Glen Ellyn's 82-year-old nonpartisan nominating party will support a local business owner for village president in the upcoming spring municipal elections.
Alex Demos defeated Mary Loch 699-629 in voting at the Civic Betterment Party elections held Saturday at the village Civic Center, as well as early voting held earlier in the week.
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In the race for three open positions on the village board, Tim Elliott (911 votes), Tim O'Shea (638 votes) and Dean Clark (601 votes) earned the most votes in a five-way race. Tom Koprowski (492 votes) and Jim Ozog (463 votes) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
The balloting essentially represents a primary election in Glen Ellyn, and historically those who have won enough votes at the party's town meeting have gone on to win the official village elections in April. The winning candidates will receive the party's assistance in filing nominating petitions to get their names on the April ballot during the official filing period of Dec. 17-26. Those who lost Saturday's Civic Betterment election -- or anyone else -- can still file to run for office.
Party officials have said the process, which follows the New England town meeting caucus model, allows for locals to run for office without the "burdens of political fundraising, partisanship and campaigning."
All the candidates were recruited, interviewed and slated by a 17-person nominating committee.
At the party's biennial town meeting in the civic center's second-floor gymnasium, the candidates offered their views and met residents all day while the League of Women Voters coordinated the secret ballot voting process.
Demos, 50, a longtime village resident and president/CEO of Professional Paving & Concrete Co. in Glen Ellyn, said he'd use his background to help make Glen Ellyn "the most business-friendly and inviting village to open or expand a business."
"We need to introduce some competitive business sense and experience to our village government. I believe that I can bring many of the business and leadership skills needed to help change the mindset," he said.
In October, Demos was appointed by current Village President Mark Pfefferman as chairman of the new Process Improvement Team, a three-member committee tasked with streamlining the village's approval process for new businesses. Demos said the village must look at increasing potential revenue sources and "needs to find the difference between wants and needs" in cutting expenses.
Loch, 58, a controller for Community Housing Advocacy and Development, a nonprofit property management company in Wheaton, is a former village trustee and current member of the plan commission.
Among the party's favored candidates for village trustee, top vote-getter Elliott, 41, said he's a strong proponent of "progressive economic development" downtown and on Roosevelt Road, while acknowledging that development shouldn't come at the expense of the village's historical character. Elliott, a member of the plan commission and president of the DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation board, is a partner with the law firm of Rathje & Woodward.
O'Shea, 45, a chief operating officer of a financial services firm, said he's a good mediator, enjoys working with people with different views, and isn't afraid to ask questions. His mission, he says, is "to bring common sense and practicality back to village government."
Clark, 66, a 57-year Glen Ellyn resident, touted his appointments by Illinois governors of different parties -- Republican George Ryan and Democrat Pat Quinn -- to the State Board of Education in 2002 and Education Funding Advisory Board, on which he currently serves.
"One of the benefits I saw of serving on those boards was working with dynamic people with very different points of view," Clark said. "I believe that I was considered a consensus builder with those groups."
Koprowski and Ozog were vocal opponents of Glenbard High School District 87's plan to install lights at Memorial Field. Ozog was volunteer legal counsel for Our Field Our Town, an anti-lights group, and represented the group last year at 11 plan commission meetings.
In voting for three open seats on the Glen Ellyn Public Library board Saturday, Gina Meyers, Ran Sailer and Kelli Christiansen earned the most votes in a four-way race. Amie Fiedor finished fourth.
Catherine Galvin ran unopposed for village clerk.