Can COD and Glen Ellyn reach a compromise?

  • Scott Sanders/  New signs at the College of DuPage have nearby neighbors upset.

    Scott Sanders/ New signs at the College of DuPage have nearby neighbors upset.

Daily Herald Editorial Boar
Updated 11/13/2011 6:20 PM

With the acrimony as high as it's been between leaders with the College of DuPage and the village of Glen Ellyn, it probably should have come as no surprise that each side also ended up vehemently disagreeing over the court ruling issued last week in their dispute.

Officials with COD said the ruling essentially amounted to a "no winner, no loser" judgment.


Officials with Glen Ellyn described the ruling as a "victory" for the village.

There was, we guess, a little something in the judge's summary for everybody, making it a bit of an eye-of-the-beholder kind of thing.

But while we're inclined to lean toward the "no winner" interpretation since neither side's request for judgment was approved by the court, we definitely reject the idea that there have been no losers.

The taxpayers have been clear losers in this unnecessary dispute. They have suffered not only the embarrassment of two otherwise reputable local governments going after each other in public like bullies in a schoolyard but also the cost of this legal dispute, which we estimate to be at about $500,000 and counting.

As we have said in this space in the past: These are two high-quality institutions -- one of Illinois' top community colleges and one of DuPage County's classiest suburbs. They ought to be collaborating, with an inescapable self-interest in each others' success. It amazes us that they seem to view themselves as adversaries rather than as partners.

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While some of the judge's finding may be subject to debate and posturing, his underlying message is clear: Get this thing settled!

That starts with agreeing on two points:

1. It is clear that COD strives to meet high standards in its physical plant and that at least on some occasions, Glen Ellyn has been inconsistent or seemingly arbitrary in its enforcement.

2. It is clear that Glen Ellyn strives to maintain high community standards and has a right to expect that its codes be met.

What is needed on both sides is reasonableness.

We are heartened by signs that perhaps both sides have tired of this dogfight and the needless expenditure of tax money it demands.

While it's too soon to be optimistic, we view as an olive branch COD's intention to go back to last May's proposed settlement agreement as the framework for a long-awaited compromise. And we're encouraged that village officials seem ready to at least give it consideration.


We hope that in reviewing that proposal, both sides try to put aside the distrust and hurt feelings of the past and to begin anew.

The point isn't, "How did we get here?" It's, "How do we leave here?"

Officials on both sides owe it to the taxpayers to focus on that second question.