Friday, March 20, 2009
Mount Prospect Endorsements
Redevelopment is one of the key issues facing Mount Prospect candidates for mayor and village board.
Almost all agree the redevelopment of Randhurst Shopping Center into a lifestyle center called Randhurst Village will be a positive economic boost for the community. On the flip side, all do not agree on the redevelopment of the Triangle area in downtown Mount Prospect. A developer was chosen, but has been unable to secure financing. The incumbents still back the project, saying the developer has a solid plan once the economy turns around. There is no reason at this time to believe otherwise. Challengers say more developers should have been considered and plans for more condos scaled back.
Mayor Irvana Wilks, 63, is seeking reelection based on her record and longtime service to the village. We believe Wilks has done well in her first term and endorse her as we did four years ago over Ernest Lasse, 66, and over Patricia Bird, 45, a newcomer to village politics with undefined goals.
Lasse is critical of the current board when it comes to the downtown area and believes any project like this should be approved by voters via referendum. We disagree. He lists as his No. 1 priority a crackdown by village police on illegal aliens and wrongly opposes a neighborhood community center in southern Mount Prospect for that reason. Wilks believe the center is needed to provide services and to reach out to the Hispanic community.
For village board, there are four fine candidates for three 4-year terms. Trustee Michael Zadel, 62, has earned our endorsement for a third term. Steven Polit, 57 and John Matuszak, 45, were both appointed last year. They deserve a chance to make their mark and earn our endorsement. At age 22, Matthew Stankowicz would bring a different perspective, but he lacks the experience. We encourage him to remain involved in village government.