Two striking things about watching the 12 candidates for Oak Park village trustee at Friday morning’s Business and Civic Council forum.

The first was how well everyone did. BCC came up with an inventive format that actually allowed the three slates (and the dozen people comprising those slates) to get some actual thoughts across on key topics in just over an hour. And the candidates were strong and civil in making their points. I think people would come out of the session with a clearer sense of what distinguishes one group from the other and, maybe, a sense of who the lead players might be on each slate.

However, the inescapable second thing to observe as the 12 candidates stretched across the dais was that no matter who you vote for on April 17, it will be a white person. In this town, in this moment that is a disturbing but not surprising thing. The lack of African-American representation on the village board has been waning over the past decade.

Still in the wings, though, is the coming appointment by Village President David Pope of a replacement trustee for the departed (and black) Martha Brock. I would be surprised if this wasn’t the route, certainly not the ideal route, to keeping some black representation on the village board of this diverse community.

By my calculations that appointment, subject to board ratification, ought to come in the next 10 days.

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Dan Haley

Dan was one of the three founders of Wednesday Journal in 1980. He’s still here as its four flags – Wednesday Journal, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark – make...