By John Hubbuch
Today I wear the hat of an election scene investigator ("ESI") to see what can be learned following last week's election results. Before we get too carried away with discussion about an Oak Park River Forest Spring-type flowering of democracy, we should note that there was no contested election in District 97 and barely one in District 90 or the Oak Park Public Library Board. Pretty quiet on those fronts.
However, there was lots of noise in the race for Oak Park village president where restraunteur Anan Abu-Taleb beat VMA candidate John Hedges. Any time VMA loses it is a big deal. Very similiar to the Bulls beating the Miami Heat. Mr Abu-Taleb not only won , but won handily. One election does not a new order create, but my guess is that attractive candidates without much baggage and with some dough can mount effective challenges in the the future. Voters tired of VMA's historic reign would like to shake things up a bit from time to time, but in the past the alternatives have been poorly financed and organized with either a single issue or a grab bag of lots of different issues. Maybe the slate is not the future. Voters like the idea of the true independent. See Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
I will be very interested in watching Mr. Abu-Taleb presiding over village affairs especially since he has only one vote and VMA -endorsed candidates have six. Managing restaurant employees may not be the best preparation for managing a Board of experienced insiders. His learning curve will be interesting and hopefully highly entertaining.
Analysis of the District 200 election is easy. You don't have to be George Will to discern that if as an elected official you pursue expensive litigation against other tax-supported bodies , and pile up tens of millions of reserve dollars , and don't listen to public outrage you will get the electoral boot. Most of the District 200 incumbents didn't even bother to run leaving the brave Mr. Finnegan to bear the brunt of voter rejection. Next question: when do I get some more tax money back?
There was an encouraging note in the District 90 Board of Education election. Incumbent Roman Ebert was not slated by the usually omnipotent, always mysterious "caucus", but decided to run anyway thereby avoiding what would have been an uncontested election. And he won. Score one for individual initiative.
Finally, there was Ms. Adduci's big victory over Mr. Gibbs in the race for River Forest Village President. I would comment, but upon reflection as an Oak Parker I'm probably estopped from doing so. Reading the election coverage I concluded that River Forest is a whole different world of which I know nothing. Kind of like North Korea.