Voters in the northern Fox Valley will decide at least three new village presidents in Tuesday's election.
There are four contested village president races in the region -- in East Dundee, West Dundee, Lake in the Hills and Cary -- and in only one race is a sitting village president challenged. In East Dundee, Village President Jerald Bartels hopes to fend off a challenge from Trustee Lael Miller.
The other races pit a current trustee against either a newcomer or a former trustee.
Bartels' family has a long history in the village. His late grandfather, William Bartels, was in village government for 48 years and served as a trustee and village president.
Jerald Bartels, whose background is in computer science, served as a trustee from 2001 to 2005 and was elected village president in 2005. Two years into his term, Bartels stepped down due to new job responsibilities, but he was elected president again in 2009.
Miller has been a trustee since 2009 and was on the village's planning and zoning commission before that. He has a background in real estate, one he says has helped him make key contributions to the village.
Both agree on most policy issues, but Miller takes issue with Bartels' leadership style, one he says focuses too much on getting involved in divisive personal matters. He pointed to Bartels' attempt to remove Frank Scarpelli from the plan commission over Scarpelli's perceived conflict of interest with Walmart moving out of the village and on to land his family owns in Carpentersville.
Bartels said attempting to remove Scarpelli was the right thing to do because, in his view, Scarpelli was not working in the village's best interest.
In Cary, Trustee Bruce Kaplan is running against former Trustee Mark Kownick, who lost his seat in 2011. They're seeking to replace Village President Tom Kierna, who decided not to seek another term.
Kaplan, a commercial real estate broker, pledges transparency, wants to secure new revenue streams for the village and hopes to make Cary more business friendly to companies seeking to move there.
Kownick, owner of a facilities services company, was first appointed to the board in 2009. His main goals are fiscal responsibility, making Cary a destination spot with new developments and maintaining village services.
West Dundee Village President Larry Keller's decision not to seek re-election opened the door for longtime Trustee Andy Yuscka and newcomer Christopher Nelson.
Nelson, who works as a manager of government and regulatory affairs for Comcast, favors an aggressive approach when it comes to attracting development. If elected, he would like to promote West Dundee's lower tax rate as compared to Cook County's in hopes of luring businesses to the village, partner with Spring Hill Mall to attract new stores, and market the village's downtown as a place that would be perfect for unique businesses.
Yuscka, who has been on the board 14 years and works as a warehouse and logistics manager, wants to strengthen the village's sales tax base. He said a light industrial building on Randall Road has helped bring in new jobs and that the continued annexation and development of other land on Randall Road will further help the village.
Lake in the Hills Trustee Paul Mulcahy is hoping to trade that seat for the village president's office. Opposing him is Bill Dustin, a business owner and 15-year resident of the village.
Mulcahy and Dustin have similar ideas for the village's future and are equally pleased with how well Lake in the Hills is doing now. They both point to the need for strong economic development and an alternate plan for improving the intersection of Algonquin and Randall roads. Village officials have unanimously opposed McHenry County's proposed continuous-flow intersection, and neither man wants to reverse that position.
Longtime Mayor Ed Plaza chose not to run for re-election.
Ÿ Daily Herald staff writer Tara Garcia Mathewson contributed to this story.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.