Quick Hit – Vote Rich Marks!
As Ward & Jones co-host Larry Jones and I always say, you have to applaud anyone willing to throw their hat into that city council ring. No matter what Kane County municipality we’re talking about, that job truly is a public service.
So when it comes to these endorsements, I like to be positive, and I’m going to do my best to do that here. But it’s a bit more difficult when you consider the crew Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns threw at Mary Seno, Ron Singer, and Rich Marks.
Burn’s theory is, if they’re too busy fending off opponents, those aldermen wouldn’t be able help challenger Tom Simonian. Who knew Simonian, in cahoots with self-proclaimed Geneva kingmaker, Joe Stanton, would concoct the kind of municipal campaign that give you night terrors?
My fear, is that horrific electoral effort could hurt the folks who clearly should retain their city council seats. In that vein that I’d like to point out the flaws in Second Ward aldermanic challenger Mike Clements campaign, as opposed to any flaws in his character.
1. Why are you running?
That’s the first question Larry and I ask every single candidate we interview. But when I posed that query to Clements on Facebook, he blocked me. Yes! I can be tough on candidates, but if you can’t deal with the softest of journalistic softball questions, how are you going to handle the inevitable gaggle of angry constituents?
2. “My age group is underrepresented”
Clements did answer the question down the road, but that’s not a good reason to run. The best answers include:
- I want to give back to a city that’s given so much to me
- I have a passion for public service
- I’ve served on (name boards) and I want to apply that experience
“My age group is underrepresented on the city council” sounds more like an anti-discrimination claim than a reason to run for office.
Clements added there are no parents of kindergarteners on the council, but that’s not technically true. Aldermen Marks’, Jim Radecki’s, Ron Singer’s, and Craig Maladra’s children all went through Geneva schools.
And as any Geneva parent will attest, those kindergarten days seems like they were scant seconds ago. No parent forgets that or any other part of their children’s sojourn through a school system.
3. He’s never voted in a consolidated election
Mr. Clements is not nearly the only one who’s failed to cast a ballot in any local election, but there is an unmistakable irony in someone running for alderman when they’ve never voted for one.
4. How you get electoral experience?
When challenged regarding his lack of political experience, Clements asked the question, “How do you get that experience until you serve?”
That’s easy! You do what Rich Marks and County Board member Becky Gillam did. They attended every single bleepin’ council/board meeting for two years before they ran. That “experience” allowed them to hit the ground running.
Clements attended a couple of Geneva city council meetings early on, but he’s been missing from that chamber while important issues like the places for eating tax were discussed.
Michael Clements is not a bad guy and he may be reasonable candidate someday, but he’s not there yet.
Meanwhile, Rich Marks puts a ton of time and energy into that part-time gig, he fought the good tax fight back when the council was simply rubber stamping the mayor, and he’s one of the most responsive alderman in Geneva.
Ron Singer can count on my vote and I fervently hope my Second Ward compatriots will similarly vote for one of the best aldermen I’ve ever met, Rich Marks.