Endorsement: Noble for Oakbrook Terrace mayor
Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Tony Ragucci resigned in January 2020 after it became public that federal agents had seized $60,000 in cash from his home during an investigation of whether SafeSpeed company representatives landed red-light camera deals through payoffs.
The city's Safe Speed camera brings about $2.9 million a year to city coffers even after about 40% of the fine revenue goes to SafeSpeed.
Paul Esposito, 53, who has been on the council since 2013, was elected by the other members to fill out the rest of the term of Ragucci, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing. He's now running for election as mayor. He faces Arnulfo Rufo A. Noble Jr., 73, who has long been involved in city affairs, including a time as chair of the planning and zoning commission. Esposito, in his candidate questionnaire and in a joint interview, came across as knowledgeable and active in addressing the issues the village faces. At the same time, two of his relatives -- one his wife -- are on the city payroll. And he was belligerent to the point of bullying of Noble in an interview that involved plenty of attacks from both men.
Noble, who expressed concerns about the camera in a failed campaign four years ago against Ragucci, says he would represent a fresh start, clearing out old relationships, bringing in more transparent government and better hiring practices. Given the city's recent history, a fresh start seems like a good idea. We endorse Noble.