Winfield Village President Erik Spande won't run again

  • Winfield Village President Erik Spande has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2021. Spande has been village president since 2013 and was a village trustee before that.

    Winfield Village President Erik Spande has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2021. Spande has been village president since 2013 and was a village trustee before that. Daily Herald file photo

  • Erik Spande

    Erik Spande

 
 
Updated 9/18/2020 5:06 PM

Winfield Village President Erik Spande says he will not seek reelection in 2021.

"You might think that after 20 years it would be a difficult decision to make, but actually it was surprisingly logical and easy," Spande said Thursday in announcing he won't pursue a third term as village president.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In a prepared statement read during the village board meeting, Spande said he has served the village for almost two decades -- 10 years as a volunteer and two years as a trustee and nearly eight years as village president.

"When I was first elected village President I had a clear view of the village's problems: save the police, fix the roads, get the village finances on sound footing and kick-start development," Spande said.

Spande's first term as village president began in 2013. It was not long after Spande revealed, while as a trustee, that the previous board was negotiating with the DuPage County sheriff's office to outsource the village's policing as a cost-cutting measure.

At the time, Winfield also faced around $4 million in repairs to deteriorating roads, according to Spande.

"We got it done -- we fixed all of those roads in two years, and have kept up with repairs since," Spande said.

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Spande also touted his efforts to help stabilize village finances by working out an economic development grant with Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. Spande said it has generated $4.5 million in five years.

"I do believe President Spande has presided over a historic stretch of progress in Winfield, stabilizing the village's finances, repairing it's infrastructure, and expanding its commercial development from Roosevelt Road to North Avenue," said Village Manager Curt Barrett.

Yet in recent years, relations on the village board have become contentious. After the 2017 election, Spande lost a political majority among trustees on the board.

Spande also has become very critical of Northwestern Medicine during recent negotiations for a plan to transform part of Town Center south of CDH into a medical and commercial district. At Thursday's meeting, Spande went so far as to veto a downtown development agreement and associated ordinances between Winfield and CDH. That's even though it's likely that the majority of board trustees could override his veto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I'm surprised," Trustee Dennis Hogan said about Spande's decision to not seek reelection and his veto.

"This is only my take: (Spande) left room and even said that he might end up voting against his own veto -- simply because we don't have the final rendering," said Hogan about a proposed mixed-used office building to be built south of CDH that will likely be a centerpiece of the Town Center development.

"That rendering will be available before we meet next on Oct. 1," said Hogan, surmising that Spande's major issue with the building was its architectural style. "If he likes the rendering, hypothetically he could change his vote."

Spande said he will remain in office through April. He also wished his potential replacement well.

"All of our crises have been solved. Our finances are stable. Development is moving," Spande said. "All future boards need to do is follow the plan and not break anything."

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