Retiring Schaumburg mayor endorses Bieschke, Dunham, Madej for trustee
Retiring Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson, who's held his current office for 32 years, said he's endorsing incumbent trustees George Dunham and Mark Madej along with Zoning Board of Appeals member Brian Bieschke for the village's three available trustee seats in the April 2 election.
Larson made his announcement in a letter to the editor that was received by the Daily Herald on Friday.
As with his earlier endorsement of Trustee Tom Dailly to succeed him as mayor, Larson said the rhetoric of the current campaign season compelled him to weigh in on the trustee race that also includes newcomers Dhitu Bhagwakar, Scott Felgenhauer and Rocco Terranova.
"I saw the quality of people being proposed for the Schaumburg village board and the quality was not there," Larson said in an interview. "It's been nice to sit on the sidelines and watch what's going on, but a lot of these people have no experience and think that that's a virtue."
While the candidates without government experience have touted their other personal and professional qualifications, Larson said it's not the same thing. Proposals from developers and recommendations from administrators are often equally persuasive, but only someone with true government experience knows best how to bring his or her own judgment into play, he added.
"I'm not saying this is brain surgery, but it's the equivalent of someone trying it saying they're qualified to wash their hands," Larson said. "I think it's important to note that the candidates I'm supporting know what they're striving to do. I happen to believe that Schaumburg can do better than name-calling."
While most residents of the village don't spend much time thinking about its government, they should know it's important to have one that knows what it's doing, Larson added.
Before becoming mayor, Larson spent 12 years as a trustee and before that built his knowledge of local government on various panels. Bieschke, Dunham and Madej have demonstrated the same dedication to educating themselves, he said.
They also have demonstrated a willingness to keep national party politics out of local government -- a Schaumburg tradition, Larson added.
All three candidates Friday expressed their gratitude for Larson's endorsement.
"I'm honored and excited by the fact that he's endorsing me," Bieschke said.
"I'm humbled and grateful that Al recognizes the hard work that we've done for the village of Schaumburg," Dunham said. "I hope to remain worthy of that confidence."
"It means a lot to me," Madej said. "He's a great man. He's been tremendous for this town. I'm really honored to have his endorsement."