Geary says he wants to be Sugar Grove president
Sugar Grove Trustee Kevin Geary wants to be the village's next president.
Geary announced this week he will run against incumbent Sean Michels in the April election.
He said Friday that friends, neighbors and residents asked him to run. "They feel that a change at quarterback would be a good thing," he said.
Geary said his approach to governing would be more collaborative than that of Michels.
He also criticized Michels over the issue of fixing drainage problems in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions, saying the village should have done something sooner.
"Five years people were suffering down there," said Geary, who lives in Mallard Point. "I thought the village would have found some way to speed up the process."
Geary also said residents feel they are treated as complainers when they raise concerns to the village. "I'm hearing them as people just asking for help," he said.
Earlier this month, Geary pointedly questioned Michels at a board meeting about why some items on the agenda had not been discussed at a committee of the whole meeting first, which the board commonly does. Michels said at the time that the matters in question were of such a routine nature that he thought it sufficient to only consider them once.
Friday, Michels disagreed with several of Geary's points. "I don't think anybody wanted (the Mallard Point project) to go that long," he said, but the village had to negotiate with several landowners. It also had to work with the Rob Roy Drainage District, and Kane County was also involved. The board also had to consider the needs of all residents, not just those affected by the drainage problem, Michels said.
Geary also said there is a lack of village action on priorities identified by residents in a Community Cares survey. Michels said the village did start an economic development committee and studied improving Main Street. "I don't ever remember Kevin saying we need to work on this," Michels said.
Geary, 48, has lived in Sugar Grove since 1996. He has been a trustee since 1999. He is a broker for Advanced Realty Consultants Ltd.
Geary started the effort in 2011 to build Veterans Park on the site of the former West Hotel at 201 Main St. The village owns the land, but the park effort is funded by the Sugar Grove Veterans Park Foundation. He is active in the Sugar Grove Lions Club and volunteers for the annual Corn Boil.
Geary wants to form small focus groups and direct resident feedback." The groups would discuss maintaining infrastructure, redeveloping Main Street, beautifying the community and incubating commercial growth.
"I invite residents and local businesses to join me on the campaign trail and encourage an open discussion of the issues that matter most to them," Geary said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to debating these issues with my opponents."
Geary's campaign website is gearyforsugargrove.com
Michels has been president since 1999.
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