Trustees come and go. Managers, too. But a village attorney with skill and institutional memory can enjoy a long career. That's what Ray Heise has done in Oak Park. The announcement last Friday that he is retiring after 27 years as attorney and 36 years with the village, was both inevitable and still oddly a shock.
Heise has many supporters and a few critics. Some of us have played both roles over the years. But a pending retirement broadens the view, and what we see is a dedicated attorney who has steered an ambitious village through the legal shoals of a progressive agenda. From the early years of the village's legendary efforts to foster racial integration via open housing, banning for-sale signs, and innovative housing programs to the gun-control initiatives of the 1990s and into the current decade, Ray Heise has shaped and led this remarkable village.
It is a proud legacy.