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Independent Village President Candidate Receives Threatening Note

Christopher Rintz, who’s running against the Caucus-slated Gene Greable, received an anonymous note promising to spread embarrassing information against him if he decides to run for village president in Winnetka.

An independent candidate for village president in Winnetka told the Chicago Tribune that he received an anonymous note threatening to spread embarrassing personal information if he decides to run in the April 9 elections. 

Christopher Rintz, who’s running against the Caucus-slated Gene Greable for the Village President seat, says the note included an article about a Glenview boy who died while playing in a construction site on a property that belonged to Rintz’s development company, New England Builders; information on a failed deal related to the company; and the words, “If you think it’s bad what was done to Pat Livney, wait til you see what is said about you … We hope you appreciate the enclosed materials and good luck,” the Tribune reported. 

In November when Livney attempted but failed to challenge the Caucus’ slate of trustee candidates, some Winnetka residents raised concerns about a speech Livney made at a Winnetka Public Schools District 39 board meeting and his involvement in a lawsuit in New Mexico. 

At that time, Livney told residents he was so angry while making the speech because the district had shown a slavery film containing adult topics. Watch the video of the speech.

Rintz to Mount Independent Bid Against Greable

“I think under the circumstances surrounding the selection process that this year the residents of Winnetka deserve a choice on the ballot.”

As for the emotional topic of affordable housing, Rintz does not believe it is going to happen following recent debate within the village.

“That is an issue that has had its time in the light and the community made it clear that they don’t want to discuss it,” he said.  “If I were president the only way I could see affordable housing as an issue would be if there was a broad based mandate.”

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Fleury Linn January 01, 2013 at 12:18 AM
I have lived in Winnetka for almost 38 years and have always considered it a wonderful place to live and raise children. However, in the last decade there has been a noticeable change in the attitude of some residents. I have noticed an attitude of entitlement; it's what is best for me: my property, my child , my dog, etc, etc, etc. It seems like the attitude of "giving back" to the community, the sense of what is best for the whole community over time is being lost. What other community has to spend money and create more visual clutter by placing permanent signs, 20 feet in front of a Stop Sign, to tell drivers that Winnetka Police will ticket Stop Sign Offenders!! There has been and will always be many differences of opinion in Winnetka, that is natural and understandable in a village of 13,00 intelligent residents; however, I don't believe these differences should take the form of personal attacks, partial truths and in some cases anonymous threats. All of this done so a person can get what he or she wants now. It saddens me that the town that was so welcoming to me, that allowed and encouraged me to become involved in many village, school, church and neighborhood activities is becoming inconsiderate, insensitive and uncivil. Fleury Linn
Momof4 January 01, 2013 at 07:02 AM
Well said Fleury, it's nothing but dirty pool. Some people need to get a hobby not to mention a life.
nsmom January 01, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Couldn't agree more. This type of behavior is inexcusable, as is mass emailing nasty and untrue allegations about anyone with whom one disagrees.
NELLY January 01, 2013 at 03:22 PM
We all know who is behind this--simply vote against their candidate and show them how their tactics played out...One of these days maybe they will learn, although unfortunately I doubt it.
DM January 01, 2013 at 04:14 PM
I've known Chris Rintz for years and he is a 5 star citizen. We are lucky to have someone that's brave and unintimidated and willing to run as a truly independent candidate. It is revolting that someone from our Village would deliver cheap threats in such a threatening way. Before reading this, I woke up this morning & hoped that 2013 would ring in a fresh new year for Winnetka politics..... no more of the hooting and shouting at caucus meetings, less interrupting - more LISTENING (maybe, dare I say, some compromise?!?!), no more mystery letters on the porch. But clearly, those residents that resort to yelling in public meetings and following the blind guidance of "we all know who/what" have a hard time controlling their hostility and can't figure out an adult way to express themselves. That has got to change.
john t. thomas January 01, 2013 at 05:24 PM
After 37 years here, we must agree with Ms.Linn that there has been a significant detrioration in civility in Winnetka. I know both Gene Greable and Chris Rintz and they are first rate candidates for the Village President's role. I'm sure Mr. Greable is as appalled as I to hear of such cheap tactics against Mr. Rintz' candidacy.
Antonia Duhe January 01, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Yes the tactics of the Progressives and Affordable Housing supporters has sadly been very divisive and duplicitous. Oddly, much of that comes from those who are not even citizen taxpayers of Winnetka.
Marie January 01, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Antonia, WHOA has accused Mr. Rintz of having an affordable housing agenda. Why would affordable housing advocates write such a mean-spirited letter to someone who supposedly backs their cause?
Lynn Sanders January 02, 2013 at 02:59 AM
After living here for 22 years, I feel shocked and saddened at the terrible behavior of those who would threaten Chris Rintz. Mr. Rintz is an intelligent, highly competent man, who had the courage to speak up for affordable housing -- something that is greatly needed in our community. He deserves to run on the ballot without being threatened. What kind of town do we live in? Why must a local bully wreak havoc with our democratic system? We all need to speak up when our fellow citizens are not being treated fairly.
Solely January 02, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Can we please move on from turning everything in to a revived AH debate? Coach houses can now be rented & there is a mntaince code for downtown properties. Whoa fought against those and lost. But let it go!!! nothing else is even being proposed or discussed. It's a tired, lame & failing attempt to taint Rintz.....a forward-focused candidate with other issues & ideas I think all residents should want to hear out. I giggled when i read this quote In the trib local article, Greable said. "I think the times are a-changing, as Bobby Dylan says. And not for the better." Bobby Dylan??? That's backward..... way back, man.
Snowballs January 02, 2013 at 04:44 AM
So "Winnetka " made the same threat months ago. Right here on the Patch. On a public forum. And the editors haven't connected the dots?
Solely January 02, 2013 at 05:53 AM
SnoBall- You mean the perpetually p'd off Patch poster that dubbed herself "winnetka"? Back in November in response to a letter to the editor supporting Joe Adams she laid out the exact threat against Rintz. Search it on this site.......she prolific, you'll get a big dose of winnetka's rage. If you read any her other prickly-to-the-point-of-scary rants it makes you wonder where all the anger comes from and what political scare tactics she's willing to support. Lets ask the source: "Winnetka" -- you are a frequent commentator, what do you have to say about the mystery package? You voiced eerily similar accusations in previous Patch posts. You must have insight.....?
Antonia Duhe January 02, 2013 at 05:58 AM
Mr. Rintz did indeed have that AH agenda. We do not know who actually sent that letter... yet it has garnered much attention for Mr. Rintz ...a late addition to the ballot. This certainly stirs up quite a bit of attention and has the added effect of creating sympathy...As such this letter creates suspicion...not necessarily to Mr. Rintz but those who have dishonestly pushed the AH agenda from outside the village. Too often the AH group has been less then honest in the presentation of false "facts."
Faith hope momma January 02, 2013 at 06:19 AM
Seriously, Duh(e)? What and who are you talking about? Give specific false facts.....& know that there are dozens upon dozens of examples of WHOA 's fiction writing and flat out lies. Again unless you are living a cave or renting carry buck's coach house, you'd know AH is a non-issue for Winnetkans. Also maybe try to get back to the conversation thread about being civil and respectful during elections. And not intimidation & stupid accusations.
Tilly Time January 02, 2013 at 06:55 AM
Hello - Antonia Duh makes accusations about this candidate but with no back up facts. And I don't get the unfounded ah(?) reference. Winnetka, I'm glad I'm a neighbor in another village. I follow your village politics & count my blessings.
A Paddy January 02, 2013 at 05:42 PM
I hope all my fellow Winnetkans can make a New Year's resolution to treat each other with civility and kindness. People can have legitimate differences over issues and still discuss them in a manner that recognizies that we share most things and values in common. Winnetka is generally a wonderful place to live and we who do so are very lucky. Her's hoping we can keep it that way.
Paula Skaggs (Editor) January 02, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Hello, Snowballs! I am just taking over as the Winnetka-Glencoe editor (in fact, today is my first day!), so I'm just getting caught up on this story. Do you by any chance remember which story that comment was made on? Thank you so much! Paula
Solely January 02, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Paula- I found it. First response to e rechrin's letter nov 12: .............Are you named as a defendant in any pending lawsuits? A: Me personally?-No. But a certainTrustee was a defendent in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a little boy in Glenview-Evan Rohrer.That "suit" was settled for $2 Million in 2005-Five years after the boy drowned in a sand pile at a work site.That's just one case...there are many others. It would have been great if Ms. Rechtin & friends had asked these questions of that person when he was slated 4 yrs ago. Now that person is hinting at running for Village President.(Hint: it's not Gene) I'm heartened to know that YOU Ms. Rechtin will be "on the case" to make sure someone with chronic, multiple active legal entanglements that are documented, including one in which a CHILD DIED, won't make the cut for any village position........... Read all of winnetka's posts. She's gone after individuals and personally named them and has suggested "running people out of town." I've never read a post from her that was positive or even neutral....
A Paddy January 02, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Ms. Skaggs: The comment referred about which you inquired was to a November 12, 2012 letter to the editor supporting Joe Adams for Village Trustee.
Trevian 87 January 02, 2013 at 07:53 PM
A Paddy- Great idea for all of us to make that resolution! Personally, I hope Carry Buck and company will commit to a "no smear" policy as well. But remember the last election and how WHOA treated Pedian so they could get Spinney? They'll do anything to get their man Greable elected if you look at their decades- old history of vicious "campaigning."
Mr X January 02, 2013 at 08:47 PM
I do remember the newsletter jenni Spinney was handing out on election morning. It was vile & whoa paid for it. They were soliciting money from residents for weeks to pay for it. No one is suggesting they had anything to do with the Chris Rintz package, but it is quite interesting to me how soon in to the conversation chain re: personal attacks & nasty campaigns whoa popped up. But it is not surprising given that they created entire web sites and posted video clips dedicated to harassing individuals. They have questioned residency and singled out people for political signage - these weren't even candidates, just private residents. And we all know how many times recently "they" have slammed the caucus and president tucker. (Is whoa a pac or not? I have heard they reg then unreg and skirt around the regulations) Good luck Chris Rintz. I'm amazed and thankful anyone is willing to run for office in this village.
John King January 03, 2013 at 01:08 PM
I echo Mr. X's points; keep going Chris and know that at least a few Winnetkans are for democracy.

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