It’s ironic that the last edition before the election is on April Fools’ Day. Last week, the Journal endorsed all of the Village Manager Association slate. No really, they did. It is not a joke, it actually happened. They said ITAV (It Takes a Village party) had good people, but they were always negative, and therefore, they did not deserve to be elected.

OK. I agree with the Journal. Let’s explore the positive things the VMA has done over the last few years.

First, they subsidized, with your tax dollars (about $18 million, rounded), the incredibly beautiful
Whiteco Building with its shining glass and shining glass and more glass and some other stuff similar to what a state prison uses.

Second, the Colt building, once an incredible arcade, was allowed to morph into the beautiful building it is today with its corroded pipes, failed heating systems and decaying exterior as the VMA watched and had code violations written on citizens’ homes while they let the millionaire’s building rot … until he thought he would make a killing.

Third, we must not forget the help that the VMA gave during the
Barrie Park fiasco. Yes, they did help in the end. They were pulled in after ignoring and aggravating citizens who legitimately needed help to save their homes and, yes, their lives. Lack of listening was established as the mantra that continues today, and for that we must be grateful.

Fourth, David Pope is smart. He knows what to say in fewer than 1,000 words … usually.

Fifth, ITAV has done nothing but provide alternatives to the current policy. My God, they want fair code enforcement, a government that listens to citizens, good architecture,
TIF money for schools and libraries; fair wages for workers that plow streets in the freezing cold and police who put their lives on the line every day; transparency as to where your tax dollars are spent. My goodness, why would anyone vote for ITAV when all they want is to involve citizens in the use of their tax dollars, paid from their own pockets. Where’s our bonus?

The Journal says we have problems, and the VMA is the answer to get us out of them. They are right. They ought to clean up the mess they created for so many years. Everyone’s parents, at some point in their lives, told us to clean up after ourselves, but sometimes they also had to do it for us or force it on us. Some of us were never responsible … like the VMA. The party which has the name including the word “responsible” in it wants to continue being responsible for the village but not held responsible for their prior actions.

Wednesday Journal would like you to vote for all of the VMA and none of the ITAV candidates. They have endorsed them. They have told you that, without them, the sky will fall. They have told you that everyone who disagrees with the responsible people do not count – they are dour.

Go ahead, vote for them. The jokes on us.

Robert Milstein

Former Oak Park village trustee

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