By Bob Balgemann
The Machesney Park Village Board will see at least one change after Tuesday’s nonpartisan election.
Joseph (Joe) Seipts has no opposition in his first attempt to win a four-year term in District 1. Incumbent Robbin Pilcher-Snodgrass planned to run for a second term but was removed from the ballot after Seipts successfully challenged some of the signatures on her nominating petitions.
Incumbent Trustee Aaron Wilson is unopposed for a second term in District 4.
In District 3, incumbent Trustee James Kidd’s bid for re-election is being challenged by Heather Kelley.
And the Harlem Township Board will have three new trustees without there being a contest. All of the sitting staff members will be returned to office without opposition.
Trustee Kidd said voters should re-elect him for “three simple reasons.” They are:
1. “I will always answer phone calls (815-218-6891) from the citizens of Machesney Park and represent their concerns with the village board.”
Some examples he listed were when he approached the board with concerns about road conditions, reducing utility taxes and increased crime.
2. “I believe in developing our village in order to enhance our growing youth community and attracting businesses to enhance our local economic growth. I voted against donating $25,000 to the Rockford Park District when there were no original plans to help fund our own youth, by supporting the Carlson Boys and Girls Club and the Harlem Community Center.”
3. Trustee Kidd is finishing his first four-year term on the board.
He said, “I have, and will continue to, vote against the status quo when necessary in order to improve not only District 3 but the entire village of Machesney Park.”
Candidate Kelley
Looking back over recent weeks of campaigning, candidate Kelley said she “met many wonderful people in District 3. You have graciously welcomed me into your homes and I have enjoyed seeing photos of your families and hearing stories of how the area looked 30, 40, 50 years ago.”
She was appointed to the Harlem School Board 11 years ago. “My engagement and commitment has never faltered,” she said. “I bring years of experience as a parent, a business leader and dedicated professional.”
During that time she received the Illinois Association of School Board Excellence in Governance award seven times. Teachers’ unior contracts were successfully negotiated for the past seven years, with no disruptive school strikes.
In addition, she said she supported the pedestrian path along Alpine Road, which improved student safety. As president, she led the District 122 school board to a balanced budget; and expansion of the Parker Center, which now has a full-day kindergarten.
The Kelley platform is based on three key items, she said. They are safety, growth and action. Everything she’s been hearing from citizens is consistent with that theme.
Now she said she is ready to represent the District 3 neighborhood, working to improve safety, stimulating growth and further enhancing the quality of life in the village.
Other unopposed candidates in Machesney Park are incumbent Village Clerk Lori Mitchell, who first was elected in 2005, and newcomer Bradley Robison as village treasurer.
He will replace Tom Yoe, who was appointed two years after 11-year treasurer Steve Johnson decided to run for the District 2 village board seat.
In Harlem Township incumbents Terri Knight (supervisor), Sheryl Crowley (clerk), Richard “Rick” Thompson (road commissioner) and Mark Sorrentino (assessor) all are unopposed for re-election.
The board of trustees will have three new members: former Machesney Park Village Trustee Kate Tammen, former Harlem School District 122 Board Member Kathy Geyer and Robert “Bob” Arneson Jr.
Incumbent Linda Woodrow-Mertz is being returned for another term without opposition. All are Democrats.