Claiming to have achieved the goals they set out to accomplish four years ago, the four members of the Riverside Community Alliance elected to the village board in 2009 have announced they will not run for re-election in April.

In an emailed statement sent to the Landmark on Wednesday morning, Village President Michael Gorman and trustees James Reynolds, Lonnie Sacchi and Mark Shevitz explained why they were stepping aside.

“Residents now know that when the village board plays an active role in overseeing village operations, there is no need to threaten cuts in village services as an excuse to try and push through a tax increase,” the statement reads.

According to the statement, “it was never our ambition to run Riverside for any extended period of time. We wanted to prove that there was a different, smarter way to do things in Riverside.”

The statement touts the RCA’s method of budgeting as a model for future village boards to follow. It urged the next board not to return to “the old ways.”

“The next village board has a new template for responsible budgeting that it can choose to follow or not,” the statement reads. “We hope that they continue to budget sensibly and grow village savings and services.”

The deadline for candidates to file nominating petitions for office for the April 9, 2013 Consolidated Election is 5 p.m. on Wednesday. With the RCA deciding to walk away, the only candidates for office appear to be those nominated by the Riverside community Caucus — Ben Sells, for president; and Patricia Julian Collins, Ellen Hamilton and Doug Pollock, for trustee.

The RCA also did not field a slate of candidates for the 2011 election, when Sells, Jean Sussman and Joseph Ballerine were elected as trustees. If Sells remains unopposed by the end of Wednesday, he’ll be guaranteed the president’s chair in 2013. At that time, he’ll have the opportunity to appoint someone, with the assent of the board, to his spot as a trustee.

For a full report see the Jan. 2 edition of the Landmark.

Statement from Riverside Community Alliance

When we ran for election to the Riverside Village Board in April 2009, we did so with the intention of providing the residents of Riverside with a better choice: better than the one-party rule of many years; a better way of budgeting; a better way providing opportunities for input from the public; a better focus on business, not overdevelopment in our business districts. We ran four years ago to put an end to unchecked spending and a seemingly continual push for higher property taxes. It was never our ambition to run Riverside for any extended period of time. We wanted to prove that there was a different, smarter way to do things in Riverside. A smarter way to conserve tax dollars and create a thriving, functioning and responsive village and local government.

Residents now know that there is no need for a property tax increase to maintain – or even expand – village services. Rather than running out of money, as was predicted before we were elected, the village now enjoys a substantial surplus and is in, as one local media outlet called it, an “enviable” fiscal position. Residents now know that when the Village Board plays an active role in overseeing village operations, there is no need to threaten cuts in village services as an excuse to try and push through a tax increase.

The next Village Board has a new template for responsible budgeting that it can choose to follow or not. We trust that the next Village Board will not return to the old ways, which produced plans for a hidden property tax increase in the form of a TIF and a property tax hike on the ballot. Instead, we hope that they continue to budget sensibly and grow village savings and services.

While we will not be candidates for re-election in 2013, during our remaining term in office we will continue to invest our time, effort and passion on behalf of the residents of Riverside. It has been, and always will be, an honor and a privilege to have represented our National Historic Landmark community.

Michael Gorman, Riverside Village President
Jim Reynolds, Riverside Village Trustee
Lonnie Sacchi, Riverside Village Trustee
Mark D. Shevitz, Riverside Village Trustee

14 replies on “RCA won’t run candidates for re-election in Riverside”