ELBURN – Two incumbents and two newcomers are running for three open seats on the Elburn Village Board in the spring.
Michael Rullman, Patricia Schuberg and incumbents Ken Anderson and Jeff Walter have filed to run in the April election, and all four weighed in on the proposed Elburn Station development.
A fifth candidate, Richard Garcia, filed to be on the ballot, but said earlier this week that he withdrew from the race to spend more time with his family. Incumbent Village President Dave Anderson is running unopposed.
Those elected to the board likely will have to make decisions about Elburn Station that Schuberg said could affect generations to come.
“We’re setting precedence that we’ll live with for eons forward,” she said.
Schuberg has spent 15 years on the village’s plan commission, with six years as the chair of the commission. She said this is her first run for public office. As an appointed commissioner, she voted for the final plat approval when the Elburn Station proposal first came forward.
In the proposal, land owned by developer ShoDeen would be used for an extension of Anderson Road, including a bridge that would cross the Union Pacific tracks. Included in the proposed project are multi-unit rental properties near the railroad tracks.
Rullman said he has never held public office. He said he wanted to run for the April election because he sees a lot of vacancies in the downtown area, and he hopes to help control village costs and keep taxes low.
He’s against the proposed Elburn Station, but he said he does see the advantages to going forward with the project.
“Anderson bridge would be great, but there’s not enough money to do the engineering independent of [the Elburn Station project],” he said. “It has pluses and minuses like everything else. Will it fit in the community? Probably.”
Schuberg said she believes housing and economic development are among the most important issues in Elburn. She said she wishes the Elburn Station project wasn’t connected with the proposed bridge because she believes people would look at the project differently.
“I have always felt, let’s get the bridge in. We may be looking at this development entirely different once we have this bridge in place. It’s a very significant factor,” she said. “I really think we need to look at development separately from the bridge. It’s going to inform the subdivision different once it’s in place instead of what looks like, right now, a blank canvas.”
Anderson, who is finishing his first four-year term, said he wanted to run again because he wants to implement the village’s land-use plan and continue to be a fiscally conservative voice on the board.
He said there are parts of the Elburn Station proposal that he likes better than others, and he said other parts of the proposal will change as the economy improves.
“I like the idea of getting Anderson Road in if Elburn is going to grow. And if you look at predictions, it will,” he said. “We need secondary access over the rail line. I think it’s going to be a good development because it’s creating a transit-related development. Families can live with one car, hop on the train and go to work.”
Walter, who has served on the board about four years, said he wants to build the village’s capital accounts and implement a capital replacement plan for potential expenses that come with aging infrastructure and equipment.
He said he was the only person who voted against the Elburn Station preliminary plan because he was concerned about density, particularly building 17 housing units per acre. While he has his concerns, he said he believes it will be successful if Elburn grows at the right speed.
“I’m not against it by any means. I think it’s a good development,” he said.