After decades, Bolingbrook residents have a choice of who to vote for mayor. I’m going to step out of character for a bit and urge Bolingbrook’s residents to choose Jackie Traynere and Bolingbrook United over Mayor Roger Claar and Bolingbrook First on April 4.
While Claar can put on a friendly face in public when he’s with Bolingbrook residents, he’s not really a friend of the average Bolingbrook resident. In 2015, the median household income was $77,929. Yet, he spent taxpayer dollars on the following: 1) a luxury golf course that most residents don’t use, 2) a subdivision of McMansions that most residents can’t afford, and 3) an international airport that most residents can’t use.
Despite being mayor of a diverse community, Claar not only endorsed Donald Trump, but served as his delegate, helped organize a fundraiser for him, and defended him in the media. Claar talks about diversity, but his support of Trump and his unwillingness to offer any resistance to Trump’s Muslim ban makes us question his current commitment.
Supporters may say that Bolingbrook is well run, but the truth is it runs well for Claar’s wealthy donors. In 2009, the Chicago Tribune stated the following:
Nearly half of his donations came from companies and individuals who have done business with Bolingbrook. Those contributors received more than $300 million in village work — nearly 60 percent of the money that Bolingbrook spent on vendors over the last decade, the Tribune analysis shows.
Because of Claar’s decisions, the village now has over $300 million dollars in debt. Relabeling it as “Visionary Investment” does not change that fact.
I do not believe in change for change’s sake. The election of Donald Trump is proof of this. I also understand that because someone opposes Claar, that does not mean they should be voted into office. Citizens for a Better Bolingbrook was an example of this, with candidates who were exceptionally dishonest and delved into conspiracy theories about Claar. Like claiming he hired someone to cause a car crash in hopes of killing one of their candidates.
I believe that Bolingbrook United’s candidates are competent and can bring about the changes Bolingbrook needs. They have promised to end pay for play, stop automatic pay raises for elected officials, and only accept one salary from the village. More importantly, they have promised to represent all of Bolingbrook’s diverse residents. I think they can make these changes, and I will do my best to hold them accountable if they do not.