Remember the old catcall “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” We Morton Avenue kids, and plenty of others too, used to shout this at one another sometimes, whether it was true or not. Sometimes we just wanted to get a rise out of our opponents to see if they’d say or do something stupid.

I wonder if the VIP “team” is trying the same tactics? Seems a little childish to me. Oh well, during a Brookfield election, anything goes around here. Just as it has since 1894, 111 years ago.

On March 10, I found in my mailbox campaign literature from both PEP and VIP. Pep promises “New Energy, New Ideas, New Leadership,” and asks “Aren’t you tired of being ‘Billed?'”

VIP asks the voters “Hey, PEP Party! Remember Grandma’s cure for telling lies?”

I had to laugh, at first. Which member of the VIP is that photographed grandma holding the yellow soap bar supposed to represent? Just who is that photo of? I’m curious. VIP goes on to say, “Stop ‘soft soaping’ people?”Tell the truth.”

They say that PEP is lying about Brookfield’s financial condition, crime rate, taxes, street program and development. What? Is that all? What about global warming?

Every bit of campaign literature VIP has put out points proudly to the CVS deal, and that would seem to be a tarnished accomplishment, in some respects. Nowhere is there any mention of the fact that due to the CVS deal Fisher’s Pharmacy closed its doors forever, when all the initial horn tooting in June, 2003 was that CVS and Fisher’s would be working side by side and both would exist independently and live happily ever after. Remember?

When Fisher’s, in business since 1945 closed, the Grand Boulevard business block lost a good anchor store. Soon All-American Video, next door, shut down forever. It’s almost as if Fisher’s was calculated to shut down with others to follow. Then the whole block could be bought up cheaply for redevelopment. Wouldn’t surprise me, not a bit. Hey, if you can dare to put an inn in Kiwanis Park, then anything is possible.

Why VIP is so happy to call attention to the CVS deal, I don’t know. Maybe they think Brookfield residents have short memories. Mind you, I’m not against growth and development, but it seems that sometimes it’s gone out of control.

After studying a developer’s request for changes, the zoning board turns thumbs down on the project. But then the village board decides otherwise. Apparently they know better. People “even on the zoning board began to wonder things like “what use is even having a zoning board? Why not just grant variances for every building project? It’d sure save a lot of time.”

So VIP says “Can’t trust a liar! Can’t trust PEP!,” and PEP says “Bill Russ and the VIP fiscal policy has been a complete failure!”

What if they’re both right? Who are we left with? What will you do on your ballot? Maybe you could put a little box beneath Russ’ and Garvey’s names and write me in, “Christopher A. Stach for Village President.”

Well, it’s better than voting for Superman, Barbie, Dan Quayle or other fictional characters. Heck, you could even vote for yourself.

One thing Russ has said is that through the sale of the village property on the 8900 block of Fairview Avenue, the money can be used to repair the pedestrian bridge over Salt Creek. Now I’m sure some people might say that was a waste of the money, but you won’t find me saying that. No, sirree, I think it’s a fine idea, if after the passage of time the money is actually used for that. I hope it’s not just an idle election promise.

He has also indicated that if current Village Manager Dave Owen decides to retire in the next year or so, he would conduct a search for a new manager. Sounds fine, so far, but then he says that “it’s always helpful if you know some of these people.”

I hope that means knowing them only professionally, by reputation, and not necessarily knowing they will just do whatever he says. I hope that new manager will be doing what is best for the entire village, and not necessarily only what the village president (whoever that turns out to be) thinks is best.

Another of our current village president’s thoughts is that by demolishing the Cullerton Cadillac building on Ogden, an Outback Steakhouse or a Bennigan’s might move in. LaGrange residents would come over the bridge to eat. That sounded reasonable to me until a few people pointed out that LaGrange already had plenty of restaurants, and why would they want to come here for that?

It’s not as if we don’t have a Villa Maria’s, a Brunetti’s, a Paisan’s, a Luna’s and so on. Do we get a lot of LaGrangers in those establishments? Or are they afraid to come too far into Brookfield to eat? Villa Maria’s is just a couple blocks east of the old Cullerton building, for gosh sakes!

Mr. Russ is running for a second term as village president. He has ruled over Brookfield for four years. Mr. Garvey wants to take his place for the next four years. My fellow residents, you probably hate having to go through this, every four years, but consider yourself lucky that you didn’t live here a hundred years ago. Every year a new president and trustees had to be voted into office. Think of having to go through all this every single year!