To the Editor:
My name is Stephen Mittler, I was born and raised in Highland Park, I have lived in Highland Park as an adult for several years (no longer) and I run the day to day of a small business in town – I am also Mayor Gayle’s son. My family has been in this town for over 40 years and I have seen firsthand how much my mother loves this community.
Mom served as a PTO member, Temple President, Volunteer Member of the HP Educational Foundation, Town councilwoman and most recently Mayor. Meeting after meeting, emergency after emergency, event after event – she is there. This town is her passion. The betterment of Highland Park has been her goal, her vision and her only mission for the last decade. And so, I find it amusing when her opposition’s campaign team throws around buzz words like “transparency” and “accountability.”
Here is the reality of the small town Mayor position: it is a difficult 24 hour/day job with a stipend of less than $7,000/year, and the buck stops with you. Mayors are our first, most visible, local public servants. There is nothing to hide, no secret benefit or agenda to better a person or group in town – this is Highland Park, not House of Cards.
There is, however, another matter to consider – no matter who is Mayor, taxes will continue to require stabilization, issues will continue to arise when least expected, and this town will always have room for improvement. I do not know Monique or Austin but I respect both of them for running and choosing to serve Highland Park. They are clearly passionate about this town and that is a positive thing – this is why our community is so great. The petty inaccurate shots, smear tactics, and personal attacks on committed public servants is not what Highland Park is about. As a community, we can and should be better than this.
I know some of you may be new to the area but that is not how we do it in Highland Park. Whichever side you decide to support, let’s all respect the candidates and appreciate what they have done or willing to do for this town. No matter the results, I am very proud to call Gayle Brill Mittler my Mayor, and even prouder to call her mom.