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Article updated: 12/27/2012 5:55 PM

32-year Batavia Alderman Frydendall challenged

By Susan Sarkauskas

Two longtime Batavia aldermen face challengers for their seats in the April election.

Fifth Ward Alderman Eldon Frydendall -- the longest-serving alderman, with nearly 32 years in office -- will face Steve Vasilion.

Frydendall owns an insurance agency. Vasilion is an architect, and the chairman of the city's historic preservation commission.

Frydendall has not had an opponent since 2001.

A lifelong resident, Frydendall said he almost decided not to run but was persuaded by longtime supporters. He is chairman of the city council's public utilities committee. Projects he wants to work on include the proposed expansion of the sewage treatment plant and continuing to represent Batavia on the Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency.

"I have a lot of experience, a lot of history," Frydendall said.

In the 4th Ward, Jim Volk, who has served since 1994, faces Jamie Saam, who ran unsuccessfully for a 4th-Ward seat last year. Volk is an applications physicist at Fermilab. Saam owns Bulldog Plumbing, and is on the board of directors of Batavia MainStreet, the downtown improvement organization.

Volk hasn't had an opponent since at least 2001.

Sixth Ward Alderman Robert Liva has two people running against him: Nick Cerone and Ron Rechenmacher. Liva is vice president of business development for Pierbridge Inc., and has been on the city council since 2005.

Cerone said the council is "in need of some change." He questions the city's spending of tax-increment financing fund property taxes on the recent streetscape project on North River Street. He is also critical of the time it takes to get projects such as the replacement downtown McDonald's and the proposed replacement Walgreens through the city approval process, and says residents of the ward need more communication from city officials.

Cerone is a trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, intends to open an insurance agency, and has owned a fitness center.

Vasilion, Rechenmacher, Liva, Volk and Saam were not available to comment Thursday.

Also, Martin J. Callahan is running unopposed for the Ward 2 seat being vacated by Alderman Victor Dietz. First Ward Alderman Michael O'Brien is seeking re-election. Kyle Hofmann is running alone for the 3rd Ward position. And no one filed for the 7th Ward seat; Alderman Dawn Tenuta is stepping down.

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