Franklin Park Mayoral Debate at East ...

Franklin Park Mayoral Debate at East Leyden High school

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Jack Mehoff

Elmwood Park, IL

#1 Feb 11, 2009
What did everyone think?

Oak Park, IL

#2 Feb 11, 2009
I think Bill lacked any substance in any of his responses. He rarely directly answered the questions, and was more vague. I think Barrett was a little too focused on name dropping at times, but he brought up some very good points about the present administration/village staff. I think Dan might have been a bit more aggressive in his responses, and seemed to finally get a handle on things at the end. All in all, I'm glad the Rotary Club held the forum and that we had a chance to see the three of them side by side.
Jack Mehoff

Elmwood Park, IL

#3 Feb 12, 2009
I think they should answer questions on this thread?

Sunnyvale, CA

#4 Feb 12, 2009
I think you have to remember that Bill is a citizen like you and me and he was very nervous. He is not a lawyer who is used to throwing names and issues around. You need to talk to Bill on a one on one and give him a chance to talk to you and let you know what his plans are and not judge him from reading from something. He is like you and me just a citizen of FP and wants what is best for our town. He is very straight forward and honest and doesn't need to throw names around to win votes. Do we want someone that cares about our community and wants to bring it back to the place we all were happy and could afford to live in or do we want someone that can stand up and make a good speech and throw names around or do we want someone that has run our town into the ground? If you listened to the speech he prepared he let you know he is just one of us and wants what is best for our town and he didn't need to put anyone down to do that.
jack mehoff

Downers Grove, IL

#5 Feb 12, 2009
Barrett won the debate, but that was a given. He is a seasoned speaker and touched on points that noone else did. He also did drop names for a good reason. He has the relationships with higher government already, Bill on the other hand does not. Bill is a good guy with great ideas, the question is how can these ideas become a reality without strong connections? I would vote for Barrett because he has the the connections to move FP forward without out the BS and the pipe dreams
We Need Change

Elmwood Park, IL

#6 Feb 12, 2009
Bill has connection and all the things that Barrett and Pritchett touched on last night were all Bill's idea from the get go. Bill told us long ago what he wanted to do. Barrett went around and talked to people and found out what they wanted. Bill already knew the issues. If you talk to him one on one I think you will find he would a great asset to this town. How is BP going to be a Mayor, Lawyer, Father to 2 little children, work for the democratic party and put all his efforts to our community? Bill knows alot of the inside stuff going on and before you make a decision please talk with him and his party. He is gung ho to make these changes because he is one of us and not a lawyer or politician. Give him a chance out of the soap box and ask him and his party questions. I'm not saying Barrett is bad but I don't think he will put all his efforts into it because you just can't do so many jobs and do them well. What I do know is we need change and that is not to get DP back in office. Give ICAP a chance to show you what they are all about.
jack mehoff

Downers Grove, IL

#7 Feb 13, 2009
How can improvement to FP be Bill's idea? The point I am trying to make is he can talk about problems and changes, how can he make changes when he does not have the necessary connections outside of FP (Barrett does). Who will help him secure extra funds for roads or school improvements? The only relationship Bill may have is with the police. I know Bill is a good guy and can improve FP, but we need more.Bill does not know the inside as much as Barrett, Barrett is the Democratic Committeeman for Leyden Township on numerous area clubs, former Village Prosecutor (until DP found out he was running for mayor)an involved in many other FP activities. Bill is retired, DP is already Mayor and Barrett already stated he will give up his practice and devote his full attention to rebuilding FP. Barrett has managed so far to dedicate his personal, political and professional life. Barrett is a lawyer born and raised in Franklin Park and has been aware of all issues and has talked to many people about what issues are bothering them instead of coming to his own conclusions,kind of like Pritchett.'Change' i have not decided to vote and have researched both candidates, from now until the election is critical for all parties. Good Luck!
Long Time Resident 1of 2

Brady, TX

#9 Feb 13, 2009
Observations from February 11th.
Dan looked terrible. I thought he might be ill. Whenever he answered a question he appeared almost robotic. I thought he was very uncomfortable.(I sincerely hope is health is OK).
Barrett can be very slick and polished but his arrogance shows through. Somebody is pulling his strings. More specifics on this later.
Bill Ruhl seemed the most sincere. What politics desperately needs, at all levels, are folks of character and a sense of purpose. Both of his opponents have questionable character and their sense of purpose has been superseded by their desire for power, self-importance and self-aggrandizement.
At all levels in Illinois Government, the name of the game is “Pay to Play”. It doesn't matter what the political party is. That's the way things are done in Illinois. Both of Bill's opponents spoke of “free money”. There is no such thing. It comes from somebody.
Barrett spoke of “Openness” in Government. Meanwhile his party has passed the largest spending bill in American History, cobbled together in secret, with no opportunity for your political opponents to be heard. Barrett is a typical hypocrite. He is not to be trusted.
Barrett made an excellent point (which made Dan uncomfortable) when he claimed that Dan's nepotism costs the taxpayers 500K per year. If that's true I guess it's politics as usual in Cook County. This point should be verified and if true, Dan is not fit for office.
Barrett also spoke of no-bid contracts in the Village. If this is true Dan must not be re-elected. Where is the legal line here? At what point is nepotism and no-bit contracts criminal? So much for Dan's fiduciary responsibilities.
At one point Dan proudly exclaimed that CVS and Sonic were coming to the Grand and Mannheim but the “Big Box” stores were on the sidelines while the economy is in a depression. I was completely with Bill Ruhl here. Why destroy taxpaying businesses in bad economic times eliminating this revenue stream? Doesn't the village own this property due to a TIFF? If so, this terrible decision rests on Dan's shoulders alone.
Not to be outdone in the realm of idiotic ideas Barrett spoke of the TIFF redevelopment of the old Motorola building. He talked about the “impact fees” to be collected from the developers. Perhaps the reason the joint is empty is the pass-through of such fees to potential purchasers and the high association fees of such a redevelopment. There's no “free lunch” Barrett, that's why they are empty.
Barrett's “sound bite of the evening” will always echo in my mind. Barrett rattled off a long list of Crook County politicians he has a “personal” relationship with. Swell. Elect me because I have a “good relationship” with the other crooks!
Not to be outdone Dan blathered about his “connections”. Ah yes,“Pay to Play”.
Long Time Resident 2of 2

Brady, TX

#10 Feb 13, 2009
Dan reminded us about his “festivals”. There was a time when this was done more “informally” and the essential purpose of such activities was to meet your neighbors. Perhaps Dan is correct, this needs to be commercialized.(I think the Romans did the same thing but they called it “Bread and Circuses”).
Bill, you were the ONLY candidate to mention attracting Industry.(That's where folks produce stuff that can be sold.) It's called “producing wealth”. Dan rattled off a long list of “Industries”(like Walgreens, Taco Bell and Dunkin Donuts) but that's not what's going to produce wealth and solid middle class jobs. Barrett's answer is always the same, Government Jobs in a Socialist Worker's Paradise. Well, he doesn't actually say that, but I think that's what he means.
Did you notice Barrett's soliloquy about “victims”? It's no accident that almost all trial lawyers belong to the same political party.
“Carbon Emissions”...
When this question came up the guy sitting in front of me cringed and said “What the Hell!”.
The only carbon emitting source we have to fear is Barrett. What on earth does the Village have to do with climate change. Now I know that Big Al Gore says the “debate” is over but Big Al doesn't want to hear any other opinions.
If there are things the Village can do that are “cost effective” that's fine. Spending the people's taxes to be “politically correct” is not a good idea.
Barrett wants a “Nanny State” where “Big Brother” dictates all development decisions. More “Pay to Play” games with another layer of obfuscation. Thank you, no.
The Public Library has books in Spanish and Polish and these exist as a way to introduce foreign born folks to the concept of “free Public Libraries”. They simply don't exist in those countries. There are classes in English at the High Schools. English is what unites us in this Constitutional Republic. Non-English speakers represent a permanent underclass that will never be assimilated into the United States. They represent perfect “victims” for Barrett's political party.
In summary...
Dan must go. I like Dan and respect his service to the community but I look around my home town and don't like what I see. Perhaps Dan can argue that he's a “victim” of circumstances beyond his control. Perhaps. However, if the nepotism alone is true, he must go.
Barrett is dangerous. I think he lacks credibility. He epitomizes the “Pay to Play” politics of the past. I don't hate the man, I just disagree with him. You defeat people like him with facts. Against facts he can offer no defense.
Finally, please consider this.
Blago, the former Governor of the State, was elected to be our Congressman in the 5th CD. Incredibly, the media media (or his own party) did not check into the man's background (or character). Worse was to come. When Blago twice ran for Governor no one mentioned that he was a former "bookie" for the mob. Yes, his party got rid of him quickly. They don't want you to know the truth.
Between 1997 and 2006 727,000 people have left the Peoples Republic of Illinois taking jobs and taxes with them.
I'm not making this up:
According to this our "Economic Performance Rank" is 48 of 50 and our "Economic Outlook" is 42 of 50. This data was from 2006 so things are much worse now.
What do people from Oak Park and Chicago have to do with Franklin Park? I know that it's OK for Illegal Aliens to vote in the Sanctuary City of the People's Republic of Chicago but I thought this was a Franklin Park Contest. I guess Crook County Politicians are "above the law".

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
Franklin Park

Bloomingdale, IL

#11 Feb 13, 2009
Didn't we just get rid of a questionable Governor?
With all of Barrett's connections don't you think there would be some questionable "deals"? Politics are politics... let's try someone that doesn't have the "connections" now but will learn from the ground up. I don't want to see another "Daley-family" situation in Franklin Park. That's what you would have with Pedersen following Pricett.
Franklin Park

Bloomingdale, IL

#12 Feb 13, 2009
Why would Dan be proud of a Sonic Burger going in at Grand & Mannheim? There was one at Melrose Crossing in front of the DMV. Doors shut in less than a year. Also a Sonic was at the corner of Mannheim & Washington in Bellwood, that lasted longer than the Melrose Park one, but Guess what?....It's now an all night currency exchange.This town needs business' that are willing to stick around. CVS would be in competition with Osco, KMart, Walgreen's Save-less drugs(on Franklin AVE.) DUH! The development committee is just grasping at straws to make a showing that Dan has done something. Not a smart move.
Grappler in Franklin Park

Cary, IL

#13 Feb 13, 2009
How is Obama or any other person going to run the country when they have young children to raise? Come on people get real. Stick to the issues. It was great that the Rotary Club hosted the forum on Wednesday night. People got to hear the candidates and see how they handle pressure.

Just because you have been the mayor does not mean you are entitled to continue as mayor. Just because you were a policeman for 36 years does not qualify you to be mayor. Just because you are a lawyer does not qualify you to be mayor.

It's a combination of many things and connections are a big part of it. BP has them, DP has them, BR needs to know if he's elected he will need to make them. He can not be effective without them. BP has the upper hand in this area. Yes he let us know who he knows maybe too many times. The fact is BP has worked hard to make these connections so lets use them for the betterment of Franklin Park.

I encourage everyone, go to all three candidates dinners, and events. Go and talk to them, meet their team as well. Let's vote in the best qualified between BP and BR. The issue's facing Franklin Park were not BR's idea's. They were gift wrapped by DP to whomever was going to run against him.
Long Time Resident

Brady, TX

#14 Feb 13, 2009
Just a few additional points:

At one point, Dan said to Barrett: "You were the Village Prosecutor for nine years." Excuse me, but if Barrett saw a problem with the Inspection Department why did he stick around for more than a week?

Also is it conflict of interest to be bashing your former client?

As citizens of this village can we take him down for this conflict and ask to have his law license revoked?

This is Crook County. Lawyers and Politicians are "above the law" here.

Thereafter, Dan added some background information by bragging that there were only two employees in the inspection dept when he took office. How many are there in that office today? Twenty?


My neighbor told me that "somebody" in the Village told him that you need a "Building Permit" to repaint the interior of your home. At least that's in the Village code.

We Need Change

Elmwood Park, IL

#15 Feb 13, 2009
It's not all about just raising children as it is he is involved in so many other things of which one of them is the pay to play group. How is he going to do all these jobs? If you believe he is going to be a full time mayor and not be a lawyer and also work for the democratic party then I have some swamp land in BFI to sell you. Fortunately we have the right to vote for who we want to but I sure don't want someone that is connected with so many that that have been involved with some real sheisters. We need some real clean up done and why not start in Franklin Park? We have 3 candidates running. I think most people are really fed up with the DP nepitism, cronyism and how he has fun our town into the ground so now we need change. Personally I would like to see someone that is sincere and wants to make our town a place where we want to enjoy living again. I don't want someone that can talk a big talk and stand up and throw out names. But that's what makes us fortunate to be in a country we can choose. We have made some really bad choices with the Blago group and the Pritchett group so get out there and talk to all of them and then make your choice don't make it based on someone that can stand up and give a good speech.
As for Pritchett being sick. I think if I was standing in front of so many people and got my b*lls busted I would look sick too. When you are doing so many nasty things and you have it thrown in front of with so many people listening I think we would all be sick looking. Aren't we all tired of these slick ones? I know I'm tired of the BS and want someone who is sincere and who wants our town a place we can afford and bring back business to our town. We support Bill and the ICAP team. He is not running by himself he has a terrific team behind him.
Franklin Park

Bloomingdale, IL

#16 Feb 13, 2009
At one time early in BR's decision to run for Mayor, he approached Barrett to run with him. BP hemmed & hawed for a few weeks before he told Bill that he was going to run also. Why wasn't he up front to start with. Does the Democratic party want to get their hooks into Franklin Park? What made BP change his mind about running against the other two? I have friend that is an attorney and plays basketball at the East Bank Club with Todd Stroger. Does that mean my friend has connections for state & federal money? You don't have to be "connected" to get the information.

Mokena, IL

#17 Feb 13, 2009
Dan looked like he was nervous? Anyone agree...

Batavia, IL

#18 Feb 13, 2009
Jack Mehoff wrote:
What did everyone think?
I think that Dan zapped Barett with the remark "You were the village prosecutor for nine years." Why Barrett could take money for doing that job for nine years and now find a problem with inspections is hypocrisy. Then Dan shot himself with the comment that "There were only two people in the inspection department when I took over." How many people are there in that department now?
Even if Barrett is not in line with the idea of inspections anymore isn't that a conflict of interest for him to be condemning his former client? Don't you have to defend your former clients position? Or is it just the loss of the job of village prosecutor that is forcing him to look elsewhere for money because his attorney business is not providing enough income for him to make it? Also he will not give up his private practice when he becomes mayor. What about potential conflicts of interest from having clients and being the mayor? Is that not enough of a problem to kick him out of the race?
I Hate FP trains

Elmwood Park, IL

#19 Feb 13, 2009
BR does not have the connections to actually get things done in FP. We are not in a situation to "wait and see". Barrett has worked with many politicians. Those connections make it possible to make FP a great town. Bill is good and has great ideas, how will he execute these ideas? He does not have the connections to pull something off like the underpass. You know full well that DP did not have the pull to bring in the underpass, this was brought to us by Skip Saviano and Rahm Emanuel. Saviano supports Bp in these elections not BR or DP. Rahm is now working with the president of the US, he has worked with Rahm many times has BR or DP? not really. Bill is a good person, he is only qualifie for Trustee not Mayor.
i hate trains too

Elmwood Park, IL

#20 Feb 13, 2009
BP is qualified for Mayor, BR has great ideas; he should have run with BP to be a trustee.
Grappler in Franklin Park

Cary, IL

#21 Feb 13, 2009
As it has been stated before. Go and Meet BP and BR, neither is a bad guy. Just because you support one or the other doesn't give you the right to condemn the other one. Support your candidate on his merits, not by tearing down the other guy. I have seen this same crap in the work place, you can't get ahead on your own merits or work ethics so you talk down your compitetion. You get the job, and fall flat on your face. Because now you can't blame the people, for your lack of expierence. Even in the work place we need connections. They call it networking. Well BP has the network already in place.

If BP is responsible for the time he was prosecutor, then BR is also responsible for some issues as well for being a sargent on the police force. I doubt any of the candidates are squeaky clean. I doubt any of us our that clean either. So lets quit throwing rocks and jabs and get to the issues that matter. Character assassinations won't help either BP or BR. They will help DP get back in again.

Also to the kids that were not paying attention, BP said he will give up his law practice to devote his time and energy to running the village. As of right now BP seems to be the most qualified for the job. I agree BR should have started out as a trustee to see the inner workings of the village.

And to blogger "Franklin Park", your friend who plays basketball with Todd S, needs to be a relative to get the money from Todd. Well according to the big papers in Chicago anyway.

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