Don't call her inexperienced: 32-year-old who was on city council sworn in as suburb's youngest mayor
Taking the oath of office Tuesday night in the Rolling Meadows City Council chambers, Lara Sanoica became the city's first female mayor and its youngest -- and likely one of the youngest in all the suburbs.
But don't tell the 32-year-old she's inexperienced.
She was the city's Ward 7 alderman for the past four years, after she first started showing up to meetings at city hall to get answers about flooding in her west-side neighborhood.
She manages a team of financial investigators at CME Group that ensures integrity in the markets.
And she just got married and bought a house not too far from where she grew up.
Sure, she may be young, compared to those who held the post before her in the Northwest suburban city's 68-year history. But the Rolling Meadows native said she's "plugged in."
"Rolling Meadows has always been on the forefront of all sorts of trends and will continue to do so. I'm in the thick of it," Sanoica said after she was sworn in by outgoing Mayor Joe Gallo and just before she took the gavel for the rest of the council's meeting. "I can really connect with my residents. This isn't something that's a distant memory for me. I understand the struggles of the median population here, but also understand that business savvy because my day job is with a financial institution."
Sanoica says she knows Roselle Mayor David Pileski, who is about the same age. He won election two years ago at age 29.
Matt Bogusz was 26 when he was elected mayor of Des Plaines a decade ago.
Gallo was Rolling Meadows' first mayor under 40 when he was elected four years ago -- a time when the city's median age was 38.
"I felt we needed to embrace that median age and strive for their ideals, but not forget or disregard any other community or pocket of the community that needed to be incorporated," Gallo said in a farewell address on the council floor.
He said having someone in the top elected leadership post at that age was a "big change in perspective" and something he hopes will continue with his successor. He endorsed Sanoica in December after deciding not to seek reelection, and she ran unopposed for the new 4-year term.
"I believe that there is value in her perspective. I believe her skill sets are going to be strong for the city," Gallo said.