To those fine people who responded to my letter which addressed two of the six trustees’ decision on releasing a report to the papers, thank you.

I am now informed that Trustee [Steve] Hoke had coached traveling soccer year-round. I also didn’t know he single-handedly “forced” the county assessor to simplify the tax appeal process for
River Forest. I thought the old way in appealing by submitting “comps” was pretty easy, but if Steve made it easier, that is good.

It is good to learn that the appeal process is streamlined since more of us will want to appeal due to the coming tax increases. Yes, the revenue generated from the TIF is ending soon and now that the police pension is quickly being funded 100 percent, coupled with the lawsuits the village pays to defend itself, that creates a deficit. The residents will really need that streamlined appeal process to help offset these increasing costs.

I do feel the need to provide an answer, retort, response-“darn, where’s my Thesaurus?”-to Mike O’Connell and his take on my board charades. He is right. I did have an “undistinguishable term of office.” I, myself, did not do one thing, but “our board” did accomplish:

1) Creating the first paramedic service in
River Forest.

2) Completed River Forest Town Center II (revenue).

3) Helped with permitting the site in
south River Forest to build million-dollar homes (property taxes) on the former Washington School site (no taxes).

4) Increased parking spaces for the Metra riders and residents on Thatcher, south of

Lake Street

5) As a board, we developed strategies which, we had hoped, would make it more difficult for IDOT to take
River Forest property near

North Avenue
, allowing more traffic, air and noise pollution to pass through our town

6) Completed the then new
Village Hall Administration Building.

7) Reviewed many fine candidates for the police chief position and hired Michael Holub with a favorable consideration given Lt. Craig Rutz.

My point? I alone did not do one thing, but the board managed to do OK without yelling at one another (that was reserved for executive session since some things need not be aired in public).

I did run for re-election and, yes, I did lose by a landslide of one vote. I suppose I could have contested and demanded a recount-those darn chads-but suing and wasting taxpayers’ money is not part of my make-up. I would rather have rerun and lost by one vote, than not to have rerun as Mr. O’Connell did, but, hey, that’s his right, and I respect that. Perhaps a contested race was something not to his liking since someone would not have made it on the board, thus possibly closing a shot at the grand prize-village president in ’09, perhaps, Mike?

I do wish that he hadn’t mentioned Bill Clinton in the same paragraph as my name. Next time, maybe Mike could mention Chuck Norris who said, “Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.”

To the trustees, I ask that you sit back, stop gritting your teeth and figure out a way to get along for the betterment of
River Forest. We did during that the four years I was fortunate to have been on the village board.

Gary Sullivan

River Forest

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