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Recap of Kane County Chronicle endorsements

Published: Monday, April 1, 2013 11:36 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 1, 2013 11:41 a.m. CDT

(Continued from Page 1)

St. Charles mayor – Rogina

Four candidates – each with a meritable skill set – are competing to be the next mayor of St. Charles. Jake Wyatt, a retired U.S. Army colonel and former executive with Sears who also has started his own small businesses, wants to preserve and enhance the community, in part, by taking a collaborative approach to development. Jotham Stein, a business lawyer and author, lists bringing businesses to St. Charles as a top priority and, if elected, would propose an ordinance that states, “The mayor shall do no business with anybody who does business with the city.” John Rabchuk, who provides management consulting for construction material producers and has started and owned two national software companies related to the construction industry, has been involved with numerous civic organizations, including the St. Charles 708 Community Mental Health Board and the 2013 St. Charles Comprehensive Plan Task Force. He has fresh ideas for the city, such as making St. Charles a cycling hub and transforming the Fox River into a recreational asset, which he says could lead to a synergy that would help attract new business. Then there is Ray Rogina, a current 3rd Ward alderman who has served as a public school teacher and as president of the St. Charles Education Association. Rogina wants to preserve the heritage of St. Charles, support and pursue cultural and recreational offerings, and get balanced budgets passed. He would prioritize careful decision-making in city government and not rushing to conclusions. We believe Rogina’s experience gives him an edge over the other candidates in this race. He is endorsed.

Geneva mayor – Burns

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns fell short in his bid for Kane County Board chairman last year, absorbing a decisive defeat in the Republican primary race against Chris Lauzen. The good news for Geneva residents – Burns remains motivated to serve as the city’s mayor. We endorse Burns in his April 9 quest for a fourth term as Geneva mayor against challenger Bob McQuillan. Burns boasts a long line of achievements during his tenure. About 700,000 square feet of new commercial business has been added; the city’s industrial corridor has been enhanced; and staffing concessions have been made because of the economic downturn. Despite a few high-profile losses, Geneva’s downtown remains the envy of most communities in the west suburbs. Burns is ambitious; he is an effective relationship-builder; and his achievements have come within a sound fiscal framework. McQuillan is a smart man with a sophisticated grasp of budgetary issues, as Geneva school board members can attest after years of being grilled by McQuillan about the district’s fiscal affairs. While we respect McQuillan’s interest in running for mayor, it still seems that the city’s taxpayers would have been better served if McQuillan had taken a run at the school board, considering that body’s larger impact on residents’ tax bills.

Sugar Grove village president – Michels

Sean Michels has skillfully guided the village of Sugar Grove through what often has been a challenging economic time during his three terms as village president. He has demonstrated an ability to attract businesses – such as the Rush-Copley Convenient Care facility and Jimmy John’s – to the town, and he has more goals, including completing the interchange at Route 47 and Interstate 88. He understands and would prioritize Sugar Grove signing on to an impact fee agreement with Kaneland School District 302, something other Kaneland communities already have done. His opponent in the race for Sugar Grove village president, Kevin Geary, certainly has played a key role in the village’s success. Geary has been a trustee for about 13 years and has been an involved and engaged community member, working on such key projects as the Corn Boil festival and Holiday in the Grove. Geary was instrumental in getting an advisory referendum on the April 9 ballot to address the village’s recent lifting of its video gambling ban. Michels said he would consider reinstating the ban if the vote results show residents don’t support video gambling. Geary has said the same. Michels has been a strong leader during a difficult economy. We endorse him for a fourth term.

Kaneville village president – Peck

It has been less than a year since Rick Peck took over as Kaneville’s interim village president. He was chosen by his peers and deserves an opportunity to serve a full term. “It’s been a great experience so far, and I want to continue forward,” he said during an endorsement interview with the Kane County Chronicle Editorial Board. Peck was selected to be interim village president after the death of Bob Rodney in July. Prior to becoming interim village president, he served as a Kaneville trustee. Both Kaneville village president candidates – Peck and Trustee Pat Hill – are leaders and have demonstrated a desire to do what’s best for Kaneville. Both recognize the need for new sidewalks in town, and both say they will strive to maintain the village’s small-town identity. Hill is highly involved in Kaneville and is well known as the owner of Hill’s Country Market – also called “the Purple Store.” She has served as a trustee since 2006 and has lived in the area for 17 years. Peck is an engineering manager and has lived in the area for nearly nine years. We endorse Peck.

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