Endorsement: For Wheeling trustee, Liguori, Vito, Vogel
Often in the case of local elections, we find the endorsements difficult to reach because there are too many good candidates, too few elective offices. In the case of this year's race for three seats on the Wheeling village board, the challenge is that virtually all candidates come with flaws.
Three incumbents are running -- Ray Lang, Joe Vito and Dave Vogel -- and all have a history of community involvement. We don't doubt the sincerity and dedication of any of them. But they all were in office while former Village President Dean Argiris abused credit card privileges, and it's fair to question how well they did their due diligence in monitoring and correcting his behavior.
Their most vitriolic critic is one of their challengers, Deborah Wilson, the community watchdog who brought Argiris' spending practices to light. Normally, you'd think that a watchdog like that deserves to be elected. Problem is, Wilson develops conspiracy theories obsessively. Critical thinking is healthy and beneficial to the village. For Wilson, unfortunately, it sometimes seems to cross over into the kind of cynical thinking that is destructive.
As Vito aptly described her harsh rhetorical assaults: "She drive-by shoots. Every once in a while, she hits a target."
Asher Horcher, a law student, has a strong sense of village government and maturity of judgment, but she has no demonstrated community involvement, and we just can't get around the fact that she's the daughter of the village president. It opens too many opportunities for a conflict of interests to have them serving side by side, and the optics would be a problem, too.
Maryann Rodriguez Liguori is not a perfect candidate, either. Her focus can get blurred by tunnel vision. But she's a lifetime resident of Wheeling who clearly cares about the community and her social service orientation would bring a different perspective to the board.
We endorse Liguori for her passion, Vito for his independence and Vogel for his methodical thinking.