Nine candidates already vying for four Wheaton City Council seats

 
 
Updated 11/21/2016 8:40 PM
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  • Wheaton City Clerk Sharon Barrett-Hagen hands city council incumbent Phil Suess his receipt after he filed his paperwork Monday to run for a fourth term.

      Wheaton City Clerk Sharon Barrett-Hagen hands city council incumbent Phil Suess his receipt after he filed his paperwork Monday to run for a fourth term. Jessica Cilella | Staff Photographer

  • Incumbent Wheaton Councilman Todd Scalzo files his nominating petitions with City Clerk Sharon Barrett-Hagen Monday at city hall. Scalzo, who represents the council's West District, already faces two challengers: Bobby McNeily and Lynn Robbins.

      Incumbent Wheaton Councilman Todd Scalzo files his nominating petitions with City Clerk Sharon Barrett-Hagen Monday at city hall. Scalzo, who represents the council's West District, already faces two challengers: Bobby McNeily and Lynn Robbins. Jessica Cilella | Staff Photographer

  • Lynn Robbins, right, is one of three candidates -- along with incumbent Tony Scalzo and challenger Bobby McNeily -- to file to run for the lone available seat in the Wheaton City Council's West District.

      Lynn Robbins, right, is one of three candidates -- along with incumbent Tony Scalzo and challenger Bobby McNeily -- to file to run for the lone available seat in the Wheaton City Council's West District. Jessica Cilella | Staff Photographer

Four candidates for Wheaton City Council seats filed their nominating petitions at 8 a.m. Monday to appear on the spring ballot.

An additional five candidates had their petitions filed with the city clerk later in the day, resulting in a total of nine people already vying for the four district seats that are up for grabs. Candidates have until 5 p.m. Monday to file their petitions.

The West District seat appears to be the hottest race so far. If one more person files to run for the position, it will trigger a February primary election.

At the beginning of the day, incumbent Todd Scalzo and challenger Bobby McNeily, a nonprofit professional, filed simultaneously. A lottery will be held at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 2, to determine whose name will appear first on the ballot.

"I'll put their names in a hat and we'll have a neutral party draw them out," City Clerk Sharon Barrett-Hagen said. "I even have a little black top hat for it."

McNeily, 28, said he is running because he hopes to inspire other millennials to run for public office. He said he is an elected committeeman and has served on the city's community relations commission for two years.

Scalzo said he is seeking a third term because he wants to offer continuity on the council at a time when much change has occurred in other areas of city leadership, including a new city manager and police chief.

A third candidate for the West District seat, Lynn Robbins, filed about 15 minutes after the filing opened. Barrett-Hagen said a fourth candidate, Joseph Leone, also filed for the seat later in the day.

Robbins said she has held positions on several boards in the past 15 years, including the Illinois Park and Recreation Association board and an advisory board in Elgin.

She decided to run for city council because she has lived in the city for six years and feels she is ready to get involved and bring some change to Wheaton.

Three people have filed for the East District seat: Michael Barbier, a project engineer for DuPage County; Thomas Dymit, a Chicago Symphony Chorus singer and North Central College faculty member; and incumbent Thor Saline. Dymit was among the four candidates present at city hall at 8 a.m. and said he was running mainly because he thinks communication between the city council and constituents needs to be improved.

Councilmen John Rutledge in the South District and Phil Suess in the North District also filed and are so far unopposed. Suess said Monday morning that he is seeking a fourth term because he enjoys the position and wants to keep the city moving in the right direction. He believes the biggest challenge facing the council is working within its financial means so residents aren't faced with tax increases.

Other residents who have pulled packets from the city clerk's office include Roger Frye, Katherine Patel and Scott Lightbody.

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