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No Regrets About Mayoral Campaign

Terri Olian thanks supporters for their help and discusses what she learned by running for mayor.

Yesterday started out like every other day of the previous four weeks, meeting and greeting voters at three Highland Park train stations. Only this time I thanked, as opposed to asked, residents for their support.

From there I went to City Hall and then to our public works, community development, police and fire departments to thank our department heads and other city employees. There were smiles, handshakes and, yes, some tears, but as I felt , today I feel great.  

My conversations affirmed what our City Manager said to me election night on the phone: if I won, I was a winner, and if I lost I was a winner as well. 

It’s true I lost the mayoral race, but in so doing I learned a great deal:

  • I developed a deeper understanding of our community’s issues.
  • I discovered streets I never knew existed and shortcuts to and from.
  • I learned about social media, and how to use Facebook and Twitter.
  • I became a better public speaker and figured out how, when necessary, to get a message across in 60 seconds or less.

I developed some new creative talents:

  • I wrote and designed ads, postcards and other mailings.
  • I penned copy for my website.
  • I learned how to speak on camera without notes or cue cards.
  • I discovered how best to prepare for radio and television talk shows.

My faith in the generosity of our community was also reaffirmed and I was the beneficiary of many people’s kindness: 

  • I learned what an incredibly supportive family and wide network of friends I have.
  • I renewed old friendships and made many new friends .
  • I learned to ask for and accept offers of help.

All this, and more, made me a winner -- as well as knowing I conducted an honest, issue driven and fact-based campaign that allowed me each night (or in the early hours of the morning) to put my head down and raise it the next day with pride. I have no regrets, no words to take back, no deeds to un-do. Indeed, were I to begin anew I would run my campaign as I did from the start.

I would also put as much time and energy into it as I did, not for me but for our community. Highland Park has been my home for 27 years and I fully expect it to be for at least that many more years to come. My husband Rob and I have raised three wonderful children here and I only hope our children -- Drew, Alix and Josh -- will choose to raise their families here. 

I have many people to thank individually and will over the next weeks, for their advice, financial assistance, muscle and manpower. I also have each of you to thank for the privilege of serving you first as a member of the District 112 School Board and now as a member of our City Council. Though I wish I could do so one by one and in person, this collective thanks over the internet will have to suffice... at least until we bump into each other on the streets, at the gas station, Rec Center, Starbucks, retail or grocery store. And please know that if, when we speak, tears come to my eyes, they will be tears of happiness and pride for what I have accomplished and for having had the opportunity to help so many people in ways I never imagined I would and in what I consider to be the best community in the world.

Though I will no longer be on the City Council, I am and always will be committed to you.

Ed Brill April 07, 2011 at 07:04 PM
But you personify this around Olian. She was one of seven elected officials who voted unanimously in favor of making the purchase at the time. Belsky has commented elsewhere on Patch about the multiplier effect and the revenue we've received as a result of continued theater operations. But at the time, nobody said it was "we want to be in the theater business", it was "we want to preserve options rather than have the developer scrap it for office space". And the theater discussion seems to always be about revenues and expenses of the theater itself. Somewhere I saw a comment (TribLocal I think) that we needed to "return the property to the tax rolls so that we don't have to burden other taxpayers". The city's portion of the theater property tax prior to purchase was about $1500, not much of a burden to anyone. Also, there are two retail slots in the building - those are contributing sales taxes as well, never saw that factored in. When you bring it all together, it probably is a neutral to positive effect for the city having owned it, even if they sell at a loss. All this handicapping though makes it hard for the city to recognize full revenue out of it, any buyer will know that there is pressure in town for the new mayor to dump it and thus we will get less for it.
Daniel April 07, 2011 at 07:14 PM
Good points Ed. I think all 7 were wrong to vote for it at the time and now. Government usually does not make good decisions when it comes to private business as shown in this case. Belsky's numbers are kind of meaningless to me, people would probably do other things in HP if not going to that movie house. There is another one in town which is in much better shape and draws bigger crowds. I know Olian meant well, I just have an opinion that government should not be in the Movie business.
roberta edelheit April 07, 2011 at 07:58 PM
I always knew Terri Olian was a class act............and in reality it is SHE who won............... best of luck Terri Roberta Edelheit
Daniel April 07, 2011 at 10:54 PM
Lee: One simple question, the same one as yesterday. You started a rumor that Rotering had done things in the past that indicated bad character. What were those things and why would you withhold that information from voters. Or were they just false rumors on your part. I'll give you an incentive to tell the truth. If you back up your statements Ill throw in a free ticket to the movie of your choice at the HP Theater along with popcorn to keep your mouth shut and a mouse trap to keep you safe. Same offer for your brother Trip. Provide evidence to the rumor you started at an Olian coffee that Rotering was looking to run for a different office. When did she say that, to whom and where?
Daniel April 07, 2011 at 11:38 PM
No answer Lee. Proves you are just a rumor monger.

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