Endorsement: Marston for Pingree Grove village president
When a sitting village president's re-election bid faces two challengers, one of them a fellow village board member and self-described friend, it's a strong sign that the administration has rankled a few feathers in town.
Such is the case in Pingree Grove, where incumbent Village President Greg Marston is being challenged by longtime village Trustee Steve Wiedmeyer and former Rutland Township Trustee Patrick Whalen.
Both challengers allude to unhappiness within the community over the way Marston has presided over his first term. The announcement that four other village trustees are backing Wiedmeyer over the incumbent seems to validate those claims.
However, when pressed for details, neither challenger could, or would, cite specific actions taken by Marston that have led to the discord, lending the appearance that the differences are more about personality than policy, and style over substance.
We don't mean to downplay what appear to be legitimate concerns among the challengers and other trustees. Certainly a good working relationship between a village president and trustees is important to the smooth and successful operation of local government.
Yet among the three candidates, Marston is the only one to offer clear proposals for solving some of the village's key issues: the need for more commercial development, better roads and funding to provide services for the town's fast-growing populace.
Wiedmeyer, while certainly competent and experienced enough to serve as village president, is almost fatalistic when it comes to addressing the town's needs, suggesting too often that solutions are out of the village board's hands. Whalen, while obviously passionate for his community and withering in his criticism of Marston, has less to say about how he would address the village's challenges.
Despite our concerns about his relationship with fellow village board members, we endorse Marston because he articulates a clear vision for dealing with Pingree Grove's challenges. If re-elected, we would hope he takes seriously the criticisms of village trustees and acts quickly to mend fences.