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updated: 4/5/2017 12:56 AM

Rolling Meadows chooses Prejna as mayor for two-year term

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  • Video: Prejna elected mayor

  • Len Prejna watches election returns from his house Tuesday night in the race for Rolling Meadows mayor. Prejna beat two challengers, according to unofficial results.

      Len Prejna watches election returns from his house Tuesday night in the race for Rolling Meadows mayor. Prejna beat two challengers, according to unofficial results.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Len Prejna celebrates Tuesday night with his wife, Pat, left, and daughter Melissa Krause after being elected mayor of Rolling Meadows.

      Len Prejna celebrates Tuesday night with his wife, Pat, left, and daughter Melissa Krause after being elected mayor of Rolling Meadows.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Joe Gallo

    Joe Gallo

  • John D'Astice

    John D'Astice

 
 

Elected Rolling Meadows' mayor Tuesday night, Len Prejna says his top priorities over the next two years will be to spur economic development and replace only one -- not two -- fire stations.

According to unofficial returns, the 33-year resident and Ward 2 alderman since 2013 cruised to victory in a three-way race for mayor. Prejna tallied 1,239 votes, Ward 1 Alderman Mike Cannon had 578 and Zoning Board Chairman Dave Whitney had 400.

The trio ran to fill the remaining two years on the term of Tom Rooney, who stepped down in November after being appointed to the 27th District state Senate seat. Ward 7 Alderman Tim Veenbaas has been acting mayor since then.

Rooney endorsed Prejna in the race.

Prejna said he wants the city to market the Kirchoff Road downtown area, which includes the former Dominick's site, as a "destination location" that could attract medium-sized "boutique" stores and restaurants.

"We need to be talking to everyone to know the assets that are available in Rolling Meadows," he said during a victory party with family and supporters at his home.

Prejna also stood by his position of only replacing Fire Station 15 with a new station to the south, but not replacing Fire Station 16 with a new station to the east. The seven-member city council has the power to continue or halt the fire department's current plans to replace both stations, but the mayor holds veto power.

In the race for Ward 4 alderman, challenger Joe Gallo unseated incumbent Brad Judd 314 to 159 votes, according to unofficial results.

Judd was seeking a third 4-year term. Gallo, an engineering consultant, decided to run after attending a public hearing at city hall last year on a developer's request to rezone the Dominick's site from commercial to residential to allow a senior housing development.

In the race for Ward 6 alderman, incumbent John D'Astice had 102 votes to 54 for challenger Tom Trapani, according to unofficial results.

D'Astice, now entering his third term, also served as alderman from 1993 to 2005 until stepping down because of a city rule limiting aldermen to no more than three consecutive terms. Trapani is a retired city plumbing inspector, former longtime park board commissioner and member of the plan commission.

Jerome Hill ran unopposed for Ward 2 alderman to replace Prejna.

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