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updated: 4/9/2013 10:27 PM

Pineda is West Chicago's first elected Hispanic mayor

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  • Ruben Pineda, West Chicago's first Hispanic mayor, celebrates his victory Tuesday with his supporters.

       Ruben Pineda, West Chicago's first Hispanic mayor, celebrates his victory Tuesday with his supporters.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Acting Mayor Ruben Pineda became West Chicago's first elected Hispanic mayor Tuesday.

Pineda, a former 14-year alderman, led opponents Nicholas Dzierzanowski and Wayne Woodward with 1,251 votes to Dzierzanowski's 925 and Woodward's 252, with all precincts unofficially reporting.

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"I'm looking forward to the future of this community. It's bright because we are going to make sure we stay as financially healthy as we have been since 2001," Pineda said late Tuesday from his victory celebration. "If we don't have it, we're not going to spend it. (Former Mayor Mike) Kwasman started us on that path and I'm going to continue with that same train of thought."

Pineda, 52, was appointed to the position in May, following the death of Kwasman.

Pineda said his first priority will be to revive the city's economic development, especially the industrial park near the DuPage Airport, to keep jobs from moving to nearby Batavia and St. Charles. He said he's been aggressive in trying to recruit new business through local grant programs and by continuously being in contact with city business leaders.

"We brought in 44 new businesses last year and I'm talking to other business owners every day trying to sell them on West Chicago," Pineda said. "People are already starting to see the changes taking shape and they want to be a part of the bright future we're building in West Chicago."

Pineda said he's also committed to keeping the city's police department as "one of the best in the country."

"Right now, we have one of the strongest police forces that we could possibly have," Pineda said. "They're currently watching more closely than ever for stop sign violations and making sure our rail crossings are safe and working properly."

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