By Michael C. Gallego
The quintessential American experience: going to the fair. Every year, families from all over DuPage County pile into their cars and make their way to the annual DuPage County fair. In July, during the five days the event is held, visitors at the fair can enjoy entertainment like the annual demolition derby, eat award winning food from dozens of vendors, view art made by members of the community, listen to live musical performances, ride on thrilling carnival attractions and appreciate the hundreds of animals on display. Even still, the county fairgrounds are much more than the five days during July the annual fair takes place. The fairgrounds also serve as a place where numerous dog shows, festivals, home shows, weddings and flea markets occur. The fairgrounds also help to stimulate the local economy and serves as a community center. Most importantly, the fairgrounds are maintained by volunteers rather than taxpayer dollars, meaning that the fairgrounds take no cost to run and gives the county a steady stream of cash.
Despite all the joy the DuPage county fairgrounds has brought to members of the community for more than 64 years, the Republican controlled DuPage County Board is considering selling the fairgrounds and bringing an end to a historically important and enjoyable tradition. Even worse, Republican members, like Chairman Dan Cronin, are considering the development of this land in order to provide kick-backs for their campaign donor friends. County Board Republicans are considering developing this land for housing, thus allowing the private contractors that donate to their campaigns to make quick money while screwing DuPage county taxpayers out of their beloved fairgrounds. Even more, if this land was to be developed for housing, the area around Manchester Road in Wheaton would become more congested than it already is; eventually, this would cause even more traffic on I-355.
The Republicans, since 2015, have been presenting the fairgrounds as a fiscal reliability, when in reality it takes no money to operate and only provides revenue for the county. Keep in mind, this is coming from the same people who are payed large salaries for doing part-time jobs. However, we should not be surprised that County Board Republicans are doing this. Since the before the Civil War, DuPage County has been in Republican hands. Unchecked by the people, the Old Guard has become complacent in their power. Knowing they will never be challenged, these greedy lawmakers have continually found ways to use their positions for their own private benefit while at the same time ripping good-mannered taxpayers off. It’s time for a change, and a Blue one at that. The Democrats currently running for county board are in favor of holding on to the county fairgrounds, and keeping taxpayer money away from the slimy hands of Dan Cronin’s friends and associates. If you care about county fairs, the local economy, or about fiscal transparency and responsibility, please, vote for your Democratic country board representative in the 2018 election.