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updated: 2/8/2013 6:02 PM

Write-in challenges Darch for Barrington president

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  • Mike Kozel

    Mike Kozel

  • Karen Darch

    Karen Darch


Former Barrington trustee candidate Mike Kozel has announced his write-in candidacy, challenging village President Karen Darch on April 9.

Kozel, along with former trustee running mates Jim Magnanenzi and JoAnn Fletcher, was thrown off the ballot last month for failure to file a statement of economic interest on time.

Only Kozel will be running as a write-in, the other two said Friday.

"It just seemed like the logical thing to do," Magnanenzi said. "He really wants to do this and my heart's in this to see him win."

Fletcher agreed, saying "We decided to put all our energy into Mike."

Kozel said his earlier candidacy platform -- a different vision for downtown redevelopment -- would remain the same.

He and his former running mates strongly supported residential apartments rather than additional office space in any new downtown building projects. They also were highly critical of the village's oversight of the tax increment finance district used to spur downtown redevelopment.

"We need to have more than one idea and we have one idea right now," Kozel said. "You have to show people how they're directly affected. Part of the reason we're doing this is to keep people informed."

He added that with only one member of the former slate now running, it made sense to aim for village president rather than trustee.

"To write in three names would be near impossible," Kozel said. "Jim Magnanenzi has a very difficult name."

But Kozel denied that his leadership style would resemble that of former village President Marshall Reagle, who used the authority of the office to block trustees with his minority opinion, thereby creating constant conflict.

"This is Karen Darch's board," Kozel said. "I have no illusions about that. I realize that I'm going to have to build a coalition."

Magnanenzi said Kozel possesses the ability to persuade rather than bully his fellow board members.

"Mike's a leader," Magnanenzi said. "He has some strong ideas about where we should go."

Darch said Friday she hoped her record in office was evidence of her leadership skills.

"I feel that the village board and staff over recent years have accomplished a lot," she said. "We will continue to redevelop the downtown, balance the budget, bring new life into town, keep track of legislative issues and follow the federal rail issue. I hope the people will give me their vote on election day."

Kozel, who owns his own carpentry business in the village, previously ran for trustee in 2011 but lost.

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