Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Letter: Learning from Victor Wogen"

Created: Saturday, December 19, 2009 1:03 a.m.

Letter: Learning from Victor Wogen

When I listened to Victor Wogen’s resignation announcement and the interview that followed on WLBK, I had a familiar sinking feeling.

It immediately reminded me of the phone conversation I had with him amidst the “smear mailer” scandal. For some reason, he has an aversion to accepting responsibility and a habit of displacing blame. I did not believe anything he told me in 2007, and I do not believe the claims he made on the radio the other day. Thankfully, his travesty of a political career is finally over.

As local residents look forward, I think it is important to analyze what happened and reflect on some very important lessons.

First, if you will recall, there were three candidates to choose from in the 2007 DeKalb 3rd Ward aldermanic race. In the city elections to come, please research each of the people running. If your schedule is too busy and you cannot attend a candidate forum, then e-mail or call them individually with your questions if certain issues are not discussed on their Web sites. Also, never make any decisions relying upon information found in a smear mailer or similar campaign literature that you receive.

Secondly, when any candidate or official lies or engages in other unscrupulous activity, do not simply complain about the situation. Have the courage to organize and mobilize in a publicly assertive manner to respond so everyone knows that kind of unethical behavior will not be tolerated in the community. In my opinion, Mr. Wogen did not resign solely because he wanted to devote more time to his children, rather he knew more unflattering information would surface about him in the months to come.

Lastly, understand that if this can happen once, then it can happen again. At this time, I ask all city residents to personally contact Mayor Kris Povlsen and ask him to properly vet all individuals whose names end up on his short list to fill the aldermanic position. Here we must be vigilant to ensure the nominee is someone who is as ethical and competent as he or she is thoughtful and engaging. The city has just experienced a scandal that many will not soon forget. Let’s make sure we follow through here and then hold all candidates and officials accountable in the future.

John A. Duerk

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1 comment:

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