That was a heartening election. Promising, even.

Our D91 community circled the wagons, big time, to keep a new and nefarious element out of our schools and away from our kids. Parents, teachers, the teachers’ union, certain candidates, and school board members boldly and smartly spread the news of the fifth column maneuver, and voters responded with, ‘Hit the road, Jackasses’.

It appears this group used this newspaper in a most appropriate and effective manner – honestly and proactively making their case, doing their own work (yes!) and impressing the online community with smart comments and great advertising. Excellent work, you’ve earned an ‘A’.

Our parks would have been fine with any of the three candidates but voters wanted a new life injection and we trust the whole board noticed. Great thanks to Sam Alonzo for his years of devoted service. We should hear news about the Roos this week which, hopefully, launches the most exciting, awesome village project in a very long time. Keep in touch, Park Board.

Video gaming was soundly defeated at the polls. Six months of lurching and hiding was pure village council.

The Elected: So, you want video gambling here?

Any Resident: I don’t know, what is it?

The Elected: So, you want video gambling here?

Left to our own resources, residents kicked the idea around (often blindly) and ten minutes ’til last call, the bar owners’ lobby kicked in with…not much. And they got snakey.

Gentlemen, please. The mayor should have made good on his promise to offer your group a voice at a Public Hearing, but he didn’t. The mayor, who takes your generous contribution$ each election and expects you to get out his vote, did not return your favors. Apparently, that reality was impossibly inconvenient and you chose instead to direct your fury at residents.

Many residents thought you had a valid case to make but you didn’t do your homework. You get a ‘D’.

And Proviso HS is still a used, abused, intractable mess.

But the election takeaway is positive and invigorating. Only a day later, many residents ruminated, “Hmm. We’ve made our grade schools, park district and village safer and stronger, so what about the 2015 village election?”

What, indeed?

Lordy, we are stuck. It’s shocking to realize Forest Park has been driven by essentially the same folks since 1995 – the year eBay was founded and we watched the OJ Simpson trial.

Six to ten years is considered the prime time and maximum allotment for electeds to enact their vision; after that it becomes stale and they become entrenched, at best. We know this when we appraise county, state and federal government and soon we must come to terms with our own stuck, quickly turning to muck, village predicament.

Three years after our first flood, not a thing is planned to address our failing sewers. The 2010 census reminds us our village still has an unstable proportion of owner occupied v rental housing. The Altenheim still lies fallow, except for the efforts of the gentle micro-farmer they like to pick on. The recent Mannix and Hosty machinations should scare the bejesus out of anyone who actually wants to live here.

Village poobahs, for too many years, have been entirely preoccupied with parties, politics minus policy, personal/political gain, and they’d like to keep it that way. So, yes, the big guns and big money are already preparing for our 2015 David v Goliath match.

This election indicates we understand the stakes and our power, and we need only do grade ‘A’ homework to keep our village healthy, sound, and our own.

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