The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's generous salary for what's described as a part-time position has attracted 10 candidates for the three open positions in the Democratic primary. Of the 10, we like incumbent Cynthia Santos' idea for addressing the lack of suburban representation on the board. Structuring voting districts, as she suggests, by following the geography of area watersheds shows flexibility and creative thinking. She also demonstrates a good grasp of the issues facing the district.
Newcomer Josina Morita brings experience in urban planning and public policy, and as a suburban resident would provide an important counterpoint to the Chicago-centric board. Longtime incumbent Frank Avila certainly has the engineering experience and has been an important asset to the board. However, the district faces new challenges, such as dealing with pharmaceuticals, that Avila seems reluctant to confront. Of the remaining challengers, Brendan Houlihan would bring much-needed representation to the south suburbs, However, Tom Courtney seems more knowledgeable about district issues. We endorse Santos, Morita and Courtney.