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Four vying for three seats in Campton Hills

CAMPTON HILLS – Village residents will have two choices Tuesday regarding the leadership of Campton Hills: They can re-elect incumbents Al Lenkaitis Jr., Mike Millette and John Strauss, or they can replace one incumbent with Harry Blecker.

Blecker is a 66-year-old small-business owner who supports low-impact development that neither puts a strain on nor changes the feel of the community.

He said Kiva Recovery – the alcohol and substance abuse facility once proposed for the former Glenwood School site – sparked his interest in running for village trustee. He criticized Strauss, who voted for Kiva, for letting financial considerations influence his decision.

“I’m going to hear what [residents are] saying,” Blecker said. “I’m going to fight for what they want. I’m not going to put money ahead of them and their safety.”

Strauss, a retired design engineer and corporate executive, said the millions Kiva agreed to provide the village could have paid for the new position of village administrator and would have provided a cushion if state funding changes.

“They were willing to give the village a huge amount of money,” Strauss, 68, said. “The fact that we don’t have it, I think, will hurt us financially.”

Strauss would like another term to see through the process of hiring a village administrator, he said. He said the village is beginning to budget for the next fiscal year, and the finance committee is trying to figure out the consequences of creating the administrative position.

Lenkaitis, a dairy farmer turning 40 this year, said he wants to maintain a balanced budget and continue to grow the village’s reserve fund so Campton Hills can weather potential changes to state funding. He is also looking forward to hiring a village administrator if it’s financially feasible, he said.

Noting the gas station that opened last year along Route 64, Lenkaitis said he is open to considering any business that wants to join the village.

“I think business development in the area would be a good thing,” said Lenkaitis, specifically mentioning manufacturing opportunities.

Millette, public works director of Clarendon Hills, said he provides a moderating voice, thinks in practical terms and has an engineering background.

If he is re-elected, the 48-year-old said, he would work to protect the village’s interests regarding Kane County’s roundabout project at Route 47 and Burlington Road.

He said he also wants to complete the implementation of the comprehensive plan, the village’s biggest accomplishment in the past year.

“We’re not done just because we adopted it,” he said.

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