Four of the five newly elected Elgin City Council members were sworn into office Wednesday night.
Toby Shaw was elected to a 2-year term; incumbents John Prigge and Richard Dunne were re-elected to 4-year terms, along with Carol Rauschenberger, a former Elgin Township trustee, and Terry Gavin, who served on the city council in the 1990s.
Dunne was out of the country, visiting Elgin’s sister city Cauquenes in Chile.
The council grew from seven to nine members, as dictated by the results of the U.S. Census count.
Gavin pledged to work toward making Elgin more “business-friendly.” “It surely has been a very long road back,” he said.
The top three vote-getters — Gavin, Shaw and Prigge — consistently advocated no more taxes during their campaign, Gavin said.
Elgin is doing pretty well, Rauschenberger said. “I come to this office with a city in pretty good shape — safe streets, good services and a AAA bond rating,” she said.
She also gave a nod to name recognition. “I think there was confidence in myself personally, and in the Rauschenberger name,” said Rauschenberger, whose brother Steve is a former state senator.
Shaw pledged to start working immediately on his campaign message to lower taxes and keep spending in check.
“Serving the city is going to be a two-way street — I need your ideas, I need your input,” he said.
Prigge said he wants to keep “making smart decisions with your money” while seeking out more partnerships with the business community and other governmental agencies.
He also pledged his continued support for City Manager Sean Stegall, and praised Stegall’s policy to “promote from within,” such as in the case of Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda and Elgin Fire Chief John Fahy.
Prigge also pointed to the loss of 40 years’ worth of city council experience in the wake of former longtime councilman Bob Gilliam’s loss in the April election.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.