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updated: 4/5/2017 4:31 PM

Broda reflects on defeat in Lisle mayoral race

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  • A grim Lisle Mayor Joe Broda watches the election results Tuesday as he falls short in his bid for a fifth term, losing to challenger Chris Pecak.

      A grim Lisle Mayor Joe Broda watches the election results Tuesday as he falls short in his bid for a fifth term, losing to challenger Chris Pecak.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
 

Longtime Lisle Mayor Joe Broda says it's hard to say why he lost his bid for a fifth term to challenger Chris Pecak.

But he said one major factor was the "negative campaign" run by Pecak and his Prosperity for Lisle slate.

"I think people bought into the negativity," said Broda, who was first elected mayor in April 2001. "I ran a very positive campaign. I wasn't going to go negative, but their whole campaign was negative."

Pecak has a different take on the election results, saying Lisle residents simply want to be heard.

"People wanted change," Pecak said Wednesday. "The people spoke."

In addition to Pecak's victory, two other members of his slate -- Marie Hasse and Kelly Dixit -- were elected to seats on the six-member village board. The third available trustee seat went to incumbent Anthony Carballo.

Pecak, a 51-year-old construction project manager, said the two biggest issues in the race were property taxes and transparency.

"Residents are getting killed by taxes," he said.

Pecak said he believes the village can implement a property tax freeze if officials eliminate wasteful spending and increase the number of businesses in town.

He said transparency became an issue because the village was slow to comply with a binding opinion from the Illinois attorney general's office.

The opinion directed the village to release the verbatim recording of a closed-door discussion about refinancing debt from the construction of the Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex.

Initially, the village only released eight minutes of the discussion. The full recording wasn't made available until after the attorney general intervened.

"It showed the way Joe and the current board operated," Pecak said. "Everything was behind closed doors. Everything was out of sight of the residents."

Broda said he doesn't know if the binding opinion hurt his campaign. But he said Pecak's supporters complained about the village's role in building the sports complex.

Lisle borrowed $6.4 million in 2004 to pay for its share of the more than $11 million facility near the intersection of Yackley/College Road and Maple Avenue.

"They made a lot of noise," he said.

Now that the election is over, Broda said Pecak, Hasse and Dixit have "a lot of work to do to prove themselves."

Broda said the newly elected officials don't realize what impact a property tax freeze would have on Lisle's budget. He said most of the money from the levy -- the portion of the budget paid for with property taxes -- is used for police services and police pensions.

Broda said his advice for Pecak is to figure out how he wants to lead.

"Being mayor is not an easy thing to walk into," Broda said. "He's going to find out that it's challenging. He's going to have to get a handle on the job."

Pecak, who is going to take office next month, said his first order of business will be to get settled in and immerse himself in his new role.

"I'm looking forward to change and uniting the town," he said.

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