River Forest President

Election guide 2005

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By WEDNESDAY JOURNAL STAFF


Frank Paris

Background: 65, president, Oak Brook Bank

Priorities: The three-term incumbent is seeking a fourth, which he insists will be his last. Paris believes the village president should set the agenda, then let the board consider matters before it, and is unapologetic for forcefully arguing his policy positions. He says that board members are always free to bring initiatives to the table.

Paris touts economic development over his tenure?#34;particularly Town Centers I and II?#34;which he said has benefited the village in numerous ways. "Substantial" current municipal fund balances, he said, are "as good as it's ever been," a state of affairs he attributes primarily to increase in property values and the tax revenue from the Town Centers.

He pledges to continue cooperative projects with neighboring municipalities to improve North Avenue and proposed improvements along Madison Street.

Paris points to high profile civic improvements such as the new village hall, Priory Park and the Lake Street Corridor, as well as "low profile" projects like the rebuilding of the sewer system and bringing paramedic service to the village.

Quote: "There's a clear difference between the two of us. Dale [Rider] feels the presidency is a ceremonial role. I feel it's a working role."

Dale Rider

Background: 71, retired stockbroker

Priorities: Concluding his fifth term in a career as village trustee that spans 18 years, Rider says it's time to change both the elected manager and the management style in village government.

A vocal opponent of current President Frank Paris, Rider has criticized both the specifics and the length of Paris's service, saying that "three terms as president is more than enough for any one person." Expressing concern that "one individual is making plans for the rest of the village." Rider has characterized Paris as someone who has dictated the board's agenda instead of limiting himself to convening and moderating board meetings.

Rider has called for greater citizen input on issues, and has invited residents to volunteer for various village boards and commissions.

Rider questions the economic benefit to the village of the various developments for which Paris takes credit. He also contends that the fire and police pensions are under-funded.

"We're not putting money into the fund as we should," he said. "We're creating a problem for the future."

QUOTE: "I will be a guiding force, not the determining force. I won't force my will on other trustees. I want trustees to make up their own minds and vote their consciences." 

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