The same group of Hanover Park residents who united four years ago to put the village on a new path will team once again in a re-election bid next April.
Led by Mayor Rodney Craig, the Hanover Park Progress Party slate of incumbents also includes Clerk Eira Corral and board members, Bill Cannon, Rick Roberts and Ed Zimel.
“We’re on the cusp of doing a lot of very good things,” Craig said. “We all want to see the next four years through.”
First elected in 2007 to finish the term of late Village President Irv Bock, Craig’s re-election two years later came in the midst of a string of homicides and gang violence that marked the village’s darkest period.
Since then, Hanover Park grew the police department by more than 12 sworn officers, overhauled its policing strategies and built a state-of-the-art police station. The board also made former Police Chief Ron Moser the village manager until his recent retirement.
“We did all that at an impossible time, given the economy,” Craig said. “We took hits in other staffing areas, but it was necessary.”
As the village started to see the benefits of its public safety initiatives, the board turned its focus to creating an improved image for Hanover Park, as well as various economic and comprehensive plans.
“We’ve come leaps and bounds from where Hanover Park was,” Zimel said. “Now we need to focus on getting more businesses into town.”
None of the officials have heard any chatter about possible opposition. Candidates will begin filing their nominating petitions in late December.
Until recently, Trustee Bill Cannon was on the fence about whether to run again due to his wife’s terminal illness.
“I didn’t know how I could take on the challenge and justify the time (serving on the board) takes away from her,” Cannon said. “But my wife wants me to push on, so I’ll just take it day-by-day and keep working on the good things we’ve got going on.”
Cannon said that if elected, he’ll continue to watch every dollar spent so Hanover Park is financially stable and positioned to take advantage of the rebounding economy. He said he’d prefer to face a challenger because “choice is always a good thing.”
Each member of the slate, aside from Craig, is seeking a second term.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.