The two candidates for Lake in the Hills village president admit they are quite similar. Both feel the village is on the right track. Neither points to any major problems.
"It's hard to argue when a village is running in a good direction," said Bill Dustin, a business owner and Lake in the Hills resident since 1998.
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Dustin is running against Trustee Paul Mulcahy, who has lived in the village since 1993 and sat on various boards or commissions for the last 17 years.
The two come to the race as Mayor Ed Plaza passes on a bid for re-election. Neither said he would have run if Plaza had decided to try for a fourth term.
But, with the position open and their names on the ballot, both say economic growth is important. Dustin said the village must focus on bringing businesses into vacant storefronts, an issue Mulcahy said is not unique to Lake in the Hills, but should be addressed.
"We've got to get ourselves in a position that when someone is looking to build we can sell our village as the place you want to be," Mulcahy said.
Neither candidate wants to see a continuous flow intersection at the corner of Randall and Algonquin roads. Mulcahy said it is important to reopen the conversation about that intersection with McHenry County officials and discuss improvements that will protect the businesses at the intersection.
The county has been working to finalize improvements of that intersection for years but the village has been adamantly opposed to its original proposal.
Dustin said a pedestrian bridge would be a good addition to the intersection to help people on foot get across Randall Road.
Though both candidates have a lot more to say about what the village has done right than wrong in recent years, and both imagine similar futures for the village, each man stakes his claim as the best one for the job of mayor.
Dustin points to his business background and managerial experience while Mulcahy sets himself apart as a leader with plenty of knowledge of government.
"Government is not business," Mulcahy said. "They are different entities and they should be. Government is there to promote the common good, to take care of the people's interest first. By its nature, it's a whole different animal."
Dustin, who has been on various boards for more than 20 years -- though most have been in the private sector -- said the village president must be someone who can guide the other trustees and keep the board in order.
"I believe that strong management is really important for the board," Dustin said.
Mulcahy is not up for re-election as a trustee. If he wins his mayoral bid, the board likely would appoint someone to fill his vacant seat.