Election Day countdown begins for Oak Park and River Forest

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

In about 150 hours, Oak Park and River Forest residents will know the name of their next village president.

And though municipal elections produce historically low turnouts, this year's campaign season debates may boost the numbers as the candidates in both towns have stood firm by their different leadership styles and approaches in tackling village issues.

Outside of the village president races, Oak Park will be welcoming a new trustee to the board in that uncontested race and River Forest will have three new trustees. One trustee candidate in River Forest, Kevin Hanley, will be on the ballot but recently vowed to drop out if elected due to a conflict with presidential candidate Cathy Adduci.

The Oak Park Public Library has the potential to gain one or two new people and the park districts will also add some new faces to its board. The District 97 school board is uncontested but District 200 (Oak Park and River Forest High School) has more than a baker's dozen candidates in the running. River Forest School District 90 has four people vying for three spots.

Indeed, campaign season is in full swing and will come to end in just six days. Read more of Wednesday Journal's coverage of the candidates at OakPark.com/elections.

Contact:
Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

22 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 2:12 PM

I would like to hear Gail Moran detail the benefits of one party rule and how the public's interests are served when a powerful political machine dominates our democratic process. Are politics in Oak Park really all that different from Chicago, Cicero or any other community where the ruling party cannot be effectively challenged by independent voices?

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 12:51 PM

Dictatorship? I really don't think such a label is accurate--or fair. The messaging that the Hedges campaign is assigning to Anan--dictator, mayor, one-man shop--says more about Hedges than it does about Anan.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 11:37 AM

Interesting point, Wil. I don't think that the VMA has a problem with members running as independents.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 11:34 AM

I contacted the VMA last September about attending the selection meeting and was told I would have to pay $10 at the door, but the $10 would be part of the membership fee. The info came from a board member.

Wil  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 11:32 AM

The irony is that Anan might be a member of the VMA!

Bob Kane from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 11:20 AM

Gail, Save your energy and simply remind people, as I am doing now, that the VMA process of candidate selection is open to every Oak Park citizen who wishes to attend. You will be required to provide a real name and attend the meetings however.

@Gail Moran 3  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 10:48 AM

Gail, you are just silly. Let's recap the Hedges/VMIdiot positions. Vote for Hedges because he is a VMA guy. We don't have any problems, do there's no need for a change. Be a "realist" and accept that improvement is not an attainable goal. As a VMA cling-on, Gail, your message is flawed and the VMA continues to suggest that voters should close their eyes and shut their mouths. You have no respect for voters and Mr. Hedges does not earn my vote.

Nancy  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 9:24 AM

I expect both AAT and the VMA to solve all the problems! Sooner rather then later. VOTE

Sick of It from OP  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 7:20 AM

I have no need for Anan to "solve all of OP's problems." He just needs to listen and bring a fresh voice and fresh thought process to the Village. It is badly needed as decades of VMA leadership have caused at least as many problems as they've solved. (And all of you VMA insiders can stop patting each other on the back while ignoring the needs of real people, forcing us to pay astronomical taxes, and executing a vision that makes little sense and hasn't worked.) VOTE ANAN.

@Gail Moran 2  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 6:38 AM

I agree with the other post. No one is expecting Anan to solve all our problems. We just like the idea of someone with new ideas and a willingness to include the taxpayers of Oak Park in the discussion and process. VMA does not do that. Mr. Hedges is a nice man who has been wiling to serve here in Oak Park. That's admirable but I think it's time for change. Another household for Anan.

@Gail Moran  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 6:15 AM

as a vma insider you should know best that your vma party has only done things to make all that you note in your post worse and more expensive in Oak Park. My household is voting for Anan.

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 4th, 2013 12:37 AM

If someone thinks that AAT can solve all of OP's parking problems, property tax problems, and all other problems, then they should vote for him. But all the realists out there know that there are no miracle workers. Democracy is messy - and we have democracy in Oak Park - not dictatorship.

Mimi Jordan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 2:23 PM

@DanHaley, thank you for clarifying. I did not see it online, and have to wait til after work to see the print version.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 1:45 PM

Dear Ms. Jordan, Wednesday Journal did not refuse to print your letter. It is in print today. Page 32. Part of a remarkable 12-page spread of letters and rebuttals covering all aspects of the local election next Tuesday. For 33 years, the Journal has prided itself on running a vast number of reader letters. That continues today. Thanks for writing.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 11:48 AM

PART ONE: In the past, I have never paid attention to local elections. But for this election, I have. And for the OP Village President race, I have, for both candidates, read all their campaign literature, visited both of their websites, frequently visited both of their Facebook pages, read what THEY wrote/said in the WJ, attended two live forums, watched both of them in their working environments, researched the actual financial state of Oak Park and researched the history of how this...(cont)

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 11:48 AM

PART TWO: ...(cont.) town has been run in our recent past. I have observed, using my eyes, my ears, my intellect and my intuition. I really hope others do the same, and cast an INFORMED vote on Tuesday.

Mimi Jordan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 10:28 AM

conclusion: I am a 13-year resident of Oak Park. I am grateful to Mr. Hedges and all the other trustees who do this thankless job. But we need fresh eyes overseeing our hard-earned taxpayer dollars, and fresh ideas for recruiting business and economic development that will pay their fair share of taxes alongside of us residents. I believe Anan Abu-Taleb will be those fresh eyes and help nurture those fresh ideas.

Mimi Jordan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 10:26 AM

cont.: In debates, Abu-Taleb had a clear grasp of the current lack of transparency and accountability that the village owes to its taxpayers. He also had good ideas for removing road blocks to economic development. For example, he noted that those seeking to do business in OP need decisions to be made more quickly?"and with fewer meetings?"than they currently face. In contrast, John Hedges said, "This is Oak Park ?" it's just not a nimble community" (??!!)

Mimi Jordan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 10:22 AM

Here is my letter WJ would not print: OP voters can rest assured that Anan Abu-Taleb will represent them well as Village President. For too long, the entrenched village leadership has trotted out the same failed solutions to the problem of stagnant development in Oak Park. We taxpayers cannot afford yet another parking garage giveaway to yet another developer; more lots owned by the village and off the tax rolls;and millions more in GO bond debt payable out of all of our pockets.

Adam Wallace from Oak Park  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 11:14 PM

Remember to go vote this Tuesday. In a small race like Oak Park's, every vote really does matter. If your upset with Village government, with parking policies, with high taxes; this is your one chance for the next 4 years to make a difference and be heard. On Tuesday, Go Punch Number 12. And Vote Anan Abu-Taleb for Oak Park Village President. We need a change. We need an independent on the board. We need a break from the status quo. We need new ideas and leadership! Go vote Anan on Tues!

Prediction 2  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 10:18 PM

CMA will win in RF!

Prediction  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 10:06 PM

A A T will WIN!

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