Sneed: Bid to honor Topinka in Riverside fails

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The Topinka memorial . . .

It got tubed!

An attempt to honor the memory of the late State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who served Illinois for years, has been rejected.

“I feel disappointed and frustrated,” said Topinka’s son, Joe, a retired U.S. Army officer who led a futile charge to rename the Riverside Township Hall after his mother.

“Basically, an attempt to memorialize my mother went down in flames,” he told Sneed.

“A committee assigned by the Riverside Township trustees to assess putting Mom’s name on a building she loved — was given a thumbs-down!

“Instead, the committee voted to name a room in the building after her,” he added. “But it seems there were objections by veterans who felt if the building were going to be renamed, it should be named after someone who gave their life for their country.”

“The full board of trustees will vote on the committee’s recommendation July 14 — but I doubt they will reject the committee’s decision,” said a dejected Topinka. “There were trustees on that committee.”

“You know, I didn’t expect some state building to be named after Mom. I find naming buildings after people where there is no connection as kind of pretentious.

“But Mom loved that building. Riverside was her home. She lived there. She grew up there. She was a state representative, a state senator, and the state’s first female state treasurer. I was right. I felt like a can was being kicked down the road, and it was. Mom was in government for years and made many speeches in the building. It’s just so sad.”

“Did you know she was proposed to by my father just down the sidewalk of this building?

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Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza is also disappointed.

“Everybody talked about how much they loved Judy when she passed away,” said Mendoza, who had written the Riverside Township committee a letter of support for honoring Topinka.

“Now is the time to prove it!

“I would ask the board of trustees to sleep on the committee’s decision . . . use this as an opportunity to reflect on all Judy did for the state and reconsider the committee’s decision.

“I worked with Judy for years and she would always work for people irrespective of party and race; she always brought together.

“Riverside was lucky to have Judy as a resident. Given what she meant for the state of Illinois, this would be a small way of honoring her. It is important to establish a legacy for Judy and future generations of children.

“Learning about the campaign to rename the Riverside Township Hall in honor of Comptroller Topinka made my heart swell. It reminded me of a special friend and one of Illinois’ best elected officials from either political party. I know I’m not alone in my feelings. Renaming the Riverside Township Hall in honor of Judy Baar Topinka would be a well-deserved tribute to an individual and a legacy that would educate and inspire the next generation of leaders. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute,” Mendoza stated in a letter to Riverside Township Trustee Mary Rob Clarke.

Joe Topinka, who is Judy’s only child, said, “I feel disappointed and frustrated . . . I feel like my mother felt when she lost the governor’s race.

“She didn’t quite understand.”

Ho. Ho. Ho . . .

Who, who, who . . . is Santa?

• To wit: The media was all in a tizzy this week over “Santa,” a mysterious person mentioned in the latest release of Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time in the State Department.

• Backstory: On July 6, 2009, Hillary emailed her fave aide, Huma Abedin: “I’m seeing Santa at 8:30, so won’t take off until closer to 9:30.”

• The story: Turns out Santa is hairdresser Santa Nikkels, who operates a salon in Chappaqua,N.Y., where Hillary and Bill have a home. The New York Post obtained a photo of Bill with Santa in her shop — so it looks like the mystery is solved.

Sneedlings . . .

Friday’s birthdays: Tom Cruise, 53; Olivia Munn, 35, and Audra McDonald, 45 . . . and happy early birthday to Denise Schneider, 40.

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