It was my intention to try to even up our coverage of Oak Park and River Forest's political seasons by writing this column about the exit and entrance of village board members Monday night in the village by the river. Unfortunately my plan to skip the early portion of the meeting, which, based on years of agenda watching, looked to be at least 45 minutes worth of governmenting, did not account for just how quiet and efficient River Forest officials had become.
Ray Johnson, the Oak Park village trustee who offered up the compromise that allowed Anan Abu-Taleb to be sworn in free and clear as village president on Monday evening, said afterward that he had spent a long weekend trying to sort out "why this is so hard" an issue to resolve.
Gov. Pat Quinn came to a packed Maya del Sol Sunday evening to sign the state law which could clear the way for the Oak Park village board to decide Monday night to sync the local liquor ordinance with the revised state law and open a path for Anan Abu-Taleb, village president-elect, to take office without controversy.
Sometimes there is a political problem and it needs a political solution. The current conflict related to Oak Park's liquor laws and incoming village president Anan Abu-Taleb's holding a liquor license is a political problem. Sure there are legal aspects and it bumps into ethical considerations. But those are relatively minor and easily resolved matters.
In the closing days of the election campaign for a new Oak Park village president, all the worst instincts of the Village Manager Association (VMA) came into view. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't fair. It wasn't effective.
It closed out in recent weeks as a contentious battle between two formerly collegial River Forest village trustees. But voters Tuesday chose Cathy Adduci as the next village president over Michael Gibbs by a decisive margin. Adduci tallied 64 percent of the vote to Gibbs' 36 percent.
For the past six weeks here at the Journal, we've been interviewing local candidates as we readied our endorsements for today's edition. Thanks to my colleagues for all the hours invested, to the candidates for taking part and to Alicia Plomin of our staff who coordinated all the scheduling.