Endorsements: Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugit and Walus for Downers Grove village council

  • Rich Kulovany

    Rich Kulovany

  • Leslie Sadowski-Fugitt

    Leslie Sadowski-Fugitt

  • Nicole Walus

    Nicole Walus

Updated 2/27/2019 10:00 AM

In Downers Grove, five people are running for three seats on the village council.

The only incumbent running is Nicole Walus, 36, who was appointed to the board in 2016 and elected to a two-year term in 2017.


She has had enough time on the council to have established the background knowledge on the issues and is a proponent of the "servant-leader" style of public service that is extolled by our endorsed candidate for mayor, Bob Barnett.

Her experience will be important as the village deals with the challenge of what to do about its inadequate village hall and police station.

Last week, what looked like a done deal to sell village land to fund replacements fell apart. Now, the village is faced with starting over.

Walus is an easy pick for re-election.

Another easy pick is Rich Kulovany, 66, a plan commission member who is active in the historical society and the Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance.

Kulovany has been attending most of the village council meetings in recent years and it shows in his discussion of issues like stormwater management, downtown parking, commuter rail parking and business development.

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Kulovany from his business background in senior leadership in sales management in the software industry also is very aware of the challenges of holding down property taxes while meeting the needs of residents and dealing with rising pension costs.

The third seat boils down to a choice between Leslie Sadowski-Fugitt, 34, who manages school programs at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and Jeffrey M. Jacobson, 59, a Downers Grove attorney.

While relatively new to the community, having moved in 2012, Sadowski-Fugitt's demonstrates detailed knowledge and innovative ideas in approaching complex village issues. She first got interested in village government after neighbors' homes flooded. Having previously worked with stormwater issues with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, she felt there were better, data-driven ways for the village to set priorities and find low-cost solutions.

Jacobson has a much longer history with the village, is a member of the liquor commission and has been active in youth sports. He loves the community and would make a suitable board member. But we consider Sadowski-Fugitt to be the candidate more apt to raise questions, analyze data, think outside the box and propose alternative approaches.

A fifth candidate, Jacob Kist, didn't return the Daily Herald's candidate questionnaire or reply to invitations to participate in our endorsement process so we cannot recommend him. We endorse Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt and Walus.

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