So Pat O’Brien wants to appear audacious, by pointing out that “Slate making is alive and well in River Forest.”  [Slate making is alive and well in River Forest, Viewpoints, Nov. 5]  Pat’s pluck, however, is nothing but misdirection.  Ironically, O’Brien wants to imply that “machine” politics is always part of slate-making and caucusing, but I think supporters of Districts 90 and 200 might find that insulting.

From the day he was appointed to the board of trustees over ten years ago, by the most accomplished “slate maker” in local political history, O’Brien became an integral part of the engine that has powered the village to its current place, good or bad.  It’s worth noting, however, that over the last two years O’Brien has done everything imaginable to obscure his underperformance as a finance committee member, and as chairman of the police committee, two of the biggest areas of concern today and tomorrow.   It seems he’s just getting louder now.


Only the most obnoxious politico would argue that local government isn’t about streets, sewers, taxes, police and parks.  Said another way, most residents prefer problem solving and getting things done to theoretical debate, and the spread of ideological distrust.  O’Brien doesn’t seem to understand this.  If he now seeks to be the civic conscience of River Forest, I trust him to have the same indignation for the other “slate,” which includes Rigas, Adducci, Gibbs, and Winikates. 

Michael O’Connell
River Forest trustee, 2003-2007

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