A political sign on a lawn in Forest View promoting the write-in campaigns on April 4. (Photo by Carol McGowan)
Forest View write-in’s hoping for victory on April 4
By Carol McGowan
The Village of Forest View has a trustee race that can add new faces to the boardroom after the April 4 election.
Up for grabs are three, four-year terms for trustee. All three incumbents have filed petitions to be on the ballot. They are Maria A. Ramirez, Mike Grossi, and Jim Sudkamp.
Two people filed paperwork with the Cook County Clerk’s office as write-in candidates. They are Kathleen C. Ehresman and Chad McDade.
There is also an unexpired two-year term for trustee. Incumbent Midalia Nevarez in the only one seeking that spot.
Being as Forest View is the only municipality in the Desplaines Valley News coverage area to have write-in candidates for village trustee, the newspaper had hoped to hold a forum earlier this month for residents to meet all the candidates and ask questions.
Our request to use the village community room, however, was turned down by the board of trustees. When asked if a forum could be held elsewhere, the incumbents said they didn’t want to take part.
The two-write in candidates did respond to some of the questions that would have been put to all of the candidates, if a forum would have taken place.
What is your history in Forest View?
Ehresman said she’s lived in the village her entire life. “For those that don’t know me, I’m a lifelong resident of Forest View. My family has grown to four generations here since the 1950s. I, and my family, love this town. Our roots are planted here and this is where we plan to stay. We have decades of memories here and I wouldn’t change that, this is our home.”
McDade said, “In 2008, I was looking for houses all over the area and saw a listing in a town that I had never heard of before. After seeing the house and taking a tour of the neighborhood and seeing all the great things the village has to offer, I decided that this is where I wanted to live. After being here a few years, I was asked to join the park board since it had some vacancies, and I agreed. It’s hard to believe that over 10 years have passed since I joined the park board. I initially realized that the park was struggling financially, but when the flood hit, it became obvious to me that some drastic changes needed to be made. The park couldn’t even pay for the flood repairs. An outside contractor repaired our building at no cost to us as part of their advertising campaign and I personally saved all the maintenance equipment, such as the two tractors that are still in use to this very day.
“After the flood, there was a long road to financial recovery as I started making changes and saving money anywhere I could and slowly was able to build some momentum to the point that nearly everything in the park has been repaired or replaced, features have been added and we have about three years of income in reserve for special projects and emergencies. The park is currently in great financial shape and we have entered phase two of my plan where we can start expanding the recreation department and offering more activities to residents.”
Why are you running?
Ehresman: “What gave me the final push to get involved with village government, and serve as a voice for the people, was my appreciation for the outpouring of love and support from this village that has gotten my family through the loss of my granddaughter just over a year ago. From prayers, calls, visits, food, flowers, ribbons, memorials, to the hundreds and hundreds attending the services, it reminded me of why I love my hometown. It made me feel blessed with the people in the town I call home, and I’d like to give back, and be a voice for them. From events in the park, and gatherings for village sponsored events, it’s the people that live here that make this community what it is. We have a mayor and village officials that work hard, and I wish to become a part of it.”
McDade: “This is a complicated issue. For years, I have watched the infighting at the board meetings and it always made me uncomfortable. I’ve watched presidents come and go, department heads hired and fired and other trustees quit, and yet, one set of trustees, infighting and problems remain. For several years, many people have asked me to run for village trustee, however, I was too busy fixing the park. Recently, I was at a village meeting which featured a presentation about pension funding and problems concerning pension funding and I could see that the trustees were having trouble understanding the presentation. That was the moment I decided that I needed to get involved. If the pension funding is mishandled, it could ruin this town financially and our services could be drastically cut back and our property taxes could jump sky high to cover any shortages in pension payouts. Knowing that the park is in good hands, I feel that I can now offer my same vision of financial responsibility to the Village of Forest View.”
What are your goals if elected?
Ehresman: “One goal is to tackle parking. Parking has been an issue and hot topic for some time, especially those that are on corners and don’t have long driveways. While out going door to door, some have told me they would like to open some of the streets for parking. Another thought on parking, is to allow street parking for certian events including those that take place at the park. Some residents are not able to walk several blocks whether it be related to the time of day, or a medical reason. Only so many vehicles fit in the lot at village hall and those that can’t walk over might not attend functions as they don’t want to, or simply can’t walk that far. What’s different now from years prior, is that sometimes there are a more than two vehicle per household, and it becomes a real issue for those without the long driveways. Perhaps we can open up some side streets for parking to help everyone out.”
McDade: “My goal is to make Forest View financially viable. I would like the pension funding to be where it needs to be, I would like to see some improvements such as fixing some of the streets. Anyone that has driven down Home Avenue can tell you how bad it has become. I would like to find outside sources of revenue to help fund the necessary changes, sources such as annexing businesses south of I55 or developing land along I55 for businesses. I would like to keep the burden away from our residents.” McDade also talked about the streets.
“In terms of visible changes, the streets are probably the most visible thing that needs to be addressed. There is currently an issue about the corner houses with their short driveways that make parking without blocking the sidewalk difficult. I would like to see those people left alone, the houses were built 50-60 years ago and haven’t been an issue until recently. I think future garages should be placed further back allowing more driveway and all current garages should be grandfathered in. I don’t think its right to pick on a particular group of people because of circumstances beyond their control.”
Why do you think it’s in a residents best interest to vote for you?
Ehresman: “I will be a supporter of everyone in our village, in particularly the elderly. They need to have more of a voice. I would love to see them checked on regularly if needed. Many of our senior residents have lived here for decades. I would love to see more programs and services to perhaps be rolled out for them. If voted in, I would consider how each and every person would feel about any item up for vote and would vote in the best interest of all of our reisidents. I don’t want division, I want this community to be one. We should be helping eachother and respecting eachother, even if there’s a difference of opinion.”
McDade: “I have no personal agenda and my goals should be the same as everyone else’s. Keeping property taxes as low as possible, keeping the village in good condition and making sure that the village has enough money to function without disruption. I am interested in listening to the different department heads and hearing their suggestions on how to save money and operate more efficiently. Much of my success at the park comes from working with my department heads instead of telling them how I think that they could do their job better.”
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