Reconstituted RF board moves forward

RF village board expresses thanks to Rider and Hosty, welcomes newly elected officials Nummer and Conti

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The River Forest village board said goodbye to two departing members and welcomed a new trustee and village clerk at its meeting Monday night. It also recognized the professionalism of 10 police officers in relation to a March 16 murder.

After outgoing village clerk Patrick J. Hosty swore in his successor, Susan Conti, Conti swore in President Frank Paris for a fourth term. Paris praised Hosty, saying he "changed the way the village clerk's role is perceived" with his willingness to add his comments to the board's dialogue on issues.

Hosty, in turn, thanked River Forest's residents for the opportunity to serve, and Paris in particular for his support over his 7 1/2-year tenure.

Rider, looking like a man not quite ready to leave, lingered with a series of comments reflecting on his total of 18 years' service as a trustee.

"I feel the village is in good hands, and I hope that this board continues to be able to do what's best for the village residents." Rider said.

Then, with the grin familiar to anyone who's watched him operate at village board meetings, Rider added, "I would hope your job is good enough that I don't have to return."

Nummer then took Rider's old seat between Al Swanson and Barbara Graham, joining fellow trustees Michael O'Connell, and newly re-elected trustees Patrick O'Brien and Nancy Dillon.

Nummer took the opportunity to tweak WEDNESDAY JOURNAL a bit for a caveat in its March 23 endorsement, which noted, "It is a bit odd to have a former fire chief seeking a seat [on the board]."

Nummer said wryly that he'd done some research, and found that six firemen had served on the River Forest Village board in the past.

"Two of them became village president," he said.

The new board voted unanimously to reappoint all village department heads, approved a public hearing on the $500,000 Limited Tax Bonds for the River Forest Public Library, and awarded a $103,873 contract for 2005 sewer repairs.

The board also approved revisions to the proposed "Friendly Streets" program discussed at the last Committee of the Whole meeting in April. A final vote on that program is expected by late spring.

Police Chief Nicholas Weiss issued departmental commendations to 10 officers in relation to the March 16 murder of Therese Pender and the subsequent investigation.

Deputy chiefs Dan Dhoogie and Kendra Sullivan were recognized for their various organizational and supervisory efforts during and after the incident. Patrol Officer Rick Rann was credited with spotting murder suspect James F. Pender on a nearby railroad embankment, and arresting Pender while he was still in possession of the alleged murder weapon.

Sgt. James O'Shea and four other officers?#34;Ofc. Michael Fries, Off. Brian Smithberg, Off. Troy Stinson and Off. Robert Warnock?#34;were instrumental in establishing a search perimeter and assisting in the Pender arrest, said Weiss.

"Your quick response and arrest of the offender removed a dangerous subject from the streets," he wrote of the six officers directly involved in Pender's apprehension.

Detectives Timothy Carroll and James Greenwood were credited with building the case against Pender and obtaining a reported confession.

Weiss also praised dispatchers at the West Suburban Consolidated Dispatch Center who had a call out to River Forest officers less than 30 seconds after receiving a phone report of a woman being beaten at Lake Street. Just six minutes and 17 seconds elapsed between that first radio dispatch and Pender's arrest, he said.

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