Endorsements: Baid, Donnell, Hart-Burns, Hull for Aurora City Council
Two candidates are running for four-year terms in each of the races for the 4th, 7th and 10th wards in Aurora, and three candidates are running for an at-large seat. Here are our recommendations:
Ward 4: Donnell
Pastor John Bell is challenging two-term incumbent William Donnell, arguing that residents are not being heard enough as major projects are undertaken. Indeed, Donnell is presiding over the Copley Hospital site redevelopment and other efforts. It's good to have Bell looking out for the residents, but Donnell's decades of experience working for the city in a few capacities is proving invaluable right now, and he is endorsed.
Ward 7: Hart-Burns
Incumbent Scheketa Hart-Burns has served on the city council a remarkable 30 years, and she clearly understands the workings of the city. Saul Fultz recently moved back to Aurora, where he grew up, after decades elsewhere, most recently serving as an associate pastor in Milwaukee and working with and for youths. That and a desire to serve the community lead his platform. That's admirable, but he doesn't show the level of skills and knowledge to qualify ahead of Hart-Burns, who is endorsed.
Ward 10: Shweta Baid
Shweta Baid and Arjun Nair are looking to take the seat Alderman Judd Lofchie is vacating. Baid has an impressive range of skills, running her own business in IT and analytics, teaching in STEM fields at local colleges, volunteering in local schools and promoting the arts. Nair, a DePaul law student, is impressive himself. He has a thorough platform with particular passions for the environment and police issues. Baid is endorsed for her broader community experience.
At-large seat: Hull
Ron Woerman's candidacy for the open at-large seat was challenged over his residency; he was living in both Oswego and Aurora. He barely passed muster. That's a concern, but our larger concern is that he has a hand in or link to several developments and businesses in the city, posing conflicts of interest that cannot be overlooked. Brooke Shanley is an impressive educator who has served as vice president of the local school union. She emphasizes taxes and finances, responsiveness and transparency. Raymond Hull served on the East Aurora Unit District 131 school board for five years, including as president. He touts his decades living all over Aurora and actually working for the city, and he brings perspective, especially about more neglected parts of the city, that is compelling. Hull is endorsed.