Wood Dale City Council: Messina, Woods, Sorrentino, Susmarski
Ward 1: Gandolfo "Randy" Messina has been a solid alderman during his first term on the council. He's chairman of the finance and administration committee, vice chairman of the Wood Dale O'Hare Noise Group and a member of the Wood Dale Economic Enhancement Committee. He knows his way around the issues, supports the efforts that his city is taking to entice more economic development to town -- understanding both the risks and the payoffs -- and is a hardworking alderman. His opponent, Tereasa "Terry" Szatko, is a community service officer with the Wood Dale police. She is proud of Wood Dale and wants to serve. She would be a valuable asset on any number of committees in the city, but Messina is the superior candidate. He is endorsed.
Ward 2: Anthony Trotto, a local attorney and real estate broker, accuses the current administration of bad fiscal management and making Wood Dale an increasingly bad place to do business -- pointing to the commercial occupancy ordinance in particular and the city's practice of buying businesses so it can merge small parcels of land into bigger ones and attract developers. He is running against eight-year alderman Arthur Woods Jr., a member of the technical committee of the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission and the Elgin-O'Hare Eastern Access committee, plus chairman of planning/zoning and the streetscape/economic enhancements committees. We think Trotto's arguments should not be dismissed out of hand, but our own opinion is that Wood Dale is generally well-run and is making progress on economic development, flooding, airport noise and sewers. Woods is endorsed.
Ward 3: The Third Ward race is a rematch from 2015, when now-Alderman R.J. "Sonny" Sorrentino won the seat by fewer than 10 votes over Stefan Stevic, who works with the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. Four years ago, we considered the candidates largely equal, but gave Stevic the nod. Since then, however, Sorrentino has had four years of service and used them well, showing himself to be hardworking and thoughtful. Stevic, meanwhile, calls the city's finances "horrible," and says the city is $42 million in debt -- an eye-popping number that is technically correct when adding together its entire indebtedness, but not, in our view, reflective of the city's day-to-day management. We like Stevic, but prefer the cooler head of Sorrentino. He is endorsed.
Ward 4: Alderman Michael Susmarski has represented the Fourth Ward for eight years. During that time, he has shown himself to be accessible to residents, he knows the issues and he stays on point. His opponent, Andrea Emmert, is well-versed in the issues and we believe she would make a good, independent alderman. But Susmarski, chairman of the public works committee, has done nothing to not deserve re-election. He is endorsed.