Endorsement: Arnswald, Black, Howe, Starkey for Wauconda trustee
Strengthening economic development and preparing for Lake Michigan water are issues facing Wauconda village board candidates. However, they also must address a community divided over controversial decisions by Mayor Frank Bart, including the 911 center and village staff positions. Seeking three, 4-year terms are incumbents Chuck Black, Linda Starkey, Ken Arnswald as the United for Progress slate, and Wauconda Park Board member Robert Cook and newcomers Jason Anderson and Dwight Thomas on the For Wauconda slate. Thomas replaced newcomer Carrie Serres, who left the race. The 2-year contest pits incumbent Joseph Coster of For Wauconda against newcomer Tim Howe of United for Progress. Black, Starkey and Arnswald have worked with other trustees to navigate through controversies, such as salvaging the Lake Michigan water deal Bart was blamed with nearly scuttling. They often disagree with Bart, but have done so professionally and stress the need to improve communication with him. Cook, Anderson, Thomas and Coster, who was appointed in late 2014 to fill a vacancy, say voters elected Bart and the board needs to stay above the bickering. We endorse Arnswald, Black and Starkey, who have proved to be thoughtful and engaged leaders. We are impressed with Starkey, who has nearly 15 years of public service experience, and emerged as a leader in village communication efforts. Howe is passionate about Wauconda and volunteers on several groups and the village's license and administrative committee. He's a vocal critic of Bart. We endorse Howe, and urge him to be diplomatic as a trustee or risk disrupting the focus of a board that finds a way to accomplish goals despite distractions.