By Dan Haley
You ever make a mistake that doesn't want to get fixed? You put the patch on the bike tire here and the tire balloons out over there. You correct the typo in this headline but misspell the guy's name in the correction.
We had that problem last week here at the Journal. Blame it on the short week. Blame it on multiple computer files. Blame it on the publisher.
But I am here to tell you that, yes, Anan Abu-Taleb, the owner of Maya del Sol, is running for president of the Village of Oak Park. Not that you could tell from our initial Box o' Candidates over on OakPark.com. (And yes, we fixed our mistake just as soon as we discovered it.) Not that you could tell from last week's in-print Box o' Candidates which perversely didn't pick up the fix from the digital version.
Now before I screw this up in another direction, I should point out that there is this other fellow by the name of John Hedges who is also running for president. He is the candidate of the Village Manager Association.
Had several calls from readers asking about the absence of Anan's name from the list. Did he drop out? Fail to make the ballot? And if he is not running, then why was there that half-page campaign ad with the picture of his family oddly placed under the listing of all the candidates where his name was not to be found.
Most people, including Anan, were pretty understanding. They've probably made mistakes in their lives, too. One of the callers was a fellow active in local politics who I've known for years. I told him it was obvious that, as always, the Journal was in the bag for the VMA candidate. He got the joke. At least I think he knew I was kidding.
If it makes Anan and his campaign staff feel any better, we also left out the names of two of the five candidates for the Oak Park library board. It was a bad week for transcription around here. To get this right once and for all (God I hope) we are rerunning the Official Box o' Candidates today on page 8.
Now it was not a typo that there are 15 people running for the school board at Oak Park and River Forest High School. There are just three seats open. Remember, some years this is an uncontested race. By my memory, 15 would be an all-time-high number of candidates for the school board. But I ran into a former OPRF board member down at George's Restaurant who said there was an election in the 1990s in which there were a dozen candidates.
What provokes such an eruption of interest in civic duty? Well we don't know since several of the 15 we've never heard of before. We sent out a questionnaire on Wednesday to all the candidates in which we basically asked, "Who the heck are you and why do you want to be on the school board?" The responses are tumbling in and the good news is that all report they love their children and the high school. With several it is possible they are a tad frustrated over the $117 million in cash reserves the school is holding.
Contested elections are good. Especially when the local paper reports the names of those contesting them.