Voters Tuesday ignored allegations of corruption, sexual harassment, and nepotism in city hall and overwhelmingly re-elected city official for another term in the western suburb. Despite months of candidates slinging accusations towards one another of gang ties, racial slurs, and old-fashioned government corruption, voters approved re-election, though the administration has been mired in scandal. Secretly recorded by the FBI, and criticized for giving millions worth of town business to pals, and appointing friends and family to town posts, the incumbent is back in office.
Despite a string of police-related controversies, the incumbent won re-election. Though the city has been rocked by allegations of police abuse and misconduct, and the 2012 arrest of the ex-police chief that he allegedly stole more than $140,000 seized in drug arrests, the voters have re-elected the incumbent.
In case you think I am referring to city officials in Naperville, I am not. The first paragraph refers to Cicero town president Larry Dominick’s re-election February 26, and the second paragraph refers to North Chicago mayor Leon Rockingham’s re-election yesterday. The point here is that incumbents are difficult to unseat once in office. I mean even Hitler was re-elected to office in Germany. It’s no surprise that in yesterday’s election, the top three vote-getters where incumbents Paul Hinterlong, Judy Brodhead, and Doug Krause who was endorsed by City Council Watchdog.
The other candidates we endorsed, Jo Malik, Tom Glass, and Bill Habel came in 6th, 9th, and 10th place respectively in a field of eleven candidates. Those three candidates came with the least amount of political baggage, and would have also spread much needed light in the inky shadows of city hall. We came close to endorsing candidate Kevin Coyne who lost to newly elected council member David Wentz by a mere 129 votes. Who knows, maybe with an endorsement, a ‘biscuit for breakfast’, and a good luck penny (coin), Coyne would have have been elected.
Though no city official would openly admit it, they were ‘running scared’. The reason this is obvious is that city officials made an all-out assault on ‘outsider’ candidates Tom Glass and Jo Malik, both of whom have been outspoken about local government business-as-usual, resident-unfriendly decisions. Everything as simple as haranguing Glass and Malik about the location of their campaign signs, to outrageous comments from a council member’s spouse about Tom Glass’s intentions, the strategy was to demonize both Glass and Malik.
The good-news about the city council election results is that residents will still have one friendly voice at the dais (Doug Krause), and that both Hinterlong and Brodhead will have to be present as the results of their council decisions unravel. They won’t be able to ‘ride off’ into the night and leave someone else to pick up the pieces, as did the two previous council members who left after the last election. Quickly….can anybody remember the names of those ex-council members?
The other good news is that more and more Naperville residents are becoming aware of local politics and who is, and isn’t getting the job done. The next city council election (2015) looks to be a stampede, with 9 sitting council members along with a gaggle of candidates literally running for office.
Check-out the video image of what the next city council election might look like as city council incumbents on their way to re-election interact with other candidates and Naperville residents.
By the way, the two ex-council members are Richard Furstenau and Jim Boyajian. How quickly we forget their names, but how long those decisions continue to negatively impact residents.