We’re not exactly certain how much of a revolution is underway in North Riverside, but the April 5 election was a startling turn of events given the difficulties the village has faced in the economic downturn of the past couple of years.
In 2009, H. Bob Demopoulos, who won election on April 5 as a village trustee, barely made a dent in the results in his campaign for village president. Other non-VIP Party candidates fell by margins as great as 4 to 1.
VIP officials say they didn’t underestimate their opponents this time around, but we’re not so sure we believe that. The party was outhustled by its opponents and didn’t respond forcefully enough to alleged misinformation being tendered.
The fact that Rocco DeSantis outgunned top VIP-vote getter Randy Czajka by more than 200 votes is nothing short of breathtaking.
However, North Riverside voters may also be tiring of the village’s opaque style of governance and the two new faces on the village board, we hope, will push for the kind of openness that ought to be expected. That means opening up the village’s website to include more information about board and committee meetings – not only their times and dates, but board packet materials, minutes, bills, the works. This is not hard to do any longer and is not too much to expect. North Riverside needs only to look to its neighbors in Riverside and Brookfield to see how this information can be made available for its residents.
We hope the April 5 election is an eye-opener in that respect, and we hope that the new trustees will make it a priority to push for that kind of transparency.
What’s good for the goose, right?
Riverside Trustee Lonnie Sacchi is known for being a strong anti-tax proponent. Prior to being elected to the village board in 2009, he campaigned against a property tax increase that the village was asking for at the time.
Since that election, with the economy tanking, Sacchi has voted to defer expenditures for everything from park maintenance to a new fire house driveway apron to village vehicles. He’s been consistent.
At the same time, Sacchi has also said, on more than one occasion, that the village of Riverside will eventually have to seek a referendum to raise operating revenues. When will that be, who knows, but it’s coming.
Given that perspective, it’s not surprising that Sacchi would be so vigorously campaigning against a tax increase by the local high school district (a win for them would make the village’s chances even worse).
But it’ll be interesting to see just how his recent anti-tax stance will play when he comes asking voters for the same thing in a few years.