First and foremost, I would like to thank all of the residents who took it upon themselves to make the recreation referendum a huge success. Not only did this referendum win a majority, it won with over two-thirds of the electorate agreeing that the village of Riverside should maintain an independent, non-political parks and recreation board. The volunteers who supported “Rec Yes!” were a true cross section of our residents, from young to old, soccer moms to baseball granddads.

One of the hardest parts of being an elected official is to understand when the loudest voices also constitute the collective voice. This referendum allowed our elected officials the opportunity to gauge support for their idea and/or agenda. I struggled with whether the support for the Riverside Parks and Recreation Board was just a small, energetic group of like-minded people preaching to the choir. Last Tuesday answered that question. The choir turned into the congregation.

I respectfully ask our elected officials to revisit this issue. Can they honestly ignore 2,710 voters? This is more voters than rejected the TIF, and far more voters than elected them to office.

The next few months will be when we see the true meaning of representative government.

Do we still have a say?

Joe Ballerine

Joe Ballerine is a former member of the Riverside Parks and Recreation Board.