Two strong candidates are vying to represent Ward 9: Edward Bugg, a real estate manager, and Marge Linnane, who works in community development for the village of Glendale Heights. Linnane's experience would be valuable, but Bugg seems uniquely qualified for the council post. He recognizes the occasional disconnect between the city council and his ward, and he has been active in trying to breathe life into the strip malls along Eola Road. He did so with the South Eola Road Art Project Committee, which worked with local schools to provide artwork that was placed in empty storefronts. That helped spruce up the shuttered businesses and sparked more community interest in spreading the word about the need to fill them. A nice community-based touch to improving the local economy.
In Ward 10, Lynne Johnson, a substitute teacher, and Judd Lofchie, an attorney and commercial real estate broker/developer, are vying to replace Linda Elmore. Johnson, a three-year resident, led a fight to force a developer to comply with enclosed parking standards. However, Lofchie, founder of StreetWise Magazine and a 16-year resident with an array of civic and volunteer experience, is especially well suited for this job. He has served as a director and chairman of the legislative committee for Aurora Downtown and helped start the city's annual Green Fest, which now draws more than 100 vendors promoting "green" initiatives.
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For the at-large seat, two sitting aldermen are going head-to-head. Incumbent Robert O'Connor is the soft-spoken head of the council's finance committee. He proceeds cautiously to ensure the city makes its case for change and asks questions designed to improve the public's understanding of issues. Challenger Rick Lawrence, who has been representing Ward 4, is anything but soft-spoken and a frequent critic of Mayor Tom Weisner. O'Connor has done an excellent job of representing the city, is able to work within the system to get things done, and is the best choice for continuing to move Aurora forward.