The only contested race in the April 5 election that we didn't issue endorsements for last week was Oak Park Township. In that race, the entire slate of incumbents is running for re-election, but for some reason, only one of the four candidates contacted us in time to set up an endorsement interview. Our rule is we only endorse those candidates who participate.
Julie Blankemeier is a highly capable person, and we should elect her for the Dist. 97 school board. Capability is what the Dist. 97 school board needs, not just dedication, kids in the schools, or a desire to serve. These are important also, and Julie has all of them.
Oak Park is fortunate to have Kathy Tortorice as a candidate for the District 97 school board. District 97 needs to figure out what's working in some of its schools and then encourage all of its schools to do the same. Kathy's training and experience as a pharmacist have prepared her to evaluate claims of efficacy about drugs.
Being a school board member in Oak Park can be a difficult and at times thankless job. Anyone who runs for this position must have a passion for children and education. As a friend and neighbor of Kathy Tortorice I have witnessed first hand her passion for both.
As I prepare to leave the D97 Board of Education, it is fair to state that I have vested interest in a legacy of positive leadership that promotes academic excellence, racial and economic diversity, and fiscal stability in the Oak Park public schools.
It has apparently taken Park Commissioner Mr. Tom Philion less than 2 years to become the typical Oak Park political figure, condescending and arrogant ("Quality parks for the price of a digital camera," March 2).
The Downtown Oak Park Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the "Renew our Parks" park district referendum at our March 8 meeting. Our board members agreed that our parks are an asset to our community, providing green space, and places for activities and respite.