Two trustees not running for re-election in Arlington Heights
When candidates begin to file nominating petitions for Arlington Heights village board on Monday, two familiar faces won't be there.
Trustees Carol Blackwood, a board member since 2010, and Mike Sidor, on the board since 2011, both said they won't be seeking re-election as they uphold self-imposed term limits of no more than two elected terms. Blackwood has a year on Sidor, having been appointed by former Mayor Arlene Mulder after Helen Jensen's retirement.
Two other current trustees, 11-year incumbent John Scaletta and 5-year incumbent Robin LaBedz, are running for re-election. Tom Schwingbeck Jr., a zoning board of appeals member, declared his candidacy in September after an unsuccessful run for the board two years ago. Mary Beth Canty, an attorney and consultant, jumped into the race last month. Laurie Taylor, president of the Northgate Civic Association, also picked up petition packets from village hall.
If all five file nominating petitions -- or even more people decide to enter the race -- it'll be a contested race, with only four seats available in the April 2019 election. The first day of filing is Monday, Dec. 10, though candidates have until Monday, Dec. 17, to submit papers.
While the board will be losing some institutional knowledge, Blackwood and Sidor both said they look forward to seeing newcomers get involved in the civic process.
"I'm not a career politician," said Blackwood, whose day job is as a senior vice president at Village Bank & Trust. "If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it for a set of time. When you do that for eight years or nine years like it was for me, you have the opportunity to make a difference, then move on and let others participate who have similar interests or desires."
Before becoming a trustee, Blackwood spent 17 years on the village's plan commission and has been involved with the chamber of commerce since the late 1980s, serving at times as chairman of each. She was appointed president pro tem by Mayor Tom Hayes last year to fill in for him at meetings and community events when needed.
Sidor, owner of a language services company, is the lone downtown Arlington Heights resident on the board -- an experience that's informed his role as trustee. Neighbors often stop and say hello on the streets but also to bend his ear on village issues.
Looking back on his tenure, Sidor pointed to his advocacy for idle-free driving -- an effort to reduce carbon emissions in town -- and his support for a small business development agreement to get businesses open sooner.
Sidor and Blackwood were also the only two trustees to oppose subsidizing the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in 2014 as it faced possible closure. Subsequent changes in later years, including greater village oversight and a revamping of the board, led to an improved financial condition for the downtown theater.