Endorsements: Davies, Waldenstrom and Shawn Vogel for Grayslake Village Board
Two challengers have joined the fray with three incumbents seeking one of three open positions on the Grayslake Village Board, and both bring impressive resumes and energetic visions for the job.
Rachael Rezek, a staff member for state Sen. Mary Edly-Allen, has been president of the Grayslake Area Public Library and points to impressive accomplishments on behalf of the patrons, including helping to enable sharing of resources with other area libraries. And her knowledge extends beyond the confines of the library. She is familiar with village financial issues, has a good sense of how to operate successfully in a board setting and is sensitive to taxpayer interests.
Kathleen Conlon Wasik, a self-employed editor, is similarly well-versed in village issues. She has concerns that, while she finds financial planning to be effective generally, infrastructure needs are not being met as well as they could be. With two terms behind her as a member of the Grayslake High School District 127 school board, including two years as president, she can speak authoritatively about the role of a board member generally and the operations of Grayslake specifically.
In short, both challengers bring tempting qualifications to the race. But they don't match the immediate level of village experience evident in three current and former trustees.
Incumbent Elizabeth Davies, a high school math teacher seeking her third term on the board, is especially articulate and passionate about the strength of Grayslake's financial underpinnings and what it takes to maintain it, even while keeping watch over the interests and needs of taxpayers.
Incumbent Kevin D. Waldenstrom, a local real estate broker, also maintains a strong view of the village's financial picture, and with expertise in land use, construction and environmental issues, he's well suited to the demands of the village and to goals that all these candidates express.
After 16 years as a trustee, Shawn Vogel was ousted at the polls in 2021. Naturally, that raises concerns about his appeal to Grayslake voters. But his village resume is so long, deep and impressive, he deserves another look. He's served in numerous commission and committee posts over the years, and even now serves as chairman of the village Zoning Board of Appeals.
The choice facing Grayslake voters is no simple one. Wasik and Rezek come much better prepared in local public service roles than the typical election newcomer. If they aren't elected, we hope they'll become involved in more village projects to gain the level of Grayslake village-specific experience represented by Davies, Waldenstrom and Vogel. It's those three who get our endorsement.