Riverside is on the right track in terms of town hall meetings regarding the potential TIF district for the community. An open discussion, pro and con, is the way to go. Although the outreach was a little slow on the uptake, it was no too late to provide the forum that such a subject would engender.

Is a TIF good or bad for Riverside? One can probably argue both ways. In other areas where I have seen TIFs, some have worked, some have not. A lot depends on the underlying area and its attractions as well as how much support the people want to put into a TIF.

In Riverside, there is certainly a fear that one, major landowner might disproportionately benefit from a TIF, leaving others in the dust, if even that. The other argument is also valid: when one TIFs, other taxing bodies do take a hit, which in Riverside vernacular means schools. Schools, as we know, are already one of the most expensive taxation hits with most of their operations based on property taxes. In a village with so little business, such costs hit up the homeowner excessively.

Now, the village trustees deserve credit for trying to come up with a creative way to attract business to the village, and that is what a TIF is-a creative way to entice businesses to come to a place, since assessments are frozen for a given period of time, making the potential success of a business that much better.

So, I don’t think that those who do not like the idea of a TIF ought to be screaming at trustees for trying to come up with some ideas. Maybe the trustees will have to come up with some other creative notions after all is said and done and the results of upcoming referenda are tabulated. But, before voting, the public ought to be thoroughly educated on the issue, not merely voting on emotion or gossip.

There is something amiss when a village loses something like 90 businesses in 35 years. What makes it so impossible to keep businesses in Riverside? Maybe our readership can write letters to the editor and answer that question.

We know that the Chew Chew Cafe has defied all odds and run one of the most successful restaurants in the area. Grumpy’s is alive and well, and is well supported. Riverside has traditionally supported a supermarket like Riverside Foods.

But what about the rest of the remaining retailers? Do Riversiders support them? Certainly our former antique shops are gone and art shops are hard pressed, both of which added a unique spice to the quiet village.

It may be that there is no desire for businesses in Riverside except for the few basics. It may be that the status quo or less is quite acceptable, with Riversiders ultimately patronizing retailers in LaGrange, Hinsdale, Oak Park and Forest Park where retailers are thriving.

Every municipality ultimately decides what it will look like, what it will support, what it will be known for. Maybe Riverside just wants to be a quiet, little village, pretty much overlooked in its desire for anonymity.

It will be interesting to see how this all turns out, since the fate of the referenda and the fate of the TIF will set the course of the village for the future.

At such time, we all need sit back and go with the flow. Majority does rule.