Forest Park, as regular readers know, is actively looking for new revenue sources. Turns out there is an old revenue source — and don’t you dare say video gaming — that is ready to be rejuvenated.
We’re talking about the collection of past due fines.
The village government is closing in on hiring a new firm to handle its collection services after having parted ways with its old firm a year ago. The absence of an active collection effort coupled with the loss of speed camera revenues on Roosevelt Road during construction put a $300,000 dent in last year’s fine revenue line item.
We’re no fans of speed cameras — highway robbery is our usual definition. But if you’re going to have them, then you might as well get your money.
When it comes to growing revenue, Forest Park has already found most of the low-hanging fruit. But in the short term there may be a boost to cash flow just ahead.
Hiring at Triton
Triton College, our community college, has a deserved reputation as an insular, family-run operation. That perception will happen when the chairman of the board seemingly has the position for life and comes from the most politically connected family in the district. It happens when the school continues to fail to graduate three-quarters of its students, and better than 90 percent of its African American students. And it happens when 60 percent of your students are black or Latinx and 70 percent of your top administrators are white and 76 percent of your full-time faculty are white.
This issue bubbles up now as the school’s faculty union is objecting to the decision of Mary-Rita Moore, Triton’s president, to promote a longtime faculty member and more recently dean of health careers, to the critical post of VP of Academic Affairs. The faculty notes that it respects Sue Campos but that such a critical position should have been filled after a legitimate search process.
We agree entirely. Triton, of all places, should always opt for an open hiring process. Its traditions of insider hiring necessitate it. And the logic of actively recruiting a diverse set of potential candidates is too strong to simply promote another white candidate.
That moment is seemingly past as Campos is set to step up following the spring retirement of the incumbent in the Academic Affairs post. But Triton, which usually operates off the radar of most voters, and is increasingly not covered by shrinking local newspapers, needs to be poked and prodded to do better.
Let’s also acknowledge that Triton is not alone among community colleges with poor records on graduating its students. This is a widespread problem. We hope Ms. Campos can make headway against an academic achievement gap, the poor graduation rates and the innovation challenges that plague this critical institution.