From all appearances, New Lenox is a progressive, well-managed village — a growing town with lots of business development to keep up with its burgeoning population. And Tim Baldermann is a typical mayor, serving as an aggressive booster for his village — except when it comes to gas stations.

Baldermann is obsessed with gasoline prices in his town. He’s again calling for residents to boycott New Lenox stations, accusing them of gouging drivers by charging unfairly high prices for gas. And he’s going further than he did last year, urging residents to picket the stations and even offering to pay for the picket signs himself.

We’re as frustrated as anyone on how gas prices sometimes shoot up overnight by 20 to 30 cents per gallon for no apparent reason and recede only penny by penny. And we’re confused why stations with the same brand of gas in the same town often have prices that differ by several cents per gallon. We also understand that there’s hardly an easier target in trying to score political points than the oil companies.

But we think Baldermann should drop his call for a boycott because it’s not going to have a lasting effect on prices and price gouging in New Lenox is not really an issue.

A check Friday showed New Lenox stations charging about 16 cents a gallon more than most in Joliet and Lockport, but that difference is not consistent. Prices in the three towns sometimes are roughly equal. And New Lenox prices were 6 cents less a gallon than the lowest price in Frankfort and Mokena. Where’s the gouging?

True, some stations in Homer Glen were charging $3.19 a gallon, by far the lowest price in any town from Tinley Park to Joliet. Why so low? Like we said, beats us.

Last year, Baldermann’s boycott call resulted temporarily in lower gas prices in New Lenox. But they soon rose again, and he complained to the state attorney general’s office, which found no evidence of collusion or unfair pricing.

New Lenox residents, like most people, buy gas for the lowest price, sometimes paying a little more because a station is convenient. Baldermann may see himself as some sort of GasFighter superhero, but his campaign is more bluster than buster.