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posted: 3/4/2013 5:00 AM

Endorsement: Pineda for West Chicago mayor

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Last May, the village of West Chicago faced an uncertain future after the sudden death of Mayor Mike Kwasman. But Ruben Pineda stepped in as acting mayor and by all accounts not a step was lost in the process. Pineda, 53, who grew up in West Chicago, is the first Hispanic mayor of the community, where now just over half of the city's residents are Hispanic. He was the first Hispanic alderman as well, serving for 14 years before being appointed acting mayor. As the diversity of the community has changed, Pineda is in a unique position to help bridge any divides that may still exist in town. "We need more community involvement, and we need to quit feeling that separation in town," he says. Pineda says a priority is to bring more economic development to West Chicago and to continue operating the city in a fiscally responsible way. He is challenged by two opponents -- one current and one former alderman. Both Nicholas Dzierzanowski, 42, and Wayne Woodward, 69, have the best interests of West Chicago at heart, but we question whether they have the experience and expertise to lead the community and deal with the unique issues facing West Chicago. We endorse Pineda for a full term.

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