Abu-Taleb, Moroney still undecided on race

Date to file petitions nears

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

Seven people have started campaigning for the three open Oak Park village board trustee seats while three people have thrown their hat into the ring for the village presidential race, but incumbents Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb and Trustee Dan Moroney still haven't determined if they intend to seek reelection this April. 

"I have not made any decisions," Abu-Taleb told Wednesday Journal.

The Oak Park village board is in the process of going through the staff recommended budget for the 2021 fiscal year, which according to Abu-Taleb, is his primary focus at this time.

Moroney, whose first term as trustee ends this spring, is also not ready to announce his plans regarding the April election.

"I am discussing it with my family and determining what is the best decision for my family," Moroney told Wednesday Journal.

Moroney said he originally planned to announce his plans following this month's U.S. presidential election.

"I wanted to wait until the presidential election was over because it's confusing when you're campaigning for an election in April when there's an election in November," he said.

"And then now that that has passed, and it appears that we have a new president of the United States, you know, it does open the door for me to make a decision."

Moroney said he needs to have his family's support in determining whether he opts to seek reelection or bows out from political office.

Amid an overtly stressful year, one incident in particular stands out for Moroney and will likely factor into his decision-making. In his interview with Wednesday Journal, Moroney recalled the Aug. 25 virtual village board meeting to discuss a resolution to defund the Oak Park Police Department. Simultaneously a group of mostly teenagers, advocating for defunding, protested outside the mayor's home.

The protest turned unruly after the resolution failed to pass, when some teens smashed potted plants, tore up tomato cages, overturned patio furniture and threw eggs at the house.

"My kids have seen what happened to Anan's home and they don't want to see that happen to their home," said Moroney.

The candidate petition filing period for the April 2021 election is just around the corner. Filing begins on Dec. 14 and ends Dec. 21. If he does decide to run for reelection, Moroney believes he will have no trouble collecting the required number of signatures to qualify for the ballot and submit his petition by the deadline.

"I've got well over 50 people who could probably get 10 signatures apiece, so I don't see the signature requirement being too big of an obstacle for me," said Moroney.

For candidates running as an independent, they need to collect roughly 458 valid petition signatures.


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Reader Comments

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Bill Maxwell  

Posted: November 24th, 2020 5:44 PM

Alice Caputo it seems like there is enough verbal abuse from everyone on the board from what I read in the Wednesday Journal. There just seems the board finds it difficult to find common ground on anything. That can wear down any board member. A leader will need the skill of listening and communicating with the multifaceted personalities on the board. From observing, it appears as if Vicki Scaman has the temperament to work with others from her vast experiences in many organizations that she belongs to and has developed leadership. Leadership is really a learnt skill and can be very trying for any leader when several people veer off. The elections in Oak Park are well worth looking into each candidate

Alice Caputo  

Posted: November 24th, 2020 10:17 AM

I admire Anan and Dan for enduring the verbal abuse from other trustees. Please run again to help prevent the distracting, divisive and dangerous personal agendas of a few of the trustees. If you decide to move on, which I would 100% understand, thank you for time and effort to date.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: November 23rd, 2020 1:37 PM

Bryan Rekarson It would be a sad state of affairs if someone has to determine if they want to run for elected office out of concern for their own safety in the United States of America. Uniformed Men and Women have given so much to keep America safe so people have the right to run for political office. "I wanted to wait until the presidential election was over because it's confusing when you're campaigning for an election in April when there's an election in November," Mr. Maroney said. That makes sense. "And then now that that has passed, and it appears that we have a new president of the United States, you know, it does open the door for me to make a decision." Maybe Mr. Maroney was very involved in the Presidential campaign and did not have time to make a decision to announce if he will run again. People like him, and things work in Oak Park so there should be no reason for him not to run. When the Village President had his house damaged it was absolutely wrong although the Oak Park Police with the leadership of the Chief of Police, did an excellent job controlling it, and protests were part of daily news. Now things have settled down. Maybe the Village President wants to consider it more. As for defunding the Police, that is foolish thinking and is never going to happen. Vicki Scaman is running for Village President without any mention of concern and so are other candidates. I do not recall reading anything were Mr. Maroney had any problems other then a comment I gathered was made on a facebook page. Remember, facebook is a business that thrives from interaction and unfortunately has caused a lot of harm to children. Adults should know better and no one should feel the need to defend themselves from something written on facebook. Lets move on with Oak Park's elections without a lot of sensationalism. Maybe the boards wrongly learned habits of fighting against each other will become more civil with new board member

Bryan Rekarson from OPRF  

Posted: November 23rd, 2020 11:10 AM

What a sad state of affairs we are living in right now when dedicated professionals like Mr. Moroney and the Mayor have to make the difficult decision to NOT run for office because of fears of having their home vandalized and their families threatened. What kind of sick world has this evolved into? Both gentlemen have done an admirable job. During the Mayor's tenure, I have been impressed with some of the development Oak Park has seen, and Mr. Moroney seems to be a true voice of reason at the Board Meetings. I encourage both gentlemen to run again. I'm concerned about who or what might replace them based on the results of the most recent election and the radical, if not insane, ideas being presented about defunding the critical Oak Park police department.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: November 22nd, 2020 2:34 PM

Janet Haisman I am not very good at comprehending and you were a teacher for many years. If you could explain why you would have Tom MacMillan sent to the principal's office, I can use your advice on maybe learning how to comprehend better. All I can comprehend is he made a comment based on his opinion and I understood that the Military defends the right for people to have the freedom of their opinion. I may or may not agree with an opinion

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: November 22nd, 2020 2:25 PM

Matt Baron, you are suppose to say something and I had no idea there is a facebook page for this newspaper so I do not even know what you are referring to. In politics people are going to say things. Now comes social media where people can write things to a larger audience. People have called Trump everything on social media and yet he still goes on because it goes with the job just like all other politicians. The only thing I noticed in this article is how Dan Maroney mentions he knows well over 50 people who can probably get 10 signatures a piece. I do not know Dan Maroney or even know his politics although that statement did remind me of Trump and his bragging. That is just my opinion although I notice things differently. As for the duffel bag example, there was something for real terrorism to be concerned about and it was fully investigated. As for a facebook post from what appears to be from a resident in Oak Park, does not relate to any real harm if I am understanding what you are writing. Maybe if you copied the facebook page you can post it so I may be able to comprehend it

Janet Haisman  

Posted: November 22nd, 2020 1:33 PM

There is a difference in the way opinions can be stated, and that's what Matt Baron is trying to say. Also, look at the difference in the way the comments on the same subject were stated by Stec M Stec and those stated by Tom McMillan. I am not commenting on my opinion on their thoughts. I am just pointing out the way in which they are using civil discourse. I have mentioned this before, and today (as a long-time teacher), Tommy MacMillan - off to the principal's office with you!

Matt Baron from Oak Park  

Posted: November 22nd, 2020 1:07 PM

If you saw someone dump a duffel bag in the middle of a crowded gathering, then scurry away, would you simply move along and not say anything? Or would you speak up? This weekend, after this story was posted on the newspaper's Facebook page, an Oak Parker branded Oak Park Village Trustee Dan Moroney a white supremacist. When that hateful comment--and the eight people who "liked" or "loved" it-- came to my attention, I took a "when you see something, say something" approach. Anyone who encountered those words had witnessed a form of terrorism: a vile, false accusation and character assassination that must not go unanswered. Here is an excerpt from my response: "A factor for anyone considering whether to run for local public office: the virulent hate speech, a la President Trump, that some local residents commit or cheer on, particularly in relation to their views of candidates or elected officials... ....is this comment not slanderous hate speech? We actually have people in our community who "like" and "love" this vile ugliness? Is anyone else going to denounce this publicly? And what will the Wednesday Journal do? Will the Journal let this stand?" Hours later, after more than 24 hours of condoning that comment, of that "duffel bag in the middle of a crowded gathering," the post was removed. Any fair-minded citizen who seeks civil discourse marked by mutual respect amid our differing viewpoints, ought to do their part to call out bigotry, wherever it rears its hateful head. Whether that bigoted ugliness comes from a Progressive with a "Hate Has No Home Here" sign in their yard, or an actual White Supremacist with a Confederate flag in theirs, my urgent plea is the same: when you see something, say something!

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 22nd, 2020 10:05 AM

Whether it is attacks on a home and family led by Trustee Walker or racist screaming to shut up by Trustee Buchanon, the Village government is now under attack. We need good people who can stand up against this planned strategy. Hopefully both Moroney and Anan will run again. We need sanity in the local government.

Kevin Peppard  

Posted: November 21st, 2020 9:52 AM

Correction to my numbers below: 458 is correct for the Village. The other numbers are OK.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: November 20th, 2020 9:55 PM

It has been said, it is all in the timing

Stec M Stec  

Posted: November 20th, 2020 7:40 PM

Anan, please run again. You are an admirable, decent person with a great understanding of the BALANCE needed in OP to continue to be the progressive, safe and wonderful village I chose to move into 25 years ago. That BALANCE has safety, value, education, nightlife, BLM progress, economic disparity, sewars, street repayment, development, etc. all to take into consideration. We do not need a VOP president who has one agenda to serve their predestined agenda. That would be a grave disservice to most and ultimately be a set back to any desired hyper one issue agenda. Let's all move forward.

Ben Venuti  

Posted: November 20th, 2020 6:12 PM

Oh dear, Jeffrey. Is looting and vandalism still in? It appears carjacking is.

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: November 20th, 2020 4:59 PM

Oh, dear, can't Anan take a hint? Authoritarianism has been out of fashion since November 3. He should accept his status as a has been.

Kevin Peppard  

Posted: November 20th, 2020 4:18 PM

The number of required signatures for an Independent or new Party candidate is not 458. It's 476, which is 5% of the 9,151 votes cast in the last Village Election in 2019. For the Township, it's 629 signatures, because that last election was in 2017. Those are difficult to get in a pandemic. Cate Readling bypassed that requirement by filing as a Democrat for an otherwise non-existent February Primary. Anyone can now file as a Write-in until December 17 and force that primary, by using just their own signature (filed in that case with the County). The existing Township Officers may be filing that same Primary way. Schools (including Triton) take 50 signatures, the Library 25, since despite its name, it is not a Public Library but a Municipal one, and the Parks take 2% of the last Park contest, 184. I suspect that some would-be candidates will not reach some of those higher totals.

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