Time now to turn toward the spring election at the Proviso Township High Schools.
Come April, four of seven members of the school board will be up for election or re-election. From our point of view, none of the incumbents, holdovers from darker, more cynical days on this governing body, should stand for election.
And that is especially true for Kevin McDermott, now facing charges of battery against a colleague on the board. Once an independent voice on this troubled board, McDermott has forfeited his standing through his overt attacks — first electoral and then allegedly physical — on fellow board member Theresa Kelly. While we do not hold her entirely blameless in a relationship that has been long fractured, McDermott’s time is over.
Resign now or step down at the close of this term, Mr. McDermott.
That puts the pressure on the good government minority elected to the board two years back, in large part with Forest Park leadership. The 209 Together group needs to recruit four strong candidates determined to turn this district toward the future of our children. The insider ways of past boards — nepotism, administrative chaos, turmoil in faculty relations, lax spending, and active disregard for parents — laid waste to this district.
There was power in the district-wide coalition built for the last election. There are more core values that unite these Proviso towns than there are lasting divisions.
Yearbook at 5
Business communities need leaders, people with a vision for their own enterprise and for the business community at large. Forest Park has been blessed in the past 15 years with such street-level leaders.
A generation back it was the women of Two Fish, the art glass retailer and crafts trainers, who spearheaded marketing efforts far beyond Forest Park, who brought new events to the street and who brooked no negativity among its allies. Along with Team Blonde, Brown Cow Ice Cream and a handful of others, they created a non-alcoholic vibe, something no one had accused Forest Park of sporting in the past.
The Great Recession took care of that vibrant era. In a hurry.
Now in this more complex generation — retail is hard, online sales rise, we battle over gaming — the new leaders of the non-alcohol cohort of Madison are the two founders of Yearbook, Noel Eberline and Jef Anderson. Yearbook is marking its 5th anniversary this summer and had a backyard party on Sept. 10 that reflected its relaxed energy.
While we’ve described their store as the most perfectly imagined retail concept in years, Eberline and Anderson have built a companion graphic design and architectural design business on a parallel track.
When wading deep into the nasty battle over video gaming that has split the Madison Street entrepreneurs, we admire Eberline’s efforts to build positive energy amid the tensions. It is no mean trick to stay positive, to urge unity in the middle of a battle.
But that’s what leaders attempt. And Madison Street is fortunate to have Yearbook and its founders.