A slate of candidates has emerged to challenge incumbent Fox Lake Mayor Ed Bender and other sitting members of the village board in April's municipal elections.
Leading them is Donnie Schmit, a current village trustee who said he will run against Bender in the spring.
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Schmit said he is running because "there is a lack of transparency to the constituency and in various departments working for the village."
"I feel we need to do a better job toward creating and nurturing a business friendly environment for current businesses and new businesses that want to do business in Fox Lake," he added. "When I got elected as trustee two years ago, I committed to work with existing businesses and department heads to keep the hometown feel of Fox Lake that I come to know and love since 1957."
Besides the mayor's post, the seats of trustees Val Griseta, Kevin Burt and Jon Mumford and Village Clerk Kimberly Mate are up for election next year.
Running on Schmit's slate are Ron Stochl, chairman of the village's zoning board; Bernie Konwent, president of the village's Leisure Village Homeowners Association; and self-employed businessman Jeff Jensen. Niki Warden will run for clerk.
Bender, who will be seeking a second term as mayor, said Wednesday he also has a slate for the April election, but won't release the candidates' names until after Thanksgiving.
Schmit said he believes the current village administration has lost touch with the community it serves.
"There is a lack of communication between departments that not only is stifling input from our employees, but making it difficult for businesses to operate," he said. "If elected I promise to have open discussion at board meetings so that our citizens can see the process, and hold me accountable."