Editorial: Maple Park, Sugar Grove introduce candidates to the public

Maple Park on March 6 hosted a Meet the Candidates event at the Maple Park Community Center as a way to introduce its Village Board candidates to residents. Public turnout for the event wasn’t what Village President Kathy Curtis and staff had hoped for (less than 10 residents were in attendance), but that didn’t stop the candidates from discussing their individual platforms and vision for the village.

Brian Kinane, who is running for a four-year seat on the Village Board, told the Elburn Herald that he thought all of the candidates were sincere in their statements regarding the village of Maple Park. Curtis said that it was exciting to have seven people vying for five open seats on the board.

Despite the lackluster attendance number, we applaud Maple Park for putting forth the effort to give residents a chance to meet and interact with the candidates who could very well represent the village after next month’s election. It is our hope that more residents will attend future Meet the Candidates events in Maple Park and embrace the opportunity to see and hear village candidates as they define their platform and explain how it can benefit the village. When it comes to elections, the more information on the table, the better. That’s why any village’s Meet the Candidates event is so important, and that’s why Maple Park should absolutely continue to host such an event.

Sugar Grove held its Meet the Candidates event on Tuesday evening at the Sugar Grove Community House, and offered the opportunity for residents to hear from candidates running for seats on the Fire Protection District, Park District, Library Board, Kaneland School Board, Community House, Waubonsee Community College Board, Township and Village Board. Village president Sean Michels and his challenger, village trustee Kevin Geary, were also on hand to introduce themselves to the public in attendance and offer their thoughts on topics such as re-entering an intergovernmental agreement with the Kaneland School District and their overall vision for the village.

“We have to keep moving forward, and I think we have that vision in place. We have our long-range plan that shows where we want retail development, business development, our train stations, things like that,” Michels said during the event. “We need to continue to bring in businesses and rooftops so that we can see this vision grow.”

The event also provided residents with a look at the candidates running for township supervisor (Harry Davis, Scott Jesseman, Curt Karas and Tom Rowe), and Village Board trustee (Robert Bohler, Gayle Deja-Schultz, Sean Herron, Stephanie Landorf and Rick Montalto).

“People want to see growth within the community. I personally don’t only want growth, but I want to see responsible growth in the community,” Deja-Schultz said during the Q & A portion of the event. “That means businesses that come (to the village) are good for our community.”

The Elburn Herald had the privilege of co-sponsoring the Meet the Candidates event with the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and would like to thank the chamber and Sugar Grove residents for making Meet the Candidates night a success.

We also want to say congratulations to both Maple Park and Sugar Grove for choosing to give its residents a chance to learn more about the candidates whose names will appear on the ballot next month. When a village makes the effort to educate the public about its candidates, everyone wins.