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posted: 3/14/2013 5:00 AM

Endorsement: Whittington, Saeed for Lombard village board

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The Lombard village board embarrassed itself and the community last summer and fall when it allowed political divisions to overshadow common sense while struggling to replace Village President William Mueller, who died in office. Finally, after failing to name a replacement for Mueller at two meetings, trustees came to the kind of decision parents make when 4-year-olds are arguing over a candy bar: they split the position in half, giving a representative of each faction a few months at the helm. That it took them six weeks to come to that Solomon-like conclusion was sad. Voters in April will have a chance to remind the board who it's really supposed to serve in two contested elections featuring sitting trustees. In District 1, longtime incumbent Greg Gron faces challenges from Dan Whittington and Deborah Messineo-Jones. As a member and former head of Lombard Town Centre, a group striving to bring more businesses to downtown, and vice president of the chamber of commerce, Whittington already has sent surveys to virtually everyone in his district soliciting input. That kind of proactive approach, combined with his business acumen, will help him rise above petty politics. In District 3, incumbent Zachary Wilson is being challenged by Reid Foltyniewicz and Muzammil Saeed. A soft-spoken dentist, Saeed is thoughtful, ready to listen and the only candidate not directly connected to the board's two political factions. Like Whittington, he's also the right choice.

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