Our endorsement for Bensenville village board

This endorsement is a consensus opinion of the Daily Herald Editorial Board.

Probably, no suburb has witnessed more change over the past 15 years than Bensenville.

The village lost 600 homes and businesses in 2009 when Chicago bought the properties to expand O'Hare airport. In 2021, developers bought and razed 106 homes in the Mohawk Terrace neighborhood. In 2022, the Bensenville Park District explored the idea of selling White Pines golf course for redevelopment.

Now, the controversial merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railroads threatens to alter the village.

Under that backdrop, two slates of three candidates are running for three seats on the village board.

Incumbents Rosa Carmona, seeking a third term; Marie Frey, first elected in 2019; and Nicholas Panicola, appointed in 2017 and elected in 2019, are running under the Moving Bensenville Forward slate.

Challengers Christopher McCullough, the current president of the District 2 school board, Valarie Special, a six-year resident of the village who was a part of the effort to save White Pines; and Julia Styrczula, a longtime resident who has served on the Tioga PTA and helped organize the effort to save White Pines, are running as The Citizens Initiative Party.

Once labeled the "fastest dying town" in America, Bensenville has done a great job of proving that prediction wrong and is poised for growth. All six candidates have a real passion for the village and want to be a part of that future.

That's a good problem for voters to have.

No matter who is elected, a collaborative approach is going to be needed to make sure the village has a voice making sure the railroad merger doesn't run roughshod over the village.

We're sure they will all make fine trustees if elected. We believe the combination of candidates that is best suited to the needs of the future is a blend of experience and fresh ideas. We recommend Carmona, Panicola and Styrczula.

Nicholas R. Panicola Jr.
Julia Styrczula
Marie T. Frey
Christopher "Chris" McCullough
Valarie Special
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