Landmark proposes presidential debate

Elsewhere in today’s paper we report on an awkward dance going on between Brookfield’s political parties over the possibility of a debate before the spring elections. One party is proposing, the other is smelling a trap.

That is the peculiar circumstance years of ill will and political posturing has brought us to.

A debate would be a healthy thing for the clogged political arteries of Brookfield. Most specifically, it would be a healthy thing for voters eager to move beyond the “he said/he said” nature of political discourse in the village.

So assuming that any hope of the two parties finding common ground on staging a debate is nil, the Landmark announces today our plan to host a debate between, at least, the presidential candidates. This is a role our newspaper company has regularly played in other communities we serve.

Right now the paper is seeking other non-partisan local organizations to join us in sponsoring the forum. We have also begun to search for a non-partisan moderator for the event. The moderator will not be anyone from this newspaper. Once those two goals have been accomplished, invitations will be extended to the candidates and their parties to settle the ground rules for the debate.

We make this announcement with absolute confidence that presidential candidates Bill Russ and Michael Garvey will accept the invitation. Why wouldn’t they, after all? This will be an open forum to discuss real issues facing our town. That is what elections are supposed to be all about. Right?

See you at the debate.


This is abuse?

In the days before Cook County became a solid block of urban development, its Forest Preserves were not viewed so much as an endangered species as a public benefit. As a result, informal deals between the district and various private and public entities were struck to take advantage of the open spaces the district could provide.

Riverside-Brookfield High School forged a pact with Brookfield Zoo. For decades the zoo has allowed RB to use the land directly north of the school building for athletic fields and parking.

We would argue that RB’s case is different from for-profit organziations and private individuals who use the district’s property for some sort of gain. The people benefiting from the use of the land are citizens already paying taxes to support the Forest Preserve District.

We would hope the County Board will keep this in mind as it seeks to protect its assets. Being a good neighbor is a two-way street.