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posted: 3/22/2013 5:00 AM

Endorsement: Amrich for Island Lake mayor

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Seeking a return to office after a stormy first term, Island Lake Mayor Debbie Herrmann faces off against challenger and former Mayor Charles Amrich. Much of Herrmann's time in her four years leading the village board have been marked by infighting. We have been critical of her leadership during those troubled times when she allowed herself to be drawn into protracted political bickering. The turmoil seems to have eased, but she has clashed with residents even in recent months over her handling of issues including a new village hall proposal and legal fees. The plus side of her ledger includes several board accomplishments, including the move to electrical aggregation, and, significantly, she has a vision to increase development and fix crumbling roads. However, that's not enough to erase the controversy she has presided over, when she was part of the problem instead of the solution. We endorse Amrich, who was mayor for 20 years and will have to use his experience to mend fences and cut through the politics that often clouds Island Lake decision making. He stresses the need for better communications, to listen to residents and answer their questions. We agree that's a good start. Much of Amrich's campaign focus has been pledging to address and undo some plans and measures Herrmann has put in place. Some of that will likely be needed. However, we urge him not to lose sight of Island Lake's future, especially the need for economic development that will help fund important village improvements.

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