Mayoral races shaping up for Northwest suburbs
Mayoral races in the Northwest suburbs began taking shape Monday, including in Des Plaines, where Mayor Matt Bogusz will face a challenge from a member of his city council.
Alderman Malcolm Chester, a lobbyist and first-term alderman in the 6th ward, will try to unseat Bogusz in the April 4 election. Both Chester and Bogusz turned in their nominating papers at city hall when the candidate filing period opened Monday morning.
Mayoral races also materialized in Barrington, where incumbent Village President Karen Darch will again face a challenge from Michael Kozel, whom she defeated in 2013; Wheeling, where a park district commissioner will try to unseat the incumbent mayor; and in Rolling Meadows, where three candidates filed Monday hoping to replace Tom Rooney, who resigned last month to serve in the Illinois Senate.
The race between Bogusz, a first-term mayor, and Chester promises to be among the most heated in the suburbs. Chester said Monday that the city council is divided under Bogusz, who he argued doesn't have the life experience to lead.
"There are a number of us thinking perhaps a change is warranted up at the top to calm things down," Chester said.
Chester said the process for presenting projects to the city council under Bogusz and City Manager Michael Bartholomew doesn't allow time for vetting by council members.
"We're pretty much left with a 'Yes,' or 'No,'" he said.
Bogusz said he has fulfilled the plans he presented to voters who elected him four years ago, including preventing property tax increases and investing in infrastructure.
"He may have experience, but you need the right kind of experience -- getting stuff done," Bogusz said.
Bogusz said he planned to push for eliminating health insurance for elected officials and reopening the downtown theater.
Wheeling Park District Commissioner Mike Kurgan filed Monday to run against incumbent Village President Dean Argiris.
Argiris, a first-term village president who served as a village trustee for 12 years, on Monday touted his work attracting businesses and filling vacant properties. The village also has developed $20 million in infrastructure projects the past three years, he said.
"I have a vision for this community," Argiris said. "Anybody who knows me knows I've made this a full-time job, not a part-time job."
Kurgan, a park district commissioner since 2001, was unavailable for comment.
Alderman Len Prejna of Ward 2 and Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Dave Whitney were both in line to file their papers to run for mayor at 8 a.m. Monday, when the city clerk's office opened, while fellow mayoral hopeful Alderman Mike Cannon of Ward 1 came later in the day.
Prejna, Whitney and Cannon are seeking to fill the remaining two years on Rooney's term. Rooney was appointed in September to fill the 27th District Senate seat left open by the resignation of Matt Murphy, who took a job with a public affairs and lobbying firm.
Alderman Tim Veenbaas of Ward 7 was appointed by his city council colleagues last month to serve as acting mayor until a new mayor is elected.
Village President Karen Darch is seeking a fourth term as Barrington's top elected official. Standing in her away again is Michael Kozel, who mounted an unsuccessful write-in campaign for the office in 2013.
In an announcement of his candidacy, Kozel criticized Darch's efforts to revitalize Barrington's downtown, and said he's been urged by village residents to challenge her again.
"Residents felt perhaps it was time for a change in who is in charge and the vision for our community," he said.
Darch in October announced her plans to seek re-election, joining a slate of candidates that lists as its goals building on the success of the Barrington Village Center development and working on infrastructure projects.
Mayor and village president elections also are scheduled this spring in Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Rosemont, and several other Northwest suburbs, but so far only incumbents have filed.
In Arlington Heights, Tom Hayes is seeking a second 4-year term. Hayes faced two challengers in 2013, after longtime Village President Arlene Mulder decided not to run again. Hayes was previously a village trustee for 22 years.
Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson, Hanover Park Village President Rodney Craig, Streamwood Village President Billie Roth and Bartlett Village President Kevin Wallace filed for re-election Monday. So far, none face a challenger.
Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens so far is the only candidate to file in the town of 4,200 residents. Appointed to the post following the death of his father in 2007, Stephens handily defeated a political newcomer in 2009 and ran unopposed in 2013.
Long Grove Village Trustee Bill Jacob filed to run for village president. He hopes to replace incumbent Village President Angie Underwood, who previously said she will not seek re-election.
Candidates have until the end of the day Dec. 19 to file papers to run in local races.
• Daily Herald staff writer Christopher Placek contributed to this report.