I was glad to see that the transparent process of the Village Manager Association slated three people so quickly [VMA announces candidates for April, News Nov. 3].
They, I am sure, were fully vetted by the self-selected few who attended the slating process. It was so fast that I wonder if President David Pope had sufficient time to get his candidates selected. Then again maybe the two selected are the handpicked candidates.
Why not provide a list of all who appeared for slating? There is no embarrassment in not being selected. In fact, anyone who presented ought to be proud of trying to be slated. Come on, tell us.
As to Trustee Johnson’s re-slating for four more years, I think it’s great. I have been reading about his support for the Village Citizens Alliance platform. He now questions the money being spent on the Ike lobbyists [In tight budget, more trustees question Ike lobbyist spending, News, Nov. 10]. For many years he kept attacking anyone who questioned the value of the cap-the-Ike effort. He never once questioned the waste of dollars on this effort.
In addition, he saw the need to dump PeopleSoft from the village. I mean he used to say, “We cannot question staff so much, they know what is best for us.” After the new chief financial officer saw the waste, Trustee Johnson jumped on board because he “knew all along it was a bad deal for the taxpayers.”
After the 2007 elections, with the new manager in place, we found out that all the hidden scandals that everyone knew about, for example, in the parking department, were real.
Then we all found out the amazing financial system under Mr. Peters and Mr. Swenson was not so well run. A few years ago, when we questioned then-Manager Swenson and his team, Trustee Johnson was aghast that we could demean such a well-run program. Questioning our incredible management team was terrible. He would cry, “We love you all,” and question how we could dare to ask for accountability when it was so obviously present.
Within weeks of the May 2007 swearing in of the new trustees, we magically learned that the doubts the VCA had raised about our accounting procedures were indeed real. Trustee Johnson, President Pope and the new trustees were aghast and grateful for the work to uncover the poor methods that they (Johnson and Pope) denied even existed!
In 2011, the VMA will win the election by default. In 2013, it won’t be so easy.
Robert Milstein is an Oak Park resident and former village trustee from 2003 to 2007, having run with the Village Citizens Alliance political party.