Former Oak Park parks board president challenges candidate petitions

David Kindler questions whether three hopefuls should get spots on the ballot

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

A former president of the Park District of Oak Park is pushing to get three park board candidates knocked off the ballot in the April election.

David Kindler, who served on the park board from 2002 to 2006, filed his challenge at village hall shortly before the deadline Dec. 28. He's asking the county to end the candidacies of Diane Dunn, Thomas Finch and Julie Grossman MacCarthy—who are all running to fill three spots on the Park District of Oak Park Board of Commissioners.

Kindler, 46, circulated petitions for another candidate, incumbent Jessica Bullock. He was curious who the three challengers were, and started delving into their petitions, he said last week. That's where Kindler claims he found that about 70 of each candidate's roughly 160 signatures weren't from registered voters, according to his complaint.

The group of three candidates allegedly had the same people circulate their petitions, according to Kindler, which he believes indicates that they're running as a slate. Illinois election law states that park board candidates can't form a political party.

"You want to give voters a fair election, a ballot that has people that deserve to be on there," Kindler said. "The system is set up to make sure that people who end up on the ballot have done what's required to get there."

Reached the day after Kindler filed his objection, Dunn, 51, said it's "unfortunate" that Kindler decided to challenge her petitions. Dunn believes that Kindler is mistaken in claiming that her signatures aren't legitimate. She declined to comment when asked whether the same people circulated petitions for all three candidates, but said she doesn't know Grossman MacCarthy or Finch personally, and the trio is not running as a slate.

"I just want to bring some fresh ideas and come with an open mind to the board, and at this particular point, that's my main objective," she said.

Grossman MacCarthy and Finch could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Cook County will start holding hearings on petition challenges on Jan. 10 at 69 W. Washington in Chicago, according to Courtney Greve, spokeswoman for the county clerk's office. A date for the hearing was not yet determined as of Tuesday morning. Challenges will be heard by the three-member Cook County electoral board, which includes representatives from the clerk's office, the county circuit court and the Illinois attorney general's office.

Paul Aeschleman and Victor Guarino are also competing for spots on the park board of commissioners.

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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Park User  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 9:40 AM

As was stated earlier, we have some of the best Parks and THE best Park District in the area- Bar None. There is a reason for that. Good management and good Boards. The people of Oak Park are pleased with how things are going over at 218 Madison.

I Agree from oak park  

Posted: January 4th, 2011 6:39 PM

I agree a management change is due. Whether it's Gary Balling behind David Kindler's challenge or not, I would guess he has provided his blessing.

Not Les Golden  

Posted: January 4th, 2011 11:22 AM

For all you conspiracy theorists, wasn't Mr. Kindler one of the (successful) plaintiffs in the lawsuit that sought a special election to replace President Obama as IL US Senator? Also, the ice rink at Ridgeland Commons is in dire need of an upgrade....I can only guess what people from other suburbs who come in for travel hockey games think of it.

OP Resident  

Posted: January 4th, 2011 10:36 AM

Who ever brought Gary Balling into this???


Posted: January 4th, 2011 2:50 AM

I am sorry that my past candidacy has added to this sorry low catfight. I have no candidate to support but I believe a management change is due. GJK


Posted: January 4th, 2011 2:47 AM

My lawyer claimed one of the incumbents' did not have dozens of verifiable signatures. The incumbents hired Michael Lavel, J.D. You figure it out. On the ballot by one signature. I did not complain. It was close enough. I would have lost the election anyway - I received 40 percent of the vote needed. I was not the choice of the PARTY. Les Golden killed any chance I could have had. Les claimed he was part of my campaign. He was not.


Posted: January 4th, 2011 2:42 AM

The mud slinging must stop. Although I have disagreements with Mr. Balling and Mr. Kindler, calling them names is rotten. They had Les Golden convicted for picking up trash in the park (trespassing). That also is rotten. I believe Mr. Golden has a nervous affliction which compels him to pick up trash. I was the candidate who had the petitions challenged. My friends, my lawyers, my money. No Les Golden.

Dear JoeBob-Balling from op  

Posted: January 3rd, 2011 7:53 PM

David Kindler is a past president of the park board. David Kindler. David Kindler. David Kindler. Get it?


Posted: January 3rd, 2011 7:18 PM

Les "Hypocrite" Golden - When are we going to hear your answer as to why it was perfectly reasonable for you to challenge park district petitions two years ago, but is now a travesty for someone to challenge yours??

a response to op taxpayer  

Posted: January 3rd, 2011 3:49 PM

I do agree that the Oak Park Parks are some of the finest in the area, however, they need much improvement. If you only knew how Mr. Balling worked behind closed doors you would be surprised! A spinelss snake that lets everyone else do his dirty work. I can only hope a new board comes in and decides not to renew his contract and look for new management.

Lawyer from OP  

Posted: January 3rd, 2011 8:25 AM

"Petitions that are not objected to are deemed valid." Sigs are required only if objected to. IN OP there is a tradition of letting those who want to serve serve. Except when Garry Balling is trying to keep his job and David Kindler would rather hide what is going on with PD finances and protect his friends than ensure new sources of fresh ideas as his legacy as former pres. As far as your quoting the law sir, you are ignorant and best serve society as being unemployed.

OP Resident  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 10:59 PM

If you don't have the cant be on the ballot!!!

Theorist from OP  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 9:04 PM

I think one way or another Gary Balling is paying for the laweyrs and David Kindler is just the sucker front man (too stupid to realize what he was getting into & how he was getting to look like a jerk). Balling is a sleaze and I think y9ou are right that the machine is sophisticated and they will hide the route. But ultimately the cash will come from Balling because he has the most to lose (his job) and hd knows it is coming.

Oak Park Resident from OP  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 3:32 PM

Gary Balling is not nor is any employee of the OPPD paying the lawyers. That is silly. The machine is much more organized and sophisticated. The quid pro quo may be taking place in another town or a private company. The machine has it together.

Follow the Money from Oak Park  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 3:01 PM

My bet is that Kindler is not payng the bill for the lawyers. I doubt Jessica Bullock is either being unemployed. Either Gary Balling is paying the fees out of his own pocket to keep his job or he's hiding the fees somewhere in the park district budget. Petty cash?

Tax Payer from Oak Park  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 2:26 PM

Oak Park Parks are some of the FINEST in the area. The Park District is THE FINEST in the area. We Oak Parker's are lucky to have both! The facilities, parks, programs, and people are all top notch...and improving every year!!

Oak Park Resident from OP  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 2:20 PM

Bingo Henry. The election challenge takes time and costs money on both sides. Why are these positions so important for the machine to pay these funds? FYI Les Golden is the kiss of death to any candidate ... Les has obvious problems. I am sure all sides know this. The incumbents should give money to Les to insure their reelection. Where is the payoff for Kindler? Who is paying the bill? Not David Kindler.

Taxpayer Henry from op  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 1:26 PM

Is the park district paying for the lawyer for this challenge since the objectors are insiders? My tax money?

Another real Field/Mann parent from OP  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 11:50 AM

I did not say that David Kindler was acting out of revenge. I said he objected because two years ago the candidates this time objected to his friends two years ago. That is not revenge or being petty its being fair, very fair.

No Revenge in My Heart from op  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 11:48 AM

Thank you to Real Field Parent for telling us that David Kindler was acting out of revenge. As a Christian, I would suggest a New Years Resolution to Mr. Kindler. Revenge is the ugliest of human deadly sins and not befitting a Christian. Renounce it and become a Kinder Kindler. Remember John, he who would do the work of sinners is himself a sinner. Take Jesus into your heart and renounce revenge. Thank you.

Earl Anders from Oak Park Illinois  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 10:17 AM

I had thought that David Kindler motive was money, the root of all evil. But revenge sounds right.

Geo. Anastopoulos from oakl pk  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 9:25 AM

Finally, an explanation of this election objection that makes sense. Revenge is the motive. David Kindlers friends on the board were apparently objected to last election cycle so now to get revenge David Kindler objects to those who objected to his friends on the board. Make much more sense than Kindlers explanation to keep the integrity of the election. Thanks for clarifying this puzzle, Ms another person.

Another real Field/Mann parent from Oak Park  

Posted: January 2nd, 2011 12:31 AM

Having lived 40 years in Oak Park, it is obvious that most, if not all, of these negative, despicable lies about PD Commissioners and staff have been posted by one person, using many, many fake names. This one, very sad individual is the clearly the same one who two years ago did what? He challenged (and lost!) the election petitions of two incumbent commissioners while funding two unqualified candidates. Les, really, just back away from the computer and go clean up your own yard.

David Stanger (Dad) from Oak Park  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 11:28 PM

You can't sled anymore on the hill at Field because the metal structures pose a danger.

Field Parent from Oak Park  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 8:24 PM

Dear Crapping from Oak Park, I'm starting to feel sorry for you and those with other malicious insults, but I won't let comments about anyone in the park district being responsible for a car/pedestrian accident go unchallenged. And regarding your opinions about the park improvements and current candidates, I'll have to agree to disagree with you.

Richard E. Eberhouser from OP  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 7:52 PM

Happy New Year to ALL! I have to say David Kindler's reason for challenging these candidates - keep the integrity in the election - doesn't ring true. Is he the lord's gift to earth to sanctify the electoral process? This discussion will go somewhere if and only if Kindler tells us the real reason behind the challenge.

Vic Guarino  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 7:10 PM

I find the personal attacks in this series of comments appalling and equally appalling that someone is accused of lying simply for expressing their personal experience and opinion on the state of Field Park. I would hope that we can have intelligent debate based on facts alone.

Another OP Resident  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 6:50 PM

Again, Les ... step away from the computer.

Observer from OP  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 6:15 PM

In the tradition of Gary Balling, Jean lies. No, Jean, Field is sad. There used to be picnickers, but that was before the two maples were destroyed from abuse; now virtually no shade exists. The baseball fields are empty 95% of the time, never used during the day, only for organized evening games April/May through June. Yes, the gazebo area is fabulous, because that's the only trees the park district didn't cut down. The trees...just go look for yourself.

Jean from Oak Park  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 5:12 PM

Field bashers are so sad. Reality is that Field is one of the most popular and heavily used parks in the village. Mothers come with picnics and stay for hours. Gazebo and trees provide more than enough shade. My only complaint when we take our grandsons is that they have to wait their turn on playground equipment and on splash pad. Native flower garden is beautifully tended by volunteers, new trees are mulched and growing, baseball and soccer fields always in play by teams or small groups.

OP Resident  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 5:09 PM

Les, Step away from the computer.

Soccer/Mustang Mom from OP  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 3:04 PM

Let me add: The north ballfield has the kids at bat looking right into the sun. Theres no shade for the ballplayers so my husband and the coaches have to bring tents for Saturday games. The shade trees at the tot lots are dead so theres no shade there either, the surfaces scald the bare feet, and the equipment is too hot to touch. Result is nobody is there in the afternoon on a hot summer day. Even the splash pad gets abandoned because the concrete and rubber surface is scalding hot.

Who You Crapping? from op  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 3:01 PM

Wow! Field Neighbor sure sounds like Jessica Bullock passing the crap. Field Park is a disaster. The new trees, 4 years old, are barely surviving. The soccer field is often ususable from poor drainage. Only one tree remains, with dozens destroyed during and after construction. The gardens are just weed pits. The only good part is the hill area, and that's the only area the park district left alone.

Field Parent from Oak Park  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 1:47 PM

Families that live near Field Park appreciate the stop sign, the park improvements, the new playground equipment, and the new trees and plants. We also look forward to the planned improvements to nearby Lindberg Park. It's our tax dollars being put to good use. Ask yourself and your neighbors if the neighborhood parks have been improved in the last few years. If so thank those that passed the referendum and then thank the past and current park board members.

Field Parent from Oak Park  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 1:46 PM

The accident involving the elementary student on the way to school had to do with an irresponsible driver and the lack of a stop sign on Division from Harlem all the way to Kenilworth, not because of a design in the park. The Park District cannot establish traffic control measures. It was in part because of the accident that the Village created a permanent stop sign at that cross walk. And it seems inappropriate to use the situation of this accident for political points.

Another Voice from op  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 1:00 PM

Anything is better for the park board than a bunch of rubber-stamp commissioners who let a kid almost be killed at Woodbine and Division even after becoming aware of the Am.Disability Act violation there. By the way, NOONE at the parks took accountability for the near fatality. ANYBODY is better than these incumbents -- kick out Bullock.

One of the Candidates from OP  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 12:58 PM

Having obviously seen the objections to my petition, it is nothing more than a harassment tactic, and we all know who is behind it. Before we turned in the petitions, we checked to make sure we had enough good signatures. Gary Balling aka David Kindler even challenged one of the candidate's spouse and daughter!! You exclude one possibility, the actual case: The petitions follow the law, & enough signatures are valid. Balling via Kindler just hopes we drop out. WE AINT GONNA, SIR.

Back to the point  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 12:39 PM

As I see it, 44% of the signatures being in question is hardly "a few." There are 3 nomination regulations that are in question. If in fact there are problems with the petitions, that would indicate that the candidates either can't read, don't bother to research, think rules do not apply to them, or are being led astray by bad advisors. None of which encourages me to think they'd be good for our park board. I'm waiting to see what the election commission says.


Posted: January 1st, 2011 10:57 AM

Why Challenge an Election? Most people do not realize, but contested elections cost money. People would much rather have a non contested election if they are running so they do not have to do anything. This is exactly what Obama did so he could win the Senate in Illinois. Contested elections are GOOD for the Taxpayer but not so good for those running. This is what is going on. No doubt the ED is also worried about having oversight and answering to an active Board.

NO NO CL from op  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 10:55 AM

C.L. you are mixing apples with oranges. Obama's seat was a powerful one, State Senate (leading to Presidency!). Lots of money, lots of workers, lots of people to benefit. Here, there's no power, let alone salary, in parks commissioner. If these three are removed from the ballot there is no election, no discussion of issues, no revelations of the chicanery going on with contracts and salaries at the park district. THE PEOPLE BE SERVED NOT THE CRONIES.


Posted: January 1st, 2011 10:48 AM

Happy New Year to All! Lots of great comments,good to see people engaged in their village and elections - well done. As to a challenge like this - nothing has been done wrong, this is allowed by state law, and if people are NOT following rules (Valid Signatures) should they be our leaders? Why, our current President Obama won his very first election by filing a similar challenge knocking a person off the Ballot! This comes with the territory. People who run for elections need to go with flow

OPer for Good Government from op  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 9:51 AM

The issue here, lets stick toit, is why challenge? In big city politics, holding office means big salary and benefits and jobs to give out to party workers. Nothing like that is present here. Just a desire to bring new ideas and serve the users of the park system. So what if they missed a few signatures. Nothing is involved her except public serive. Mr. Kindler should be ashamed of sending the mesesage to future potential candidates that they are not wanted.

Mark Newman from OP  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 9:30 AM

My New Year's Resolution: To give as much as it takes in money and time to get rid of the insiders running the park district.

Concerned Citizen of OP  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 8:55 AM

Is it possible to check IP addresses on these comments? It appears that many of these may be written by the same individual(s) under different pseudonyms. It appears that they (or he/she) are able to perpetually post slanderous comments with no basis of fact.


Posted: January 1st, 2011 7:53 AM

Ignorant isnt the word for it. How can anyone, let alone someone responsible for a family, allow himself to be so manipulated. and manipulated by evil! I feel sorry for Leah Kindler with such a weakling for a father.


Posted: January 1st, 2011 7:36 AM

This is the most ignorant blunder I've ever seen in local politics. A former president David Kindler stopping new blood with fresh ideas from serving on a volunteer board. How stupid of David Kindler to allow the vindictive Gary Balling to persuade Kindler to file the objection and to thus destroy Kindler's legacy and reputation. Good trade, Kindler. This legacy will stay with you to your grave so that Gary Balling can continue to hide his family members on the payroll.

OP Resident  

Posted: January 1st, 2011 4:55 AM

Simple is simple. New or old to the process. OPP needs law abiding citizens to partake in the process!!!! No more less

Dan Jackson from OP  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 9:33 PM

I fail to see the conection between people new to politics who screw up the complex election laws without a lawyer and running programs for the parks.

Another OP Resident from op  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 9:32 PM

I don't know what Enjoying is smoking, but its making him go blind. Barrie is empty. Field is empty except during soccer games and in the mornings with the au peres. The shade trees are all gone and by noon the tot lot asphalt surfaces burn the toddlers feet. The only place where the kids play is the hill, but that's the only part that Balling and his gang of contractor friedns didn't touch. Get the new group in if they survive

Enjoying Parks from Oak Park  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 8:54 PM

I've liked all the changes and upgrades to each park so far. They've been practical as well as attractive, and will serve our community well for many years to come. It also seems like more people are out using the parks after each is redone, so something must be right about the changes. In addition I like that they publicize the plans, actually listen to public comment and revise as appropriate--a refreshing change from the way things are usually done in OP.

Don't stop democracy  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 8:42 PM

What is so disturbing is that in a town where it is hard enough to find good folks willing to give their time to serve on boards and commissions, and give voters a CHOICE in elections, you have the insiders going to these lengths to keep newcomers out. Shameful. Gathering signatures is not easy and newcomers do not have a experienced political network to rely on to get this done in a timely manner, so what if they forgot to ask a few signers if they were registered in OP.

Oak Park Resident from OP   

Posted: December 31st, 2010 7:16 PM

The Director and manager jobs are designed to be held between five and ten years. These guys are going on 25 years. The present Board has been there forever and is sucking us dry. Anybody except the incumbents will do a better job. And no Don Harmon is not against the present group. He has his hand in our pocket also. I am not saying our politicians are bad people at heart. They think they are doing good. It just seems all I get is hands on my wallet. Time for a change of course.

Oak Park Resident from OP  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 7:02 PM

The truth is that the parks have had the same leaders too long. The annual budget is about 20 Mil or 1,000 dollars per household. The Director and Assistant Director take about a half million a year combined with benefits.

OP Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 5:55 PM

It seems simple to me. If someone cant follow the RULES before they are elected by getting LEGAL signatures and the correct amount- WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THEY WOULD MAKE A GOOD PARK COMMISSIONER?????

No Friend of Galen from Oak Park  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 2:25 PM

Reading, I wondered about Galen Gockel's ability to judge people. Isn't Gary Balling the guy who lied on the application for $400,000 from the state of Illinois and got his hands slapped by Sen. Harmon and the state officials?

A. Patel from a. Pate  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 2:20 PM

The article says Kindler left the board in 2006. Five years later he's causing trouble? Get a life. Let the people decide who's going to run the park district that, as far as I'm concerned, is made of a bunch of power-hungry people who have caused trouble at Mills, Maple, Taylor, Field, Carroll...everywhere they go with their million dollar plans.

Melanie Whalen from op  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 2:01 PM


David R. Schellcross from OP  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 1:25 PM

Very surreal. Unbelievable. Am I in a fog? When I was running a small magazine, my goal in retirement was to seek and find good people to replace me. I loved my magazine and its health depended on good people. Here this David Kindler guy wants to weaken the board bychallenging qualified people? Unreal. Obviously he's an insider more interested in protecting Gary Balling with a rubber-stamp bunch than making the park district stronger than it is today.

Tad R. from OP  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 12:10 PM

Ridgeland Commons is a mess. That's enough reason to elect ANYONE other than the incumbent Jessica whatever her name is.

Francesca Santelli from oiakpark  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 7:47 AM

I think Julie Grossman-MacCarthy's comments are right on. My kids aren't athletic but we need more arts in the parks. I would like to see plays put on during the summer in the fieldhouses. It would be a continuation of school and they'd learn how to act if they find that fun and they'd study great works as they do.

Jill Jones from op  

Posted: December 31st, 2010 7:43 AM

Reading all these comments misses one thing. These three people are highly qualified and would serve the people well. I'm a friend of Tom Finch and he has the accounting skills to bring sanity back to the park district spending.

Shaking my Head from Oak Park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 11:44 PM

I am amazed at the distortions and misrepresentations in all of these comments. I thought OP was supposed to be made up of thoughtful, intelligent folks, not people who mistake vitriol for logic.

Field Park area resident from OP  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 11:06 PM

Examine the logic. 2 of the 3 incumbents don't run. The "in" group can retain power only if Jessica Bullock runs. She runs. Kindler objects to the only 3 viable other candidates. Why? So Jessica Bullock doesn't have to run on her record. What's that? Lives 1 block from Field Park: 4-year old nearly dies because of entrance designed on her watch, 8 more dead trees this year, soccer field unplayable, no shade so the coaches bring tents to prevent the kids from sunstroke. Not good!


Posted: December 30th, 2010 8:59 PM

If Les Golden is involved in this election, that makes me very suspicious. I know David Kindler to be a very principled, honest guy, and nobody's fool. Apparently his daughter follows in his footsteps. Go Leah!

Mary Elizabeth Behrens from OP  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 8:52 PM

I hope David Kindler -- the former president of the park board who is the willing shill behind this challenge by insiders at the park district -- moves before he does more damage to the town I love.

Emil Vittori from Oak Park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 8:49 PM

Mr. Good Guy Galen, you know nothing. 1. Barrie is now as unplayable for soccer as Field Park. 2. A 4-year old nearly got killed because of poor design at Field yet the same architect gets hired by his pal Balling. 3. A highly placed exec has funneled hundreds of thousands to a sibling hidden on the payroll. 4. The current board wants to start spraying pesticides, banned since 1991, on the grass where the babies crawl and the dogs run. Open your eyes, Good Guy, and see what's going on now.

Julie Grossman MacCarthy from Oak Park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 8:32 PM

I, Julie Grossman-MacCarthy, am running to serve on the Oak Park Park District Board as I wish to contribute to the effort to insure that the Park District does not continue to incur cost overruns, practices fiscal responsibility, implements financial oversight procedures when taking on new projects, and that Park District program offerings be inclusive of senior citizens. As an environmentalist, I am concerned about the continuing cavalier attitude of the current board towards our urban forest. Moreover, I feel strongly that the Park District programming should contain a balanced mix of athletic, cultural (ideally multicultural) and arts programs. Finally, I feel we really need to build a safe and secure dog park.

Galen Gockel from Oak Park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 8:15 PM

During my term as a Village Trustee (2001-2005), it was my honor to work with a first-rate Park Board and staff as we jointly struggled with a number of important issues, including the Barrie Park restoration and rebuilding of Stevenson playground. This included David Kindler as a Commissioner and Gary Balling as the Executive. Since 2005 the Park Board has undertaken a much needed and community-responsive rebuilding of our previously-neglected parks. Watch this election closely.

Alexis August from Oak Park Illinois  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 8:09 PM

And again Oak Park becomes the laughingstock of the country. I googled "park district challenges oak park" and found articles not only from the local press but also from topix, vcstar, americantowns, and other news sites. Thanks, Kindler. What an idiot. "Parks are for the people, not the inside cronies!"

Russell Alger from Moraga, CA  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 7:50 PM

First of all, I used to live in Oak Park and I know that David Kindler is an awesome person. Second, Go Leah! Nice Comment!

Sarah A. from oak park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 7:47 PM

Come on Leah, I hate to make a comment to a young lady so loyal to her dad, but your cause and effect argument is worthless. Your dad wanted the millions spent on the ice rink because HE KNEW your brother would SOON be of hockey age. These kinds of developments take several years to complete. Think, Leah, think.

Ray Lubinsky from OP  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 7:45 PM

Dear David G. Thank you for your comment which is accurate. The point you miss is that candidate petitions are "deemed valid" unless objected to. These are good people according to David Kindler. The people deserve to hear their position on the high taxes at the park district, the influence-peddling and nepotism at the park district, the destruction of the playing fields, and the utter neglect of Ridgeland Common. Mr. Kindler objected because he was asked to object to cover up.

John Alger from Moraga, CA  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 7:44 PM

Go Leah! Set 'em straight!

Jim Mariner from River Forest  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 7:02 PM

Vote For Victor Guarino. He is truly a friend of the parks.

David G from Oak Park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 6:37 PM

Funny how quickly the only issue gets obscured. Are the petitions for the three candidates proper? If they are, then they get on the ballot. If not proper they don't. That is the election process. Attacks on the politics or motivation of Mr. Kindler are irrelevant.

Leah Kindler from Oak Park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 5:59 PM

Excuse me, Mr. Ray Lubinsky, I am David Kindler's daughter. My brother started hockey in 2007, a year after my dad left the board. And he left because he was going to board meetings so much he didn't have time to spend with us. So don't talk about something you know nothing about. :(

Joan Strahorn-McKenzie from oak park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 5:25 PM

That's all we need, another election with no opposition. Let the insiders destroy all the parks and put in astroturf and cut down all the trees. Thanks, Mr. Kindler, you're no friend of the parks or us poor suckers who pay the taxes and watch you and your tight group of friends and managers make the parks unusable for soccer or just reading under the shade of a tree.

GI Joe (a vet) from Oak Park illinois  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 4:56 PM

I'm not a political type but I agree. Reading the minutes of the park board meetings, you see no-bid contracts, hiring the same landscape architect whose faulty design at the Woodbine-Division entry into Field Park nearly led to a child's death last July, upper management putting their family members on the payroll. We need new blood to get rid of the corruption that seems to be popping up there, not a former president protecting management and his friends on the board.

Dave Hunt from op  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 4:27 PM

It's too bad when people not previously involved in politics get hurt by the system of filing petitions. Let these people be on the ballot and let the people decide if they want them to serve. It's too bad when political novices who are decent and bright slip up trying to cross the t's and dot the i's.

Confused Robert from Oak Park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 4:25 PM

Confused in Oak Park. David Kindler the former president and now objector refers to Diane Dunn, Tom Finch, and Julie Grossman-MacCarthy as "good people." Some letter writer did the same. I assume they know these three beleaguered candidates. Then why is Kindler, a former president of the board!!, trying to prevent them from serving? We need good people on local boards.

Hatty 4 Palin  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 3:40 PM

It sounds as though both sides are trying to cheat the public for their own benefit. The future of public parks is bleak; things like pools are cheap enough for families to buy, and team sports are better served by a private complex. It's time to abolish the board and sell the assets for tax reduction.

Albert Harris  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 3:30 PM

If Les "I'm always right" Golden is involved, I am definitely voting the other way. He makes up conspiracies for every issue and convinces good, misguided people to follow him somehow. Run away quickly from any group supported by Golden.

Aaron S. from OP ILL  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 3:19 PM

Shameful. A former park president standing in the way of people wanting to serve!! I hope they stay on the ballot.

Freda Spratt from Oak Park Illinois  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 3:11 PM

I agree with NAME WITHHELD. Mr. Golden's nickname should be Mr. Democracy not Cut the Taxes.

W. Jack Welch from op  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 3:07 PM

Mr. Kindler wants an election with "integrity"? But there is no election, and no talking about issues, and the vote is meaningless without a choice, but that's what the park district people and that's why the adminsitrators got Kindler to object.

Name Withheld from op  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 3:06 PM

To Mr. Peach (no doubt a park board insider). If not for Les Golden there would be no contested elections (other than the schools) in Oak Park. When he fields a slate for the township, the library, the parks, or the village, there's a fully contested election, the democratic way of getting people to discuss issues. When he doesn't field a slate (this year he didn't field a slate for the village or library, but in 2009 he did) there's no competition and no discussion of issues.

Eleanor Bregmann from Oak Park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 3:01 PM

Who is David Kindler serving? The residents of Oak Park or is he protecting his pals on the park board and director Gary Balling. It's way too insular. They're out of touch with Oak Park. Every park they come to with their master plan, the neighbors are put into a frenzy of discontent. Why doesn't he just move? Balling too.


Posted: December 30th, 2010 2:47 PM

I know why they are contesting, Les Golden and his merry crew are the ones that gathered the signatures. Trying to get "his people" into office without using his own name. They took short cuts in gathering signatures and are being called on it. That's why Ms. Dunn won't comment about the petitions.

Ray Lubinsky from Oak Park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 2:20 PM

Mr. Kindler was a poor parks commissioner. He ran for office because he wanted the taxpayers to pay millions for a fancy ice rink at Ridgeland Commons for his two sons, avid hockey players. When he wasn't able to push it through, he quit. Now, three decent people want to serve and he's standing in their way. Pitiful state of affairs.

Ellen the park user from oak park  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 12:55 PM

I am very disappointed. I know Julie Maccarthy and she is a brilliant woman who would bring great things to the park district.

Rob from op  

Posted: December 30th, 2010 12:54 PM

This is truly pathetic. You would think in this day and age when most contest are uncontested that a former president would like to see new people bring new ideas for teh betterment of the parks. What's Kindler's angle?

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