Acting Algonquin village president announces plans to run in upcoming election
Acting Village President Debby Sosine plans to run in the April municipal election to retain her seat.
Sosine was appointed as acting village president in August after former village president John Schmitt died July 25.
Sosine said that before he died, Schmitt said he was not going to run again for village president.
"I thought it over and talked with him and decided I was going to run in the spring after he retired from his term," Sosine said. "Unfortunately, John left us before that."
The village of Algonquin, along with McHenry and Huntley, begin accepting nominating petitions from candidates Dec. 14.
Algonquin's village clerk and three village board trustee seats also will be up this spring, each serving a four-year term.
If elected, Sosine said she wants to continue steering the village "in the direction of balanced budgets" and talking to residents more.
As village president, she would focus on developing the Corporate Parkway that Algonquin has been working on for years, developing the east side of Algonquin, and marketing the village to fill in undeveloped and vacant spots as much as possible.
"We have a really good program that we've been doing the last couple years on marketing the village," Sosine said. "We got a consulting firm that gave us a lot of marketing tools, and we started going to different shows to market the village to developers that want to develop or areas that are looking to relocate."
One of the her biggest goals, Sosine said, is to continue making sure the village keeps its budget balanced and finding new ways to improve itself and its services.
Algonquin has made a lot of positive changes this year, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sosine said. She said she would like to keep these going, especially when it comes to smaller businesses, such as those in Algonquin's downtown area.
Sosine said she wants to make sure these businesses are successful and to help them get the foot traffic they need.
"We have found opportunities that have improved different areas that we hadn't thought of before," she said. "We just want to make sure that what we have continues to grow down there and expand."
Leading the village during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge, Sosine said.
Most village staff have been working remotely, though Sosine stays in "constant contact" with everyone through Zoom meetings, email and phone.
"I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful staff that steps up to whatever challenge is given to them and succeeds," Sosine said.
As Algonquin's former president, Schmitt directed a lot of how the village handled various COVID-19 regulations and mandates.
"I've had a total crash course," Sosine said.
Sosine has been a village trustee since 2007. Before that, she was on the planning and zoning commission for five years, and prior to that, was on the economic development commission.
Sosine was active at various levels in Algonquin-based Community School District 300, where her three children attended, such as taking part in the Parent Teacher Organizations, various committees and school improvement teams, and attending school board meetings regularly, as previously reported by the Northwest Herald.
"I have a real good tune on the village; where it's at, where it's been, where it's going forward," Sosine said.
Currently, Sosine serves on District 300's Foundation for Educational Excellence, and is part of the district's newly formed diversity, equity and inclusion committee.
She also works part-time as an accountant for her husband's company.
Along with Sosine's three adult children, who now live in Woodstock, Elgin and Algonquin, she also has six grandchildren, who all are younger than 5 -- one of whom was born during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I just hope to do the citizens of Algonquin proud," Sosine said. "I work very hard at it."