Five vying for three RF trustee seats

At least five people are expected to vie for three open seats on the River Forest village board this April 17. Incumbent trustee Michael O’Connell and current Village Clerk Susan Conti were joined by two other candidates-Stephen Hoke and Collene Mear-in filing petitions at village hall Monday morning. A fifth potential candidate, Steve Dudek, current River Forest park board president, has told people he is running and is expected to file later this week.

After filing Monday, O’Connell said he was encouraged that three “independents” had filed.

“I think you may see an end to apathy,” said O’Connell.

Hoke served as co-chairman of the Home Rule Study Commission last year, which narrowly recommended by a 5-4 vote that a home rule referendum be put before village voters. Hoke wrote the minority report opposing the measure.

“My experience on the home rule [commission] made clear to me that residents believe that major decisions such as these are made behind closed doors, and before the impacted community’s concerns are fully aired” Hoke said via e-mail.

Mear, a seven-year resident and mother of four children who has worked as an officer at Corus Bank for 20 years, echoed those sentiments.

“I feel strongly on open government, where we work with the concerns and needs of the taxpayers,” she said.

Hague, Cargie, Rider file for RF park board

Mary “Molly” Hague, Thomas Cargie and former River Forest village trustee Dale Rider filed petitions Monday to run for the two open seats on the River Forest park board in the April 17 election.

Current board members Stephen Dudek and Holly Hirst have said they will not be standing for re-election. All three candidates have expressed criticism of the board’s previous conduct.

Rider, who ended an 18-year tenure on the village board in 2005 with a loss to Frank Paris for the village presidency, called the park district “one of my pet interests.” He said he’s always wanted to serve on the board but never seemed to have the time due to other obligations.

While praising the overall direction the past 10 years, he said the board majority had been “too confrontational” during the recent Keystone Lights permit process.

Hague, who has served on both the River Forest Youth Football and Youth Baseball and Softball boards, as well as the Community Center board, criticized the park board’s original field use policy last fall, calling it “capricious” and “unfair.”

“The hatching of the field use policy really didn’t go down well with me,” she said. “I want to make sure that the interests of the village as a whole are taken into account, as opposed to just a small [segment].”

In an August, 2006 letter to the editor, Cargie compared the conduct of the board to the “Politboro,” the secretive body that ran the old Soviet Union. The park board, he said, has been neither transparent in its processes nor responsible with its expenditures related to legal costs.

Two file for RF library trustee

Two people have filed as candidates for six-year terms on the River Forest Library Board of Trustees-Harley Beck and Joan O’Connor. None of the three trustees whose terms expire this April, including Lenny Soffer, 12-year veteran Mary Katherine Ryan, and Secretary Diane Daly, are standing for re-election.

-Bill Dwyer

Who’s filed

* Candidate for two-year seat
Incumbent

River Forest trustee

Five candidates are running for three seats.

Michael O’Connell
Susan Conti
Stephen Hoke
Collene Mear
Steve Dudek*

RF park board

Three have filed for two open seats.

Thomas Cargie
Mary “Molly” Hague
Dale Rider

RF library trustee

Two are running for three open seats for six-year terms.

Harley Beck
Joan O’Connor

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