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Article updated: 2/8/2013 3:37 PM

Island Lake trustee hopefuls talk about their campaign priorities

By Russell Lissau

When asked to prioritize their campaign issues, most of the candidates for seats on Island Lake's village board cited the town's finances as their top concern.

But a few identified other top issues when filling out the Daily Herald's candidate questionnaires.

Six people are running for three seats on the board in the April 9 election. All three seats have 4-year terms.

The candidates are: Mark Beeson, a 46-year-old business owner; Keith Johns, a 44-year-old business owner; Ed McGinty, a 66-year-old accountant; Ken Nitz, a 27-year-old attorney; Josh Rohde, a 28-year-old college student who said he works in sales; Tony Sciarrone, a 65-year-old court security officer who's also the town's former police chief.

None of the candidates are incumbents. Three sitting board members -- Steve Stiller, Sam Cicero and Laurie Rabattini -- aren't seeking election.

Beeson, Johns and Sciarrone are running together, along with clerk candidate Teresa Ponio. Mayoral hopeful Charles Amrich was ruled ineligible this week but is appealing in court.

McGinty, Nitz and Rohde are running with Mayor Debbie Herrmann and Clerk Connie Mascillino.

Beeson said cutting costs is his top campaign issue. An outspoken critic of a developing plan to build a new village hall, Beeson said officials should continue using the current facility and repair it as needed.

That will help "get our town step by step back in the black," he wrote.

As another cost-cutting move, Beeson advocated hiring a new legal firm to represent the village, citing the town's notoriously high legal bills submitted by Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni and Krafthefer in recent years.

Johns said officials need to balance the village budget "by eliminating careless spending." He did not elaborate.

McGinty said his top issue is "uniting our village." He did not elaborate.

Nitz said he wants Island Lake to continue to improve and progress.

"I want to continue to attract more viable businesses to the village as well as new residents," he said. "More businesses allows the village to generate more revenue that can be used for the benefit of all Island Lake residents."

Nitz has a long-term view for the town.

"We need to look at what is best for the next 40 years, not just the next four years," he said.

Rohde also is concerned about economic development. He credited officials for bringing new businesses to town in recent years.

"I believe this must continue to be of utmost importance in order to assist our overall prosperity," he said. "I would dedicate myself to making certain that business opportunities were created and cultivated."

Sciarrone said his top campaign issue is re-establishing citizen involvement in the community. He didn't elaborate.

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