Kaptain, incumbent council members re-elected in Elgin, Lopez for 2-year seat
Elgin Mayor David Kaptain and four city council incumbents -- John Steffen, Tish Powell, Rose Martinez and Toby Shaw -- coasted to re-election Tuesday, while newcomer Baldemar Lopez won the race for a vacant two-year seat, according to unofficial results.
Kaptain won with 4,297 votes against challenger Councilwoman Carol Rauschenberger, who had 2,208 votes with all precincts reporting in Kane and Cook counties.
"Evidently many people thought I did a good job, and thought I should come back," 71-year-old Kaptain said shortly after declaring victory during an election party held at his campaign manager's home in Elgin.
"Carol ran a very good campaign. It was clean, and I think that speaks well for the city," he said.
Rauschenberger agreed. "I always felt that we had to be positive ... so that there was never any negativity between the mayor and myself."
Despite being disappointed at her loss, Rauschenberger said she looks forward to continuing her work on the council. "The percentage of people that voted obviously wanted the mayor to win and they are happy with the current situation," she said.
Steffen won the four, 4-year council seats with 4,411 votes, followed by Powell with 4,124, Shaw with 3,342 and Martinez with 3,291. Also in the race are challengers Dustin Good, Fred Moulton and Anthony Ortiz.
Lopez had 2,681 votes, followed by Steve Thoren and Jerri McCue for the 2-year term.
"I feel good," Lopez said. "We have to move the city forward now."
Lopez said that within the next 90 days, he plans to unveil proposals for economic development, particularly to build the Route 25 and Route 31 corridors. He also wants to look at staffing levels in the fire and police departments, he said.
Kaptain is a retired chief chemist and director of process control for the Fox River Water Reclamation District. He was elected councilman in 2005 and mayor in 2011.
Kaptain said Tuesday night that he wants the city to look into whether consolidating the police and fire pension boards would save money as part of the effort to fund public pensions. During the campaign, Kaptain said the two most important issues facing Elgin are the education of youth and the upcoming renegotiation of the city's solid waste contract. He also said the city has to encourage converting existing buildings into residential units, but it's up to developers to tell the city which ventures they believe will be successful.
Steffen, 55, is an attorney who has served on the council for 12 years. He said the city needs to maintain adequate services while keeping taxes and fees as low as possible and looking for ways to innovate.
Martinez, 58, is a school bus driver for U-46. She pointed to a state mandate to fund pensions at 90 percent by 2040. She also wants to expand the Elgin Sports Complex and make the city a destination for sports events and tournaments.
Powell, 48, is a marketing manager and former city employee who's served on the council since 2011. She said she wants to address Elgin's negative image with a comprehensive campaign and continue to address panhandling and homelessness.
Shaw, 40, is a senior manager of infrastructure elected six years ago. He said the city needs a five- to 10-year plan to address infrastructure needs and must use technology to apply consistent code enforcement.
Elgin has been roiled by divided sentiments among the community about the March 2018 fatal police shooting of resident Decynthia Clements. The city hired an outside firm to do an internal investigation into whether Lt. Christian Jensen violated any police department policies or procedures when he shot Clements.
Jensen should be fired, according to Powell.
Shaw and Steffen reserved judgment until the investigation is completed, while Martinez said she will stand by the results of the investigation.
Lopez said any final decision should take into account the community's feelings about the shooting.