Endorsement: Goczkowski for Des Plaines mayor
Des Plaines will enter a new era with the election of a mayor April 6 to replace Matthew Bogusz, who could not run because of term limits after holding the job since 2013.
Competing are Michael Charewicz, 65, owner of an auto repair shop and former 8th Ward alderman; Malcolm Chester, 72, attorney and 6th Ward alderman since 2015; and Andrew Goczkowski, 38, grants coordinator for U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky and 8th Ward alderman since 2019.
Chester's experience is compelling, but we give the edge to Goczkowski for his independence and good ideas.
We like Goczkowski's plan to create a multicultural advisory group to support, engage with and celebrate residents from many different backgrounds. And everyone who's tried to drive through Des Plaines can see the sense of his view that the most pressing infrastructure improvement is a railroad underpass at Algonquin Road or Oakton or Thacker streets to ease constant tie-ups caused by slow trains.
Goczkowski showed good judgment in voting to back Gov. J.B. Pritzker's order suspending indoor dining during the pandemic and says the city should take different steps to help struggling restaurants. In the fall, he cast the sole vote against a pay raise for Des Plaines City Manager Mike Bartholomew to $231,000, saying the timing was wrong during the pandemic.
Goczkowski's relatively short tenure on the city council is balanced by experience in the federal government that could be useful in wrangling pandemic relief and stimulus funds as Des Plaines climbs out of COVID-19.
Voters in Des Plaines have embraced a new guard in the past, having elected Bogusz when he was 26 years old, and we urge them to do so again. We endorse Goczkowski.