Friday, March 25, 2011
We are in the midst of early voting now through March 31, 2011 and with the official Election Day – April 5, 2011-- quickly approaching, I have been asked many times who I am voting for to serve on the next Village Council. Because this question has been posed to me repeatedly, I am answering these queries collectively and publicly.
Before venturing further I wish to be clear about a few things relative to this message. First, if you do not want to know who I am supporting for Village Council that’s certainly fine. This message is not sent to unduly impose, so simply delete this message should you wish. And if you do not want emails sent to you about community matters kindly hit the “unsubscribe” tab because there is no intent, again, to bother you or impose upon you. The information I am sharing may not be for everyone and I am fine with people doing whatever they want with one exception--please do vote, our community is worth our time and attention come Election Day.
I am offering my thoughts as a resident of
Downers Grove only; not in any other capacity. I have served this community in various ways since 2001. Given the duration and scope of my service I have met many people and have gained some perspectives as to what our Village needs going forward. But mine are inherently subjective opinions; this is clear. I’d be happy to hear the perspectives and thoughts of others should anyone wish to think through the challenges and needs of Downers Grove as a community, collaboratively.
Last prefacing comment, I know most of the nine candidates seeking to serve on the next Village Council.
However, two of the candidates are unknown to me and have neither come to Council meetings nor participated in various community activities I have been involved in. That said I assume they seek to serve for only the best reasons, just as the seven other candidates. For those candidates I do know but do not support as a voter, I want it made known that I admire their willingness to serve, wish them the best, and will happily shake their hand and offer my unmitigated support should they prevail. In the end, we all want what’s best for
Downers Grove and I am ready to help any member of the next Council with their transition in any way I can.
So, with all of that made known… who do I want to see on the next Village Council? In part that answer is easy because there are two incumbents seeking to be re-elected. Sean Durkin and Geoff Neustadt have served 5 ½ and 4 years respectively. I was on the Village Council when Sean was appointed back in 2005 to serve the remaining term of Sue McConnell. When I ran for mayor in 2007, Sean and Geoff sought to serve on the same Council. Thus, I know quite a bit about both gentlemen, including their character. In sum, both Geoff and Sean deserve to be re-elected as they have been conscientious and hard working Council members who have shown a deep dedication to our town and a sound and committed resolve to stay the course of financial sustainability. Geoff and Sean along with most of my other Council colleagues have demonstrated leadership and grit during the worst economic climate since the late 1920’s. During our service together, Sean and Geoff were responsible for making and keeping the Village fiscally sound and sustainable; which meant being accountable for tough decisions that were not always popular-- and that’s true leadership. These two selfless public servants remain vigilant and committed to making fiscally prudent decisions for the collective betterment of our community. They deserve to be re-elected and as a community we ought to be glad they have stood up and volunteered to again serve.
Consistent with the above mantra, Becky Rheintgen is the only new candidate to publicly state unequivocally that she stands ready to stay the course paved by the majority on the last Council. Many other candidates have advocated “returning” to certain services or adding new ones-- but they have not delineated dedicated revenue streams to pay for these new services. This lapse is something that should worry discerning residents. What’s more, these other candidates have simply not demonstrated a thorough and complete understanding of the ever increasing costs of providing basic, but necessary, Village services like police, fire, public works and Village infrastructure. In contrast Becky has spent considerable time learning all aspects of municipal government and has demonstrated a commitment to continuing down the path of fiscal sustainability so that our community will continue to be a vibrant and desired town steeped in financial stewardship and ready for all future challenges.
I applaud and respect anyone seeking to serve the
. That desire is truly commendable and appreciated by me because it is grounded in a selfless passion to serve. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon the governed, you and me, to thoughtfully choose who the best candidates are to guide and shape our Village going forward. To that end, I highly recommend Geoff Neustadt, Sean Durkin and Becky Rheintgen as the right leaders to continue to guide Village of Downers Grove Downers Grove down the right path into the future. Thanks for reading this and please remember to vote.
Ron Sandack, 20 year resident of
P.S. This message was mine and mine alone. You may get a semi-annoying email message from me from time to time, but that is done out of a desire to inform people. That said you’ll never get a Robo-call from me-- those calls are truly insufferable.