I have heard Kevin Hanley speak on a number of occasions. He appears to be an intelligent, well-meaning, educated young man. Therefore, I was dismayed when he announced his last-minute withdrawal from the race for River Forest Board of Trustees.
However, the reason he gave for his withdrawal left me speechless. According to his email, he was withdrawing because a political opponent told him a lie which he said, "almost cost me a close and personal friendship in the village." One can't help wondering how Mr. Hanley would have reacted if he had been elected to the board and was lied to concerning an important vote on a controversial issue. Would he have taken his marbles and gone home?
River Forest faces a number of challenges. These challenges will require solutions that will undoubtedly be hotly debated. It is inevitable that during these debates people will say things they may later regret. A mature office holder does not take these remarks personally. It is my hope that this withdrawal is simply an act of political immaturity and nothing more.
However, it has been suggested that this may be a tactic used in Chicago ward politics in which you sacrifice one of your candidates for lower office to besmirch the reputation of one of your opponents for higher office. I certainly hope that is not the case.
River Forest voters are educated and intelligent and able to understand and analyze difficult issues. We deserve to be informed about the challenges facing RF, and how each candidate would resolve them. We should not be insulted by being exposed to the theater of personal assassination.
We voters deserve better than that.