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updated: 8/30/2012 4:16 PM

Former Hoffman Estates Park District commissioner wants to be mayor

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  • William McLeod

    William McLeod

  • Craig Bernacki

    Craig Bernacki


Hoffman Estates Mayor William McLeod confirmed Wednesday he will be running for a fourth term this upcoming spring, but unlike the last mayoral election he won't run unopposed.

Former Hoffman Estates Park District board president Craig Bernacki began gathering signatures on a petition Tuesday to be named a mayoral candidate in the April 2013 election.

"I don't like the direction that the village is going," Bernacki said, explaining that he is not satisfied with the village's spending habits and cuts to services. "I think it's time for change."

Bernacki ran for a village trustee spot in spring 2011 and lost. He then resigned from his position as park district commissioner -- which he had held for a decade after his tenure as board president -- in August 2011, saying he needed to give attention and care to his parents. In both situations the 54-year-old said he would consider a return to local politics.

"Things are stable with my parents right now. I have a lot more time right now," he said. "I don't have those things lying over my head so much anymore."

Bernacki, who works as a chiropractor in Schaumburg, said if elected he would break away from the "same old stale ideas" and bring new ideas and energy to the village.

"I want to give people a choice. When you're the only person on the ballot ... to me, I don't even call that an election," he said.

Bernacki plans to run with two of his neighbors from Haverford Place. They are Gayle Vandenbergh, who is hoping for a village trustee spot, and Heather Mahoney, who will vie for village clerk.

McLeod, who has been in his current position since 2001, said is running for re-election because of his love for the community and that there is still a lot to be done.

"I think you need experienced leadership," he said, adding that during his time as mayor the village retained Sears Holdings Corp. and continues to be successful at bringing in new businesses, such as Cabela's and Mariano's Fresh Market.

"It's been tough economic times, but we have gotten through it," he said.

McLeod said he will be running with a group of people who represent various areas of the community, including Trustees Karen Mills and Jackie Green. Both live in the south end of the village, while he and village clerk Bev Romanoff come from the north end, he said.

Resident Michael Gaeta, who has served on the village's planning and zoning commission and comes from the west end of town, will also be running with the group in hopes of getting a trustee seat, McLeod said.

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