A third candidate has announced plans to run for Arlington Heights village president in April when longtime Mayor Arlene Mulder steps down after 20 years in office.
Mark Hellner, an attorney who has lived in Arlington Heights for 16 years, said he decided to seek the top spot in the April 9 election after several people in the community encouraged him to run for office.
"There's an opportunity for new blood, new thinking in Arlington Heights and my hope is that I can inject that new thinking into the community," said Hellner, who has served on the village's housing commission for the past two years.
He joins a race that already includes longtime Trustee Thomas Hayes and Ron Drake, a resident who formerly served as mayor of a Phoenix suburb.
Hellner, an attorney for 35 years, currently practices at the Center for Disabled and Elder Law in Chicago. He also is director of its Senior Tax Opportunity Program, which works to help seniors minimize their property taxes, and is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Illinois, where he teaches a class on state and local taxes.
Transparency from government and participation from the community are the top issues Hellner said he values.
As far as spending is concerned, Hellner said he would suggest that any major project needs to be looked at with the question of how it would benefit the maximum amount of people. For example, instead of building a $40 million new police station, he suggests looking at necessary upgrades to the current facility and building a second smaller police station on the north end of town to improve efficiency.
Hellner said he would be aggressive about looking for what types of businesses are not already in town and engage in recruiting them to Arlington Heights over other suburbs.
"I bring a broad perspective to everything I do," he said. "I feel there is enough concern about some of the problems Arlington Heights faces that a new direction is something that is widely desired in the community, and I can offer that new direction."
Hellner's wife, Tracy, works at Clearbrook and the couple has an 11-year-old son.
Petitions to run for village board or village president are still available and can be filed with the clerk's office starting Dec. 17.