Back on Feb. 9, the Landmark proposed hosting a debate between the two principals in the race for Brookfield village president–Bill Russ and Michael Garvey.

Since that time, we have been working together with the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce and Brookfield-LaGrange Park School District 95 to help make that open debate possible. And we were moving forward with a plan to have that debate on March 16 at S.E. Gross Middle School.

However, in order to hold that debate, we needed two key people involved–the candidates. And while Garvey responded almost immediately to affirm his interest in participating in the debate, Russ has declined to take part.

Both Landmark Managing Editor Bob Uphues and Publisher Dan Haley made formal invitations to Russ. However, last week, Russ made it clear he had no interest in participating.

As a result, we have called off our plans to host a debate this election season. But we would like to serve notice to voters and candidates in Brookfield that open debates in front of residents should be part of the political process.

All too often, we hear from both sides of the political spectrum that the other side has no vision and no credibility. What better way to prove that point than in an open debate on the issues that face residents every day.

We thank the Brookfield Chamber and District 95 for their cooperation and generosity in trying to help this debate fly. Hopefully, this attempt will open the door to such an event in the future.

?”Bob Uphues