An Idea Becomes a Promise Becomes an Election Parable Candidate's Far-Fetched Plan to Turn Airport into Forest Preserve Appears Impossible

By Korecki, Natasha | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 17, 2002 | Go to article overview
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An Idea Becomes a Promise Becomes an Election Parable Candidate's Far-Fetched Plan to Turn Airport into Forest Preserve Appears Impossible


Korecki, Natasha, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Natasha Korecki Daily Herald Staff Writer

Politicians are known for making some lofty campaign promises before an election, but one candidate's pledge to try turning Schaumburg Airport into a "wooded paradise," firmly raised eyebrows - of even her supporters.

Just days before the March 19 primary, Marsha Murphy, a Republican candidate for the first district of the DuPage County Forest Preserve, sent a letter to potential voters asking them to join her in an effort to turn Schaumburg Regional Airport into a forest preserve.

"I have talked to some Schaumburg officials about purchasing their airport and their reply was a simple: 'Anything can be bought, if the price is right,' " she stated in the letter.

At this, Schaumburg Village President Al Larson scoffed.

"I talked to my board about it and we all agreed, nobody spoke to her," Larson said. "That's contrary to what she says in her letter. What does that make her out to be? Liar, liar, pants on fire."

In the letter, Murphy said she wants to lead a delegation from DuPage to meet with Cook County Forest Preserve authorities and enter into a joint purchase of the property.

Murphy says she is serious about the idea, but admits to having neither the details nor the support for the proposal.

"It does take a long time. It could be like prairie in the beginning. It's not going to have wonderful trees right away," Murphy said.

She sent the letter out to Roselle residents, who have long- complained about noise coming from the municipally owned Schaumburg Regional Airport. The 121-acre airport at 901 Irving Park Road stretches across both counties, with about 52 acres in DuPage County.

Larson said the airport, purchased in part with federal funds, is not for sale and painted Murphy as a political candidate who would say anything for a vote. He also pointed out that the Schaumburg Park District is breaking ground later this month on an expansive indoor sports complex, right on airport property.

"She's fallen into the easy trap of saying anything and promising anything to get elected," Larson said. "It takes 200 years to establish a forest, of course, by then she'll be out of office; well, maybe."

Murphy, of Addison, beat her challenger, John Pankau, for the Republican nomination in March. She faces Democrat J. Ignacio Mendez of Wood Dale in the November election.

DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioner William Maio of Itasca, who chairs the forest preserve's land acquisition committee and backed Murphy in the primary, took the middle ground on Murphy's proposal.

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