I proudly voted for Cathy Adduci in 2013 and 2017, even held a coffee for her. And I was pretty pleased with her first term.

It’s been downhill since, her second term the poster child for bad government, politics, and smoke-and-mirrors. After witnessing firsthand Village Trustee Patty Henek’s extensive attempts to bring politics-free good sense and transparency to the village board these past four years, I have no doubt that if we elect Patty village president next Tuesday, we can turn this descent into mediocrity around and achieve real progress for River Forest.

While Patty fought to obtain full information and transparency before voting on development proposals, ordinances and plans, Cathy has repeatedly abused her power as village president to obstruct Patty’s good-government efforts. Cathy and her allies on the village board spent months delaying formation of the long-promised Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission that Patty championed from the beginning — until just before next week’s election, and then Cathy claimed all the credit.

Patty sought full information on the ill-conceived development proposal for Lake & Lathrop, where condos are priced well beyond the means of 2/3 of River Forest residents. Cathy used the powers of the presidency to consistently restrict access to much-needed information — leading to a series of ill-informed and ill-advised decisions, including subsidizing the developer with $2 million of taxpayer money when the developer told me he would make far more than the $6.5 million profit I was estimating. 

Cathy keeps rewriting history to serve her political ends. At Wednesday Journal’s candidate forum, she asserted that the Plan Commission discussed mandatory inclusionary zoning and decided it’s not a good option for River Forest because there are only one or two new developments every decade. I listened to or attended those meetings and can attest that inclusionary zoning was rejected out of hand in just minutes by a Plan Commission that still has no idea how inclusionary zoning produces affordable housing at no cost to taxpayers while increasing property tax revenues from the development.

Contrary to Cathy’s assertion at another forum, the tepid Affordable Housing Plan does ignore the housing needs of middle-class River Foresters. And let’s not forget how Cathy did all she could to force adoption of the inadequate plan that trustees Henek, Bachner, and Brennan — and more than 90% of residents commenting on the plan — sought to strengthen with protections to preserve the little affordable housing River Forest has and to address middle-class housing needs.

Cathy asserts that River Forest is a disability-friendly community, but since she took office she has declined to eliminate the provisions in the village’s zoning ordinance that blatantly discriminate against people with disabilities. 

If River Forest is to really progress, it can no longer afford the smoke and mirrors of bad government characterizing Cathy’s second term. We need a village president who is honest, level-headed, and a stateswoman, not a politician. That’s why I’ve switched and urge you to join me in voting for Patty Henek on Tuesday to establish good government practices, bring real transparency to River Forest, and give us the excellent government we deserve.

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