Endorsements: Murphy, Burns for DuPage forest preserve board

The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted10/16/2014 1:01 AM

Voters in two contested DuPage County Forest Preserve districts will be asked to choose between incumbent commissioners and their challengers during the Nov. 4 election.

Commissioners are responsible for overseeing a district that owns and manages roughly 25,000 acres, 145 miles of trails and five education centers in 60 preserves that attract more than 4 million visitors a year.


District 1: Murphy

Voters in District 1 will choose between incumbent Republican Marsha Murphy, a small-business owner from Addison, and her challenger, Democrat Evan Wolfe, an Addison resident who works in financial services.

Murphy is a veteran commissioner who has a wealth of experience and knowledge about the district, but seems reluctant to share it. She seldom speaks at meetings or explains the thinking behind her votes and, publicly at least, shies away from taking a strong leadership role.

Voters deserve more, but her challenger, Wolfe, does not present himself as a strong and viable alternative. His idea for a key initiative is to encourage more schools to take field trips to the preserves.

Murphy gets our reluctant nod in a district that includes all or parts of Addison, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Elmhurst, Glendale Heights, Itasca, Lombard, Roselle, Villa Park and Wood Dale.

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District 6: Burns

Voters in District 6 will choose between Democratic incumbent Shannon Burns and her Republican challenger, Al Murphy. Both are business owners from West Chicago and both are strong candidates.

Burns joined fellow commissioners in botching and then being less-than-truthful about their handling of the ouster of one executive director and the hiring of another this summer, but she deserves a mulligan because of, among other things, her yeoman's work to calm volunteers' concerns about the care of horses at the Danada Equestrian Center, her commitment as a steward of open space, and her willingness as the commission's only Democrat to work with those on the other side of the aisle.

We endorse her -- although not as strongly as we once did -- in the district that includes all or parts of Roselle, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Bloomingdale, Glendale Heights, Carol Stream, Wayne, West Chicago, Warrenville, Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton and Winfield.

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