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Article posted: 4/9/2013 5:30 AM

Video gambling, roadwork taxes on Tri-Cities ballots

By Susan Sarkauskas

Mayoral races tend to grab the most attention, but Kane County voters have plenty of other decisions to make Tuesday.

In Sugar Grove, they get to give an opinion about whether the town should allow video gambling. It's only advisory, but many village board officials and candidates have said they will follow the wishes of the people on the matter. Strong proponents are the fans of the Sugar Grove American Legion post, which wants to have the machines. Opponents have included local churches, some residents and regional anti-gambling advocates.

Blackberry Township residents are being asked to raise the property taxes collected for roadwork. The township's highway commissioner has said without the money, he can only repave or resurface a mile or two of road each year, which potentially means roads would only get such treatment once every 50 years.

Batavia

Races in four of Batavia's seven wards are contested, including those featuring longtime aldermen Jim Volk (4th Ward) and Eldon Frydendall (5th Ward). Volk faces Jamie Saam; Frydendall is opposed by Steve Vasilion. Sixth Ward Alderman Robert Liva faces Nick Cerone and Ron Rechenmacher.

And in the 7th Ward, voters have to figure out how to do a write-in vote, because there's no name on the ballot. Drew McFadden, Steve Holland and Pat Purcell seek the seat of Alderman Dawn Tenuta, who is stepping away. Issues facing the council include attracting businesses, and continuing with the streetscape improvement plan for downtown.

Eight people, only one of whom is an incumbent, are seeking four seats on the Batavia school board.

North Aurora

Trustees Mark Gaffino and Chris Faber are seeking re-election. Michael Lowery and Allen Cavender join them in the race for three seats.

Geneva

Only the 1st Ward is contested. Michael Bruno or Zachary Ploppert will replace departing Alderman Sam Hill. The name of the late 5th Ward alderman Ralph Dantino will be on the ballot. The mayor and council will pick a replacement in May.

Eight people are seeking four seats on the Geneva school board, including board President Mark Grosso and Bill Wilson. The others are Fred Dresser, Jeffrey DiOrio, Robert Cabeen, Daniel Garrett, David Lamb and former board member Leslie Juby.

St. Charles

Half of the 10-member city council is up for election. The city's aldermen serve on every council committee, making every position equally important. All but one of the five incumbent aldermen on the ballot have at least one challenger, creating a chance for big changes if voters decide that's what they want.

In Ward 1, incumbent Jon Monken faces former Alderman Ron Silkaitis and youthful newcomer Justin Osborne. Monken unseated Silkaitis by 26 votes back in April 2009.

In Ward 2, incumbent Cliff Carrignan faces former Alderman Art Lemke. This is Lemke's second shot in consecutive municipal elections at regaining a seat.

In Ward 3, incumbent William Turner faces newcomer Mario VanDerHeyden.

In Ward 4, Jo Krieger is the only incumbent with no challenger.

In Ward 5, incumbent Maureen Lewis faces a rematch with challenger Kim Malay.

The new city council has a slew of issues facing it as soon as it is sworn in. Charlestowne Mall continues to struggle. The First Street Development, billed as the jewel of the downtown, has stalled. And incumbent aldermen have signaled they are ready to change city code and crack down even harder on criminal activity surrounding attendance at some downtown taverns.

Daily Herald staff writer James Fuller contributed to this story.

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