Funny what you learn about people when you ask a disparate bunch to pose for a group portrait.
The Central Fox Valley's newly elected mayors gathered Wednesday for said group portrait in the offices of the Daily Herald, exuding excited anticipation for what's to come.
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Patsy Smith, re-elected in Campton Hills for a second term, was full of congratulations for David Kaptain, elected as Elgin's next mayor after unseating 12-year incumbent Ed Schock.
Eileen Phipps will enter her fifth term as Wayne's village president after an uncontested race and Greg Marston breezed to victory in his own unopposed run for Pingree Grove village president.
With new faces leading the various communities, stronger cooperation is expected.
Kaptain and Smith promised to meet soon, and all four stressed the importance of working with surrounding villages and townships.
"It's best for everybody that we grow together and are not adversarial," Kaptain said.
Kaptain specifically mentioned working with Hanover Township (the eastern end of the city falls in the township), and East and West Dundee.
Smith was front and center in a fight to incorporate Campton Hills in April 2007 after residents wanted to protect themselves from Elgin's aggressive westward expansion. Ironically, Kaptain defeated the man who played a significant role in Campton Hills' birth: Schock.
Smith refused to gloat about Schock's defeat, even though her Preserve Campton group supported Kaptain in his initial Elgin City Council bid several years ago.
She noted the two municipalities, along with Plato Township, have a joint 10-year snowplowing agreement and could hopefully work together more going forward.
"We're going to always try and work with our neighbors," she said.
Phipps suggested that Elgin's leadership change could be an opportunity for crafting some type of boundary agreement.
"Any time there's a new outlook, there's always opportunity," she said.
Phipps has had her own troubles with neighbors in St. Charles, which is considering erecting a bridge across the Fox River at Red Gate Road, a move Wayne leaders strongly oppose.
"Stearns Road (bridge and road expansion) has just opened," she said, nothing Wayne supported that project. "I would think that in these difficult economic times, St. Charles would take a step back from pursuing this project. We believe that (Stearns) should be give a very strong opportunity to succeed."
Marston mentioned the desire for an intergovernmental agreement between Pingree Grove and Elgin to address problems on a stretch of Reinking Road falling within Elgin's boundaries. Marston said the road is dangerous and too narrow for traffic, a concern Kaptain said he would be more than willing to discuss.
"Collaboration with fellow governments in the area can only be beneficial for everybody," Marston said.
Other local village presidents who ran uncontested were Jesse Heffernan in Lily Lake, who had 71 of 97 votes; Jamie LeBlanc in Virgil, who finished with 41 of 45 votes; and Robert Rodney of Kaneville, who took 60 of 75 votes.