Endorsements: Hanlon, Hughes, Sorgatz for Winfield village board
In a community where political acrimony is something of an unpleasant art form, it's a little surprising to discover all eight candidates for three seats on the Winfield village board seem to agree on one crucial issue: Their town faces serious financial challenges and the best way to address them is to generate revenue by pressing forward with commercial and retail development along Roosevelt Road and in downtown. That's a huge step forward on an issue that long has caused deep divisions in the community.
The challenge for voters will be to pick three candidates who are sincere about the need for development and, most importantly, can find a way to work with others to make such projects a reality. That's a lot harder than it sounds in a town where political scars run deep, where memories of past slights and fights linger, and where many of this year's candidates are running on slates that, frankly, don't hold much respect for their opponents.
The field of candidates is a strong one that features incumbents Tony Reyes and James Hughes along with Jay Olson, Rob Hanlon, Carl Sorgatz, Dennis Hogan, Robert Greer and Robert Borsodi. A ninth candidate, Harold Lonks, has dropped out of the race. In their meetings with the Daily Herald, almost all the candidates demonstrated a strong working knowledge of village issues, an ability to clearly articulate their views and a passion to serve.
Hanlon, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for village president in 2013, remains an excellent candidate who is well-versed on the issues, has a realistic view about development and the need to generate additional revenue, and brings a level-head and willingness to listen that will be a key attribute on the village board moving forward. He is endorsed.
As an incumbent, Hughes also has a strong knowledge base and at times has been a swing vote on a frequently divided board. He's a well-spoken advocate for the village who provides an independent voice and is willing to work with people on all sides of issues. He is endorsed.
Sorgatz has served as village treasurer for the past four years and has a strong handle on the state of the village's finances and a realistic vision of how development can help bolster Winfield's budget. Like Hanlon and Hughes, we think he can work with others to help reduce volatility on the board. He is endorsed.