Endorsement: Prendiville, Fitch for Wheaton council
In a recent community survey, Wheaton residents gave their city high marks in almost all areas, with the exception of infrastructure concerns involving roads and sidewalks. But there are other concerns the city council will face in the next four years as well, including long-standing issues with flooding and plans for what could be a 20-year program to revitalize downtown.
Voters on April 7 will choose two at-large council members to tackle those and other issues from a field of four candidates that features incumbent John Prendiville and newcomers Tony Lyons, Ron Almiron and Suzanne Fitch.
Prendiville, an attorney who works in public finance, is a hardworking and independent voice on the council who has a good working knowledge of how the city operates and isn't afraid to ask tough but important questions. He served on the council from 2007 to 2011 and again since 2013 after an unsuccessful run for mayor. During that time, the council has demonstrated a continued commitment to financial responsibility by holding the line on property taxes, and, with his financial background, Prendiville has been an important part of that. Always well-prepared at council meetings, he recognizes the importance of downtown revitalization and his vision for that area as an arts and entertainment district with niche stores that will help give it an identity is a good one. He is endorsed.
Also endorsed is Suzanne Fitch, an attorney who has served on the city's planning and zoning board since 2009. She is an enthusiastic candidate whose time on the planning board gives her a strong background in development issues -- crucial as the city looks to bolster its downtown -- and the ability to listen to residents' concerns. She has demonstrated a willingness to stand up when she disagrees with something, such as the city's effort to limit the number of downtown hair stylists, and that should serve her well when difficult decisions need to be made. She will be a fresh and important voice on the council.