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First of all, Commissioner Dan Novak was right. Final meetings of about-to-be-recast public bodies are not the time to take binding actions that inhibit incoming elected officials. And in a village where money is tight to the point where there is effectively a built-in budget deficit, the about-to-retire mayor and council should not make a hire and should not lock in across-the-board pay hikes for non-union staff.

So good for Novak for casting votes against those actions and for publicly explaining his positions at the meeting in a social media post and in a letter to the editor to the Review. 

Two percent raises are modest but not if the village does not have 2 percent to spend, not if the incoming mayor and board might want to consider a more progressive way to dole out raises than across-the-board, evenly and to everyone. Making a quick hire in public works may seem pedestrian but not when it is done without an open hiring process. If overhauling hiring, setting an intentional goal of diversifying village staff isn’t high on the next administration’s goal list then we’ll be surprised and disappointed. 

We are looking for leadership from Mayor-elect Rory Hoskins that empowers commissioners to speak up, make an argument and respectfully discuss tough choices. Good for Commissioner Novak for getting a head start on that more open approach.