New faces on Elburn, Sugar Grove fire boards

A longtime Elburn fire district trustee lost his seat in Tuesday’s election.

James Feece, who has served on the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District board for 37 years, received 37 percent of the vote. The winner, according to unofficial totals, is Brian Schopp, with 49 percent. The third candidate, Christopher Garon, received 13 percent of the vote, even though he announced shortly before the election that he was no longer interested in the position and wanted people to vote instead for Schopp. There was only one position open.

Schopp is a part-time captain with the district, and a full-time firefighter with the Fermilab fire department.

There were 2,072 ballots cast, for a voter turnout of 15.25 percent, but only 1,548 people voted in the race.

In a neighboring district, Mike Fagel of Sugar Grove joins the Sugar Grove and Countryside Fire Protection District board. Incumbent John Shea Lehman won re-election. There were two seats open on the board. Fagel received 830 votes, Lehman 610, John Guddendorf 410 and Ronald Hain 332 percent. Fagel is a trustee on the Rob Roy Drainage District and a consultant and educator on emergency management and disaster preparedness.

And in the North Aurora and Countryside Fire Protection District, Steve Gaspardo failed again to win a seat on the board. Incumbents Richard Haen and Kevin Fatten were re-elected, with Fatten receiving 1,083 votes and Haen 952. Gaspardo, a former part-time firefighter for the district, received 590. Turnout was 16 percent. There were two positions open.

Gaspardo led a referendum campaign in 2007 to change the board from an appointed one to an elected one. He then ran for the board in 2009.