Action Party, B-PAC Declared Winners in Morton Grove Elections

Board of trustees goes to one slate, while library board victories dominated by the other group.

On Election Day, Morton Grove voters made decisions by party line, or at least that's what the April 5 balloting indicates as Cook County has started reporting results from all 17 precincts in town. To see the percentages and number of votes, .

For the open seats on the board of trustees, all three went to .

Likewise, the six-year terms on the Morton Grove Public Library Board went to . The lone two- year term also went to a B-PAC candidate, David Calimag.

For both the village board and library board races, the space between winning and losing came down to few hundred votes. For example, the margin between Action Party's Maria Toth and Caucus Party's John Pietron for the third spot on the village board was less than 150 votes. 

Reactions of the village trustee positions

"I wish the margin of victory was a little bit larger, but we will accept this gratefully," said Terri Cousar, Action Party secretary and co-campaign chair.

About 30 supporters and members stood inside the Action Party headquarters on Dempster Street as they tallied the results Tuesday night. Once it was clear that their candidates had earned enough votes to win, the group moved to Tommy's restaurant for a celebration and awards presentation. 

Mark Matz, president and co-campaign chair of the Action Party, described his feelings as "blissfully exhausted," adding that he is "happy that the people of Morton Grove have once again chosen the Action Party to represent them as village trustees."

Head west one block, the gathered at to tally up the election results. The restaurant set up a buffet of Mexican food, and supporters snacked on chips and dip while chatting.

Caucus Party Chairman Joe Brunner told Patch: "The turnout is very disappointing, and I feel the residents of Morton Grove got the short end of the stick because the Action Party got away once again without having to discuss issues in public.

"If residents heard the full facts, rather than slanted facts, they may have voted differently," he added. "We’ll have to do a better job of getting the information out there."

On the topic of the library board

Meanwhile, the library board candidates were waiting for their results at various places throughout the community. B-PAC candidates gathered at one colleague's home for coffee and cake. According to one PROLibrary hopeful, some the group's slated candidates attended Park View School's PTO event, while others were at home with their families or at work.

"It was a long, tough road to get to this place tonight," said Mark Albers, a B-PAC organizer who was among the election winners.

"We're so happy that it appears our friends and neighbors agree with our plans for the library," said Catherine Peters, another victorious B-PAC candidate. "Moving forward, we're going to keep our word for everything that we have talked about." 

On PROLibrary's Facebook page, the group published a statement on Tuesday night. "Pro Library would like to thank all the residents of Morton Grove along with library supporters, for the past four months of this election," it read. "Many of you came to this not knowing what a library trustee was or did and now have a greater understanding, and we thank you for taking your time to learn." To read the full statement, click here.

In addition to the village and library board races, Morton Grove voters also had a contested race for three seats on the Maine Township District 207 school board. Morton Grove resident Eric Poders ran but came in fourth place.

Golf School District 63 also had three open seats for four-year terms.* Three incumbents won re-election, with challenger Donald India running as  a write-in candidate.

Well, that's a wrap from Patch Election HQ. More to come soon, we can guarantee.

*Correction: The article originally posted said the terms were for six-years, but they are for four years.

Laura Frisch April 06, 2011 at 02:04 PM
I would like to congratulate all the people who won their races for public servants; library, village, Park District and school boards. I would also like to thank all the candidates, in each race, for taking the initiative and running for elected office. It is so important for us all to get involved with our community.
Red Sam Rackham April 06, 2011 at 03:07 PM
It's just a shame that local residents are so apethetic and that voter turnout for these local elections are so incredibly low. Sadly most voters just don't care who is on their village board.
sherwin dubren April 06, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Seems like our village is divided into two camps. Those that can see through realities of where our taxes came from and continue to come from, and those that think the Action Party is keeping our taxes down. The Action Party has been very good at concealing our tax increases with newer kinds of taxes and will probably be introducing newer kinds of taxes in bits and pieces, so we won't notice them. We will continue to see the Action Party spending money on capital projects and putting us into more debt with bonds. I do give credit to those in the village that voted to bring a more representative board to Morton Grove. Unfortunately, we will not see that now. More Ho Hum rubber stamp village board meetings.
Pat Craig April 06, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Sherwin; What it boils down to is that more folks that voted agreed with the Action Party than did with the Caucus Party. Those Morton Grovers who were motivated to vote made their choice. Those who chose not to vote also made a choice, (but that choice was to let others decide who would run the government). Maybe next time around you should run for office under the Caucus Party banner and convince the majority of those who vote that your ideas deserve consideration. I urge you to do that and see how it works out for you. Oh, and by the way, there are many more than two camps in Morton Grove. We have a diverse citizenry with a multitude of opinions and positions.
sherwin dubren April 06, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Pat: My main motivation for supporting Caucus was to get a more diverse government. If I thought it would have been practical, I would have tried to run a Reform Party slate. I did my best to point out the exagerations and errors in the Action Party platform, and maybe it made some difference to the voters. I think that the Action Party has more resources both in money and core workers, but that does not make them any more qualified to run our village. The Action Party now has two more years to screw things up, so maybe there will be enough people ready to start a new party to challange them again. I am only one voice, so I cannot do this by myself. There are exceptions to the two camps I mentioned, but I have not seen any ground swell of concerned citizens ready to put forth the effort to change the status quo. All we can do is wait and see.
Pat Craig April 06, 2011 at 08:05 PM
Is it possible Sherwin that the folks in this Village are just as happy with the two parties and aren't interested in a third? We both worked in 2003 & 2005 to change the way business was done in Morton Grove. It resulted in the levers of power being handed to the Caucus Party. The Caucus had a chance from 2005-2009 and the net result was, among other things, a 28% increase in the tax levy with no additional services for that money. I believe that over that same 4 year period the attitude and point of view of the Action Party changed, as did some of their personnel. Since they have held the offices I can say that I have not been lied to... not once, (a distinct change from what I had experienced with the other crew). I believe that they are on the right track, (so do many of the opposition's former supporters including a past Caucus trustee). You do not, and it is certainly your right to hold that opinion. While I believe that the Caucus Party has more money, (I am anxious to see the D2 reports), I think you are right that the Action Party has more core volunteers. In my opinion it is because more folks believe i what the Action Party is doing and give freely of their time rather than being directed by a political boss. (continued next post)
Pat Craig April 06, 2011 at 08:05 PM
(continued from previous post) What I have experienced is that, as opposed to one-man rule directed from outside the village, the current administration has listened to my concerns. They may not have always taken the direction I preferred, but I, (and many others I have spoken with), have been treated with respect and, when actions were taken that I was opposed to, there were reasonable explanations given. A complete 180 degree change from the "because I said so" attitude previously. You state that the Action Party has two more years to "screw things up". I believe that they will use the coming two years to do what they can to keep Morton Grove a good place to live while being fiscally responsible. I believe that you, like me, are concerned with the well being of Morton Grove. We differ in our approach. I will make this statement publicly that I have made privately to various elected and appointed officials; If you lie to me, if you do not act in the best interest of Morton Grove, I will do whatever I can to see that you no longer hold office. As you have said Sherwin, I am only one voice but I can be, and hav been, one very loud voice. I agree, all we can do is wait and see.
sherwin dubren April 06, 2011 at 10:36 PM
Pat, I give you more credit for having common sense than to make references to the 28 percent tax rise during the Caucus time. You should know that it was a necessary move because the Action Party had underfunded the Police and Fire pension funds for many years prior to that. Even certain Action Party trustees recognized that it was necessary to fix that problem. Did the Action Party retract that 28 percent increase? I don't think so. The Action Party managed to increase our taxes by shifting the billing for garbage off the property taxes, yet retaining the same level of property taxes. That slick move probably cost them the election loss to Caucus. They continue to sneak in taxes that are not as visible as the property tax bill. Maybe the Action Party has sweet talked you in the past to make you think they are listening, when if fact they are not and doing whatever they want. Which is worse, telling you lies or being up front about intentions? I don't believe that any government can be trusted to always do the right thing. Without checks and balances, we might as well take lessons from that guy in Libya, who seems to have bamboozled many of his citizens.
Pat Craig April 06, 2011 at 11:08 PM
Sherwin; We don't need to look to Quadaffi to see someone who bamboozled citizens, the previous mayor and his party are a local example... or have you forgotten that in the 2005 campaign the "savings" touted by the Caucus was to come from underfunding the pensions? Have you forgotten the 2005 campaign slogan; "We have a plan, and it can be your plan?" Have you forgotten the use of Morton Grove's bonding power to fund a museum in Skokie? Maybe you have, but I, (and apparently the majority of those who voted this time around), haven't. The Caucus not only told us lies but was purposely disingenuous about their intentions. But, as of now, the campaign is finished, (for the time being), and it will take time to see if either, (or neither), of us is correct in our assessment. I will leave you to your unhappiness... as for me, I am really glad that the political silly season is over for a while. I have a garden to plan, soil to rototill and a few social obligations to catch up on. Have a great spring Sherwin... I certainly intend to.
sherwin dubren April 06, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Pat, you are trying to re-write history. The Caucus Party never said they were going to save money by underfunding the pension funds. That is a Action Party manueuver. The Holocaust Museum suppport was one of the few things this village has done directly in the name of humanitarian endeavors. We simply underwrote some bonds. We did not lose any money in the deal. Now if it had been a museum of motorcycle memorabilia, you probably would have supported that. As for my unhappiness and your gladness, you know what they say, ignorance is bliss. I too am tired of answering these unfounded accusations and would like to get back to my fruit trees and garden.
Jennifer Alvarado April 07, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Thank you Sherwin, at least there are some things we can agree on. One of my dearest (and sadly departed) friends was on the Holocaust Museum Board and another is currently, both live in Lincolnwood and both scouted locations for the museum. They chose wisely, Skokie has been nationally known for their Jewish population, maybe not as much as in the 70´s and 80´s. There are several friends and families of Holocaust survivors and of those who perished, residing in our town who definately supported the Morton Grove humanitarian effort. (including myself) If this town can´t bring in some new business so that they needn´t 'redistribute' taxes and fees, I hope that in 2 years Morton Grovers can make the right decision, to expel or reinstate the Action Party. I may consider moving, but by then my property value may have tanked, we´ll see... I think I may have to get myself more educated in local politics, so that I can represent the younger families of Morton Grove.
sherwin dubren April 07, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Jennifer, I think keeping tabs on the Patch posts and reading the Morton Grove Champion would be a good starting point. However, the current Action Party is not very transparent in their activities. There is also the re-broadcast of the village board meetings on Comcast and AT&T cable. You might also look at the agendas listed on the Morton Grove web site (government tab) to see what is up for discussion or voting, and attend a meeting if there are any issues that are important to you. You sound like a senior resident, so watch out for further cuts in senior benefits. They have already made quite a few in the last two years. You could try for one of the 19 affordable senior housing units in the Essex building, but I think those are going to be snapped up quickly, so make your plans now. If we ever get a real movement towards another political party, you can certainly help out with that.
Jennifer Alvarado April 07, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Can´t say I´m a senior resident yet, at 38, I won´t qualify for many years. I just look out for my kids as they are still quite young and neighborhood, park district,schools and the library are very important to me. :)


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