Des Plaines seats youngest mayor, new aldermen
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With a room full of friends and family members cheering them on, Mayor Matt Bogusz, City Clerk Gloria Ludwig, two re-elected aldermen and two newly elected aldermen were sworn in Monday night by Illinois Appellate Court Judge Aurelia Pucinski.
As the city bid goodbye to outgoing 7th Ward Alderman Dan Wilson, aldermen in the 1st and 5th wards, Patti Haugeberg and Jim Brookman, were seated for a second term, while newcomers Denise Rodd and Joanna Sojka were sworn in for their first term representing the 3rd and 7th wards, respectively.
Face flushed with emotion, former 3rd Ward Alderman Bogusz, 26, took the helm as Des Plaines youngest mayor. He expressed gratitude for the support of voters and those who worked tirelessly on his election campaign.
"Everybody from my uncle on down have been involved in this process," said Bogusz, adding that he was grateful for his fiancee, Kate Pascale, who stood by his side throughout the campaign.
"I truly, truly am blessed. I have been blessed to serve the 3rd Ward. I've learned a lot," he said.
A former Des Plaines Library board member and a member of the city's Special Events Commission, Bogusz was elected 3rd Ward alderman in 2009 at age 22.
"We're just proud of our son's accomplishment," said Matthew Bogusz Sr. "He's got a wonderful vision for the city, and I'm sure he'll pull the whole council together and work for the future of Des Plaines."
Bogusz acknowledged his mayoral opponents — former Des Plaines mayor Tony Arredia and 6th Ward Alderman Mark Walsten — for a hard-fought election campaign and said he was humbled by the overwhelming support of residents who elected him with 55 percent of votes.
Bogusz said he had a "productive" breakfast with Walsten on Monday to discuss how they can work together to move the city forward. He acknowledged Walsten's leadership as acting mayor during the April flooding, which was the city's worst flood of record.
Bogusz also thanked former Mayor Marty Moylan for taking him under his wing.
"Mayor Moylan taught me that this is a 24/7 job," said Bogusz, going on to list all that he had learned from former and current aldermen with whom he served the last four years — sending a clear signal that he was eager to build consensus among council members.
"We need to recognize that we have a lot to be thankful for," Bogusz said. "The city of Des Plaines was a great place to grow up. We are poised to roll up our sleeves and get down to business to serve the residents of the city."
Soon-to-be Des Plaines' first lady, Pascale said she is proud of the way Bogusz has worked over the past few weeks on flooding with the governor's office and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Pascale said she wants to do her part by volunteering for the food pantry and other community organizations.
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