By Bob Uphues
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.