By Bob Balgemann, REPORTER

 There will be at least one contest for election to the Machesney Park Village Board in 2017. Incumbent Trustee Steve Johnson has announced his candidacy for Mayor, which puts him in competition with the incumbent officer holder, Jerry Bolin. He made his announcement Oct. 14 at By the Dozen Bakery off N. Second Street. Johnson finished his 10th year as Village Treasurer in 2015, when he stepped aside so he could run for the District 2 seat on the Village Board. He successfully defeated a one-term incumbent, Kate Tammen, and has held that office for the past 1-1/2 years. He said he had been asked about only having served on the Board for such a short period of time. “The way my four-year trustee term falls in an off-year election, I would have to wait another four years to run for Mayor,” he explained. “And I’m not getting any younger. With that being said I feel I have a lot to offer the residents of Machesney Park.” He continued, saying, “Being an elected official for almost 12 years, in different capacities, gives me a unique insight into the workings of the Village of Machesney Park. Not to mention my wife, Diana, was a Village Trustee for 12 years, from 1993 to 2005, and is a wealth of information on what happened in the earlier years of the Village.” Diana Johnson remains active in the community as Executive Director of the Parks Chamber of Commerce. Steve Johnson said he would continue working as a registered pharmacist at CVS in Machesney Park. “CVS Health, my employer, has been very supportive of my endeavors to improve our community in which we all live,” he said. His hours at CVS include a lot of nights and that gives him “ample time to perform the duties of Mayor and the Village has a fine staff in place, many who I have worked with for a number of years and they do a great job of handling the day-to-day operations of the Village,” he said.

Mayor’s job part-time

Machesney Park went to a Village Administrator-Village Board form of government in 2011. That reduced the Mayor’s responsibilities with the Administrator, currently Tim Savage, running the Village on a day-to-day basis. But the Mayor remains active in planning, attending regional meetings and working with officials at that level. The Mayor’s salary decreased from $69,036 in 2012-13 and now is $47,000 a year. The Village pays health insurance and dental insurance, and for expenses incurred by the holder of that position. After making his announcement, Steve Johnson introduced his wife, Diana. Son Ryan and his family live out of town and were not able to attend. As for Steve Johnson, he said, “I am excited to get out and meet everyone in the Village as I go door-to-door, campaigning and listening to your cares and concerns.” More information concerning his plans for the Village will be released in the upcoming weeks.

Signatures on nominating petitions currently are being gathered by candidates for Machesney Park Mayor, District 1, 3 and 4 seats on the Village Board, Village Clerk and Treasurer. Filing is from Nov. 21 through Nov. 28.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Journal. Machesney Park trustee Steve Johnson speaks during a press conference held to announce his candidacy for Mayor.

Machesney Park trustee Steve Johnson speaks during a press conference held to announce his candidacy for Mayor.

If there are five or more candidates for any upcoming vacancy, there will be a primary election Feb. 28, 2017. Otherwise, the general election will be held April 4, 2017, with successful candidates being seated in May for four-year terms.




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