Endorsement: Russell, Norton, Rekus for Mundelein trustee
Voters in Mundelein will choose from among four political newcomers to fill three village board trustee seats in the April 7 election. The decision by longtime incumbents Terri Voss, Ed Sullivan and Robin Meier not to seek re-election means a loss of valuable experience and leadership. However, it's an opportunity to elect new trustees with fresh ideas to address long-standing issues. Dakotah Norton, Kerston Russell, William Rekus and Paul Roscoe are vying for the 4-year terms. They share similar views on important issues, such as supporting use of incentives to strengthen economic development and fill empty storefronts. Russell, a salesman, is thoughtful and has strong ties to Mundelein's business community, and thinks he can help put a greater focus on business. He served on the economic development commission and the volunteer branding committee and thinks more can be done to further the rebranding effort. At 25 years old, Norton, a freelance blogger, says he will bring a younger viewpoint and fresh perspective to the village board, including regarding the use of social media to help improve communications with residents. Rekus, a salesman, has deep community ties and involvement, including serving on the branding committee and on the planning and zoning commission. We believe he, too, will help improve dialogue with the business community. Roscoe is a part-time village firefighter/paramedic, and as such, is a paid village employee. Under state law, he is permitted to serve on the elected village board as long as he does not act or vote on matters that would benefit him directly or indirectly. Roscoe has said he will recuse himself from fire department-related board votes, and he offers some interesting ideas, particularly on ways to continue downtown development. Even so, we believe the other candidates offer more to address Mundelein's needs and don't carry the potential for conflicts of interest of a village employee. We endorse Russell, Norton and Rekus.