While we would like to see a strong leader with a fresh perspective step forward and run for village president, it's hard to argue with Frank Paris' record and his clear vision. And that's why we're endorsing him for yet another four year term.
Paris has been a strong force who has significantly contributed to positive changes in the village, ranging from the Town Center developments on Lake Street to improvements in street and sewer infrastructure.
He's been telling Oak Park officials they've got it wrong for years: he supports keeping density in River Forest at an absolute minimum (more people means more street repairs, he notes). And whether you agree with him or not, he certainly has a real vision for River Forest, much more so than this year's Oak Park candidates have for their village.
We support more economic development efforts on Madison Street, and would hope that he would not just consider commercial projects, but also mixed-use.
While some have accused him of being arrogant and forcing his agenda on the board, we don't necessarily agree. Paris just seems to have an incredibly uncanny ability to convince people he's right. You could call it a sort of political Aikido.
It is clear, however, that though Paris is not totally calling the shots, he is dominating what gets on the agenda. On that note, and because we assume this to be the fourth and final Paris term, we want like to see trustees on this board offer bolder leadership of their own.
? Dale Rider has made a great contribution to River Forest over decades of board service. His impulse to oppose Frank Paris is the right one. A competitive race is always for the good. However, we feel his platform is based too much on Paris bashing, and we would have liked to have heard more creative ideas from him. While we understand his position that Paris is not ceding enough power to the village manager, we also always support elected leadership taking the initiative to step up and take a strong role. Thanks to Dale Rider for coming forward, but Paris is still currently the best candidate to lead.