At least seven candidates might run for Arlington Heights trustee
While much of the country's attention is on the upcoming presidential election, local candidates in Arlington Heights are already preparing for municipal elections next spring that could garner at least seven candidates seeking four seats on the village board.
Candidates new and old in recent weeks have begun publicly declaring their intentions to run for village trustee. Their announcements -- some on social media, some by news release -- follow Mayor Tom Hayes' declaration Aug. 17 that he plans to seek a third term, despite originally planning to serve only two.
Of the four incumbent trustees whose terms will be up next April, one plans to seek reelection, one does not, and two others are still deciding.
Trustee Rich Baldino, who won an unconventional write-in campaign in 2017, plans to collect the nearly 300 required signatures to get his name on the ballot, though it might be difficult in the current COVID-19 environment.
"It's going to be much different than the write-in campaign because it was a lot of face-to-face, door-to-door, and going to coffee events at people's houses," Baldino said. "I'm still planning to do door-to-door and maintain social distancing and wearing masks and wiping the pen each time someone signs a petition."
Trustee Jim Tinaglia, who is finishing his second term, and Trustee Greg Padovani, who was appointed by Hayes to fill the vacancy of Tom Glasgow in January 2019, both said they're still contemplating whether to run and will make decisions soon.
Trustee Bert Rosenberg, on the panel for two decades, said he will not seek another term. A CPA, Rosenberg has long been considered the board's financial guru.
Rosenberg's decision in part led Jim Bertucci, a longtime village resident, volunteer and businessman, to get into the race. Bertucci, a financial planner, cited his professional background, but also his familiarity with government budgeting as experience he said he would bring to the board. Bertucci is currently vice president of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre board of directors, and was past president of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce board. In an elected role, Bertucci also spent four years on the library board, including roles as president and treasurer.
Also throwing his hat in the ring is Will Beiersdorf, co-founder of Palatine-based Salute Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides financial support for active military and veterans through a variety of fundraising activities. He is also executive director of the Road Home Program at Rush in Chicago, which offers individualized care and navigation of services to help veterans heal the invisible wounds of war.
"I want to get involved and use my life experiences -- my professional, civic and military experiences -- and offer my insight and help the village continue to be a great village," Beiersdorf said.
Nicolle Grasse, a hospice chaplain for 28 years and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, also plans to run. She has spoken during public comment at village board meetings -- most recently in support of recreational marijuana sales and affordable housing.
"Part of my faith tradition has always been one of social justice," Grasse said. "I want to speak for voices that aren't always heard."
Also making her first run for office is Wendy Dunnington, who has also spoken at recent board meetings and advocated for affordable housing and the establishment of a diversity, equity and inclusion committee. She is chair of the missions committee at First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights which raises funds for nonprofits, and she runs a local support group for parents of children with Type 1 diabetes.
"I want to get involved in local politics because I feel like it can make a big difference in our lives, more so than national politics," Dunnington said.
Candidates can begin circulating petitions Sept. 22, and must turn them in between Dec. 14 and Dec. 21.