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updated: 4/4/2017 10:45 PM

Newcomers Burns, Kotowski elected to Oakton Community College board

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Martha Burns and Paul Kotowski were winners Tuesday in the race for two, 6-year seats on the Oakton Community College board, which was contested exclusively by newcomers.

With all 314 precincts reporting, unofficial totals showed Burns of Evanston led the pack with 26,500 votes followed by Kotowski of Skokie with 18,539, Carmina Cortes Gonzalez of Des Plaines with 17,759 and Travis Zimmerman of Northbrook, with 13,520. Together the candidates represented a wide stretch of the Des Plaines-based college's attendance area.

Burns served on the Evanston High School board from 2001 to 2013 and touted her history of educational leadership during the campaign. Kotowski said his professional background in law and accountancy could help maintain Oakton's current financial strength.

Gonzalez, a visual artist and program assistant at the Des Plaines History Center, said could help the board know better how to guide students toward completing their studies faster, providing an academic and financial benefit. Zimmermann, who works in research and development was most critical of the board among the candidates, saying Oakton's property taxes are too high. and suggested less money be spent on advertising and guidance counselors.

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