Washington Park can't be allowed to keep going like this

July 5, 2013 

If Washington Park were a horror movie, it would be a remake of "The Thing that Couldn't Die."

The village clearly should no longer be operating; it would be a blessing if this corrupt, ineffective government that is terrorizing taxpayers were dissolved.

Three years ago, Washington Park said it was $3 million in debt. Today that number stands at $7 million.

In 2010, officials said the village couldn't keep operating if it didn't get bankruptcy protection. Well, a judge in 2011 wouldn't give Washington Park that escape from its creditors, but village government continues to operate.

Then there are the officials who failed to keep financial records for years, who stole from village bank accounts and who made sure there is no financial paper trail for the past seven years. Violent crime is rampant and economic development amounts to strip clubs.

Last week, the village laid off all but one of its paid firefighters and some of its street department workers, which are core services. And yet village leaders just gave politically connected Ray Coleman a $40,000 consulting contract and Earl McDowell Jr., the president of the Lessie Bates Neighborhood House board, a $25,000 job as an urban planner. No doubt village leaders also continue to pay themselves.

Can someone from the state or federal government step in and save us from millions of dollars more being wasted?

At the end of the 1958 horror classic, the main characters figure out a way to get rid of the thing that has been terrorizing them. Will U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton, state Attorney General Lisa Madigan or someone in authority step forward and be the hero is this story?

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