Endorsement: Santos and Schumann for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
Suburban representation on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board is dismal, as is representation by any party other than Democrat. Every open board seat attracts numerous Democratic primary candidates for a part-time position with a generous salary. This past primary, 10 candidates competed for three spots in the Democrat primary and the winners happened to be the first three candidates on the ballot. That suggests voters didn't pay a lot of attention to candidates' qualifications. The winners of the Democratic primary almost exclusively go on to win in the general election due to party-line voting practices and at-large districts. The end result is a Chicago-centric board saddled with the appearance of being a patronage outlet for the Democratic machine. It is a pattern that needs to change. But for now, we endorse incumbent Democrat Cynthia Santos for her support for addressing the lack of suburban representation by structuring voting districts according to the geography of area watersheds. Republican Herb Schumann is also endorsed for his suburban perspective, deep public policy experience and focus on the problems with the antiquated combined sewer system. For the remaining position, we offer no endorsement, finding that none of the remaining candidates offers the kind of environmental background or leadership strengths this board needs.