Endorsements: Gustin, Hinterlong, Hanson and Kelly for Naperville council
Naperville voters will choose four city council members on April 2 from a field of 11 candidates that features Bradford Miller, Theresa Sullivan, Paul Hinterlong, Patrick Kelly, Michele Hilger Clemen, Bruce Hanson, Patricia "Patty" Gustin, Whitney Robbins, Barbara O'Meara, Nancy Turner and Joe McElroy. Hinterlong and Gustin are the only incumbents.
This is a very strong group of hopefuls, but five rise to the top: Gustin, Hinterlong, Kelly, Hanson and Sullivan.
Gustin, who ran unsuccessfully for county board in November, has been an excellent council member since 2015 after serving for years on the city's planning and zoning commission. She has a firm grasp of the issues and a demonstrated willingness to dig in and work hard. Hinterlong, a licensed plumber and sixth-generation Naperville resident, brings a needed blue-collar approach and hometown history sensibility.
Choosing just two candidates from among the three other top hopefuls is a difficult task. Hanson knows the issues, and his experience on the planning and zoning commission and work on the library board and Naperville Financial Advisory Board will be invaluable. Kelly is an attorney running for his first elected office after serving as a member of the 5th Avenue Steering Committee and the DuPage Children's Museum NextGen Board. His grasp of the issues is impressive as are his communication skills. Sullivan is a professional career adviser who is a Lisle Township precinct committeeman. Like the others, she is thoughtful and we like her emphasis on better use of technology and sustainable development. The only thing she lacks is experience on city boards and commissions that could give her a broader background.
In a tough race, we endorse Gustin, Hinterlong, Hanson and Kelly.