Endorsement: Lalmalani for Oak Brook village president
Oak Brook Village President Gopal Lalmalani has a simple question for voters in the April 7 election -- but it's one every incumbent should be happy and willing to ask. Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
Lalmalani, a cardiologist, will tell you the answer to that in Oak Brook is yes and we agree. Four years ago the village was drowning in a sea of lawsuits and political infighting. In a community of fewer than 9,000, where image plays a huge role in not only attracting retail and commercial development but also in keeping property values high, that's a sin.
Lalmalani, who had served five years on the plan commission, promised to calm those troubled waters and largely succeeded through a series of savvy appointments that included new police and fire chiefs and working to help get the village board to pull together to address key issues.
The village still faces the same challenge as all our municipalities when it comes to pension obligations, but buoyed by growth at Oakbrook Center and elsewhere, Lalmalani says he believes it can do what needs to be done without resorting to new taxes of any kind. (Oak Brook levies no municipal property tax.) He is endorsed.
At the same time, his challengers, Mark Moy and Natalie Cappetta, also offer a legitimate choice for voters.
A six-year member of the village board, Moy is a longtime emergency room physician who brings solid experience to the race. A fiscal conservative like his opponents, he has worked with Lalmalani for the past four years to help Oak Brook on the road to more political stability. The good news is he will remain on the board for at least two more years even if he loses his presidential bid.
Cappetta, an attorney and member of the zoning board, is a newcomer to the village board scene, but grew up in Oak Brook and is a strong proponent of maintaining its charm while still making it possible for commercial and retail interests to grow and prosper. Like her opponents, she is smart, well-versed on the issues and able to clearly articulate her positions.