Endorsement: McDonald for Lake Villa village president
The race for Lake Villa village president offers voters a study in contrasts. On one side, there's incumbent James McDonald -- businesslike, low key and deeply acquainted with the ins and outs of the community and its government, thanks to his more than three decades in village government. On the other is Allison "AJ" Johnson, a teacher and political newcomer who bursts with enthusiasm for his hometown and ideas for how to make it a better.
As village president, he would be Lake Villa's booster-in-chief, envisioning his role as a recruiter of new business and promoter of what the town has to offer. What Johnson lacks, however, is experience or an established record in government. McDonald has both, and impressively so. After serving 24 years as a village trustee, he was elected village president four years ago in an uncontested race. Since then, the village has made progress bringing new tax-generating businesses to town and in seeking additional revenues to fix its aging streets. He's even earned kudos from Johnson for the village's handling of the COVID-19 crisis, which has included financial assistance for struggling businesses and getting restaurants and others the tools they need to continue operating safely. We admire Johnson's passion to serve his community, and if he were running for village trustee, we can imagine endorsing him unreservedly. But the continuing challenges of the pandemic call out for the kind of steady, proven leadership McDonald can provide. We endorse McDonald.