Editorial: Mundelein, Dist. 211 and a call for local candidates

  • Mundelein trustee Dakotah Norton with his Village of Mundelein logo tattoo.

    Mundelein trustee Dakotah Norton with his Village of Mundelein logo tattoo. Courtesy of Milamemories Photography

 
Posted6/29/2017 2:00 AM

We have a quandary.

In an analysis of the November election, we learned that only 30 percent of potential local races were contested because there weren't more candidates than seats.

 

That's worse by a third from the 45 percent of contested races in 2009.

And 2009 was not a shining example of voter choice.

This week we published stories about a Mundelein village trustee resigning on the eve of his likely ouster for abandoning his post and a Palatine-Township High School District 211 board member who resigned after missing 19 of the 38 board meetings held since she was sworn in in 2015.

Mundelein Trustee Dakotah Norton's issues were well-publicized.

He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence two months after the election and mischaracterized his criminal history during his campaign, too. A running feud with Trustee Dawn Abernathy didn't help.

Norton hadn't attended a Mundelein meeting since March, and the rest of the board was ready this week to remove him from office and find a replacement.

Lauanna Recker did not attend a District 211 board meeting since Jan. 19. It's a wonder there hadn't been serious discussion about removing her long before this.

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She did not respond to our repeated and varied attempts to reach her this week, and only in her resignation letter to District 211 Wednesday did she cite "recent and significant family matters."

We hope she is OK, but the fact remains she had been absent from the board for nearly six months, and that is a big problem.

There is a reason elected boards have an odd number of seats, and that is so ties can be broken.

In a district whose board has had significant arguments over the past couple of years, this is a critical thing in District 211.

If you want to become a difference maker in your town or school district or park district or library district or township or whatever, history shows you stand a pretty good chance -- depending on where you live -- of stepping right into a seat.

But make sure that when you decide to run you ready yourself for a commitment.

On Facebook, Norton wrote: "I had many dreams and visions for my hometown when I threw my name into the election hat over two years ago. However, government is not the fast-paced fun machine I once thought it was. There is no room on the inside for someone who wants real change in the short term."

We know the suburbs are full of difference makers in waiting, and we encourage those of you willing to give of yourselves to get involved.

Service might not always be a fun machine, but it can be so rewarding.

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