videos to promote their hometown via their website. I was also told, that the town of Pittsfield, has one on their website. This video was also shot in 2004. As you can see, the video was not sought on the city's part, but it actually came looking for them. Barry was not going to pass on the offer and took advantage as would most municipalities.

As for your rant on the school. I see that you are a teacher. I am wondering how you are not knowledgable on the income issue ALL rural schools face. There is not one, NOT ONE, rural school that does not have to worry about next years operating buget, who will get new books, who will not, who will be RIFed (Reduction in Force), etc.

Perhaps, you have not seen the newspapers recently where about 55 teachers have been let go from Quincy Public Schools. Also, they will be letting go another 50 support personnel. In the history of the Quincy Public Schools they have done this numerous times. Every five years or so they let a bunch of teachers go because they have over spent. This is coming from a school in a community of about 40,000! And think of the all the revenue and taxes they are pulling in from the community and local businesses. Barry is no where near that capacity and it is no wonder that is hard for the school to operate. Again, another reason why community betterment is needed in the all small town of Barry.

I know that it is hard to teach kids with old textbooks and that test scores are low. Unfortunatley, with No Child Left Behind, this may get worse and we may get less money.
However, I know first hand about text books. Across the river in one of the more healthy school districts- kids SHARE a classroom textbook. They only have enough for one set.

As for the crime rate. Last spring, there was a brief crime spree by some young kids. This is no lie. After this happened, a contract with the Pike County Sheriff's Department was established. Sure, there are incidents but I am willing to bet that there are no brutal beatings, rapes, aggravated assault. etc. Wait until you get to the booming metropolis of El Paso. Wonder what the crime rate is there? The Sheriff's Department is out in force and making arrests. I was pulled over not too long ago for a tail light that was out.

Also, I am aware of the fight between the Western kids and Pittsfield kids. It is no doubt that there are some kids who smoke and drink. I think this does not bear on the community itself, or it's non existent GROWTH CAMPAIGN that is falsey named by Clint_Noname, but bears more on the parents and the generation. We live in a time when parents want to be friends and do not hold their children accountable This is not only happening in Barry, but in youth the world over.
Where are the parents when the kids are out late, past curfew, up to no good?
Where are the parents when the kids are smoking and drinking?
Where are the parents when there is a fight at the Apple Festival?

I can say with some certainty that your school personnel, other city residents, city council, and maybe even the mayor would disagree with your points. If you have grave concerns, as your first post indicated "if you are a masochist" then I would suggest going to the people with the answers, as I have.

As for the "beatings" you speak of. I only know of two "fights" not beatings, and I have relatives in the school district. These things happen everywhere and I bet that they have happened in your town as well. Liberty has had quite a lot of bomb threats as well (I know someone else in that school district). Does this make this community bad as well? No, it is just a sign of the times.

I do live in this small community and there are some things I would change. However, I feel like I can walk out my door on an errand and leave it unlocked. I feel like I can let my future kids play in the yard and that I can take a walk on a summer night without anyone ever bothering me. People have mowed my yard for me when I had a family illness. Others have picked up my mail or brought me treats. I enjoy my neighbors and am happy to be living in a place where everyone knows my name. I am positive that there are some bad apples out there that can ruin it for other people- but having a positive attitude and looking for ways to improve is the only way. Perpetually having a cloudy outlook can make one feel despair and look for things that don't suit them- no matter WHERE they live.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:04 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,406 times
Reputation: 11
WOW! I live in Barry as well. I have not been there all of my life but 15 years gives me a little background to voice my opinion. The local school is a travesty. The school board is comprised of several that do not have any clue on how to "run" a school at all. Most of them are only involved to promote their own ideas. The board continues to operate while not considering any actual thought toward improving education as a whole. The most important subject is band uniforms or which school board member has an axe to grind with which teacher. It is interesting that one of our principals was accused of a crime in his last post, but seemed to be the "best man" for the job.
Our superintendant is only"part-time". Evidently the board doesnt think there is enough issues to have a full time position. The city of barry is much the same
the only improvements they have had in the last few years is getting rid of the crooked city administrator. The mayors wife has done a very good job of running the city into the ground. It is to bad that he chose to retire back here, we would have done much better with someone that actually has lived here and has an interest in the future of the citizens. I moved to barry in order to have a small town life style.
If you are leaving your house unlocked, it wont last long. Our taxes are doubling each year and we are not getting much back in return. If everyone looks at each issue and develops a smoothed over malaise that doesnt encourage change or an interest in doing things the democratic way then each of us in barry are in trouble. I could obviously stick my head in the sand like concerned citizen and think that just because is good enough but I was not raised to bend over for anyone that has a title or believe everything i read in the "western Express"
I also am a young highly educated citizen of barry. obviously concerned citizen hasnt left his house lately.
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