Brookfield’s dual nature revealed itself again on April 5, with the north and south sides of the village favoring opposite slates of candidates in the race for village trustee. But the division was intensified – in favor of the victorious candidates from the PEP Party – by a significant vote on a topic unrelated to the politics of the village board.

The Riverside-Brookfield High School tax referendum motivated voters in Proviso and Riverside townships to get to the polls on April 5, while voters in Lyons Township didn’t have that driving issue to boost turnout.

Voter turnout on the north end of Brookfield, traditionally a PEP Party stronghold, was simply greater than in Lyons Township, which has a history of supporting VIP Party candidates.

Just 24.7 percent of registered voters in Lyons Township cast ballots on Election Day. In Proviso Township, voter turnout was 40 percent and in the two Riverside Township precincts, it was 49.5 percent. As a result, almost three times as many ballots were cast on the north end of the village compared with the south end.

And that turned out to be bad news for VIP Party candidates Wil Brennan, Bill Russ and Douglas Tremper, who failed to carry any precincts north of Southview Avenue. In Proviso and Riverside townships, PEP’s slate of Ryan Evans, C.P. Hall and Kit Ketchmark routinely overwhelmed their opponents, in many cases doubling their vote totals.

And, truth be told, south of Southview, it was a mixed bag for VIP.

The good news for VIP in Lyons Township was that Brennan carried five of seven precincts, while Russ and Tremper carried four each. But their margin of victory was small enough in those precincts that, overall, only Brennan carried Lyons Township for VIP. Otherwise, the majority of voters south of Southview preferred Ketchmark and Evans.

Lyons Township was also split roughly between voters living in the two elementary school districts. Voters in District 103 generally went for VIP, while voters in District 102 preferred PEP.

Overall voter turnout in Brookfield, 34.5 percent, was far greater than suburban Cook County as a whole. According to the Cook County Clerk, voter turnout in suburban Cook County was a dismal 16 percent.