Change in leadership for Elburn, MP; SG re-elects Michels

By on April 9, 2009

The villages of Elburn and Maple Park will soon see a new face in the village president’s chair; while Sugar Grove will continue under the leadership of re-elected Village President Sean Michels.

In Elburn, no matter who the voters supported, the top spot would be someone new. Longtime Village President Jim Willey announced last fall he would not seek re-election, and Village Board member Patricia Romke and Blackberry Township Supervisor David Anderson ran to replace him.

Not only did voters overwhelmingly support Anderson—he won with nearly 80 percent of the vote—they supported the concept of overall change by voting in three new Village Board members: Kenneth Anderson, Joseph (Jerry) Schmidt and Jeffrey Walter. Incumbents Tom Burgholzer and Jeff Humm were both defeated, while Craig Swan, who held the third open seat, chose not to run for re-election.

According to Anderson’s statement to Elburn Herald reporter Martha Quetsch, he intends to hit the ground running after he is sworn in later this month, with plans to do “a lot of little things that will add up to major changes.”

We are interested to see what those little things will be—he wouldn’t tell us—but we are glad to hear that the Anderson Road bridge and extension is considered a top priority.

Based on the voting results in Maple Park, it appears as if the village is pretty evenly split. The Kane County side of the village voted for the incumbent, Ross Dueringer, 107-84; while the DeKalb County side backed challenger Kathleen Curtis by a 92-51 margin. The difference gave Curtis the victory by a slim, 18-vote margin.

With newcomers Debra Armstrong and Suzanne Fahnestock joining the Village Board, Curtis told Elburn Herald reporter Lynn Meredith that she intends to begin by reorganizing the committees and coming up with a process to address the various issues facing the village.

We hope that the Police Department, which has no police chief and no articulated plan to deal with its staffing issues, rises to the top of that list of issues.

Voters in Sugar Grove chose to retain Village President Sean Michels by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. His clear-cut victory, combined with the fact that two of the Village Board candidates, Robert Bohler and Tom Renk, were re-elected, gives a clear indication that the voters believe the current Sugar Grove leadership is doing a good job in their roles.

Michels told Elburn Herald reporter Susan O’Neill that he intends to see the village remain active during the current housing and economic slowdown, focusing on improving the village’s infrastructure and adjusting growth projections and existing fees—all with an eye on working to draw economic development.

“We just need to get out and sell Sugar Grove over the next four years,” Michels told O’Neill.

We hope that effort pays off, because bringing commercial and industrial development into the village will be vital to advancing the quality of life in the community.

We applaud everyone who ran for office—win or lose—because a strong desire to help improve your community will only help as everyone struggles with tightening budgets and the additional strains caused by our current economic climate.

We also applaud everyone who took the time to get to know the issues and candidates, and turned that information into a well-informed vote.

To help each community navigate the challenges of economic stagnation, on the heels of the challenges of unprecedented growth, it will take a growing number of people willing to give their time and effort, for little monetary return, to pitch in and help. Whether that comes in the form or running for office, volunteering, attending meetings or just staying informed, strong, successful communities are truly a group effort.