Candidates line up to be next mayor of Woodridge
|The retirement of Woodridge Mayor William Murphy has led to a crowded field of candidates running for the mayor's seat to replace him. Five candidates have filed to run for mayor in the April Woodridge Village Board election. Murphy, seen here at the Forest Glen Park groudbreaking event, has been mayor since 1981. (File photo)|
WOODRIDGE — After more than 30 years of having the same man as mayor, Woodridge will have a new leader in 2013.
Five candidates have filed to run for mayor of Woodridge in the April consolidated elections. The flood of candidates comes after Mayor William Murphy announced in the fall that he is retiring at the end of his term in April. Murphy was first elected in 1981.
Three current village trustees are among the candidates looking to replace Murphy: Greg Abbott, Gina Cunningham-Picek and Joe Kagann. Mike Krucek, a trustee on the Woodridge Police Pension Board, and Ferenc Vandor, who is making his second run at the mayor’s seat, also have their names on the ballot.
Cunningham-Picek has served on the board since 1999. She said her reason for running is to continue the excellence in government and the fine reputation that Woodridge has built.
Among her goals is to open the lines of communication with residents and businesses in town to ensure they are fully informed of what is happening and of the choices the village board will make.
“I have seen in the past when residents have been misinformed about developments coming into town and other things,” Cunningham-Picek said. “I’d like to see the village hold more neighborhood meetings, town hall meetings and participate in other ways to get information out to our residents and business community so they are well informed.”
Kagann, whose father Joel Kagann once served as Woodridge mayor, talked of the “big opportunity” to follow in his father’s and Murphy’s footsteps. He hopes to focus on economic development in town by maximizing development uses — residential, commercial and industrial — in Woodridge.
“I also believe that with cuts and losses in state revenue we have seen over the past few years, one way we can look to save money is to partner with other taxing bodies and municipalities to share costs,” he said. “It would also help to reduce some taxes, and taxing bodies would not have to look to taxpayers as much to fill budget gaps.”
But Kagann isn’t completely committed to running for mayor just yet — he also filed to run for one of the three open trustee seats, and still has to decide for which position he will run.
Krucek spoke of the village of Woodridge’s position when it comes to future development.
“The next mayor will need to work on several issues currently underway or in the process of development,” Krucek said in a press release announcing his candidacy. “The transition Woodridge faces as it moves from a growing community to a more mature phase will require a leader that can listen to residents, understand issues regarding redevelopment, maintain strong fiscal discipline, make sound choices, and use all available resources to make those decisions. I want Woodridge to remain a strong and vibrant community, one that is always a great place to live, work and play in.”
Vandor declined immediate comment, saying he wanted to wait until after the five-business day deadline for petition objections has passed to comment on his decision to run. He once ran for the mayor’s seat against Murphy and has been a big advocate of term limits.
Abbott, an incumbent trustee running for mayor, could not be reached for comment.
The candidates who have filed to run for the three expiring terms on the Woodridge Village Board are Kagann, incumbent Pam Beavers and newcomers Louis Wardin, Tim Goodwin, Joe Schager and Susan Burtnette. Eileene Nystrom will run unopposed for village clerk.
More names could be thrown into the mix in the April elections, too. Write-in candidates must file declaration of intent to run through the county clerk no later than Feb. 7.
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