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River Forest Village President John Rigas recently gave his State of the Village report. Two of the issues raised are of extreme importance to the Pride in River Forest (PRF) team.
First, President Rigas explained how efficient and transparent the village has become over the past four years with the cooperation of the current village management team. This is an important issue we vow to continue if elected. Last week, trustee candidate Tom Cargie sent a widely distributed email alleging the village has been less than transparent and insular, citing the approval process of the village's red light cameras.
The eventual 4-1 passage, with Trustee Cathy Adduci recusing herself due to a conflict with her husband's lobbying firm representing one of the bidders, was predicated by the recommendations of current Police Chief Gregory Weiss and the previous two police chiefs, a unanimous recommendation from the police committee, and discussions at no less than six village board meetings (minutes and audio files are located on the village's website). The entire process took 44 months.
If there was ever a question about whether red light cameras were for safety, the video that President Rigas showed during his presentation of the two pedestrians getting hit at two locations where the cameras have been installed should allow our opposition to realize that they should start focusing on issues going forward instead of looking backward.
Second, President Rigas highlighted the challenges that lie ahead for the Village of River Forest, including a projected budget deficit in two short years. We are running together because we believe we are the most qualified candidates to confront these challenges. Tom Dwyer Jr. is an attorney and CPA and highly qualified to review budgets and make financial recommendations. I have worked in the financial services field for 16 years and I am currently chairman of the Old St. Patrick's Church Finance Council. I also serve on Trinity High School's Finance Council and chair the budget committee for St. Luke Parish. While the budgeting process going forward will be a challenge, I believe you could not ask for better candidates to address this concern.
Finally, to enhance the transparency and communication that the village has implemented, trustee candidate Lissa Druss Christman has been a communications professional for 24 years. She works for one of Chicago's premier communications firms and helps clients navigate through very tough challenges while always looking forward. Our village will face some of those same challenges that Lissa has managed.
While I can tell you how qualified we are, I encourage residents to use the Internet to research all the candidates.
The PRF individual skills, combined with presidential candidate Mike Gibbs' village trustee experience and business leadership, will provide our village with the team that is needed to navigate our future challenges.
I am proud to be part of this team and on behalf of this team, I ask for your vote.