by Susan O’Neill
The incumbents elected by Sugar Grove voters on April 7 for village president and two of the three Village Board seats did not take their victories for granted.
The two top vote getters, Bob Bohler with 733 votes, and Tom Renk with 661 votes, have served on the board for 12 and 10 years, respectively. Incumbent Village President Sean Michels won with close to a 2:1 margin.
â€œWe all felt … that we were on the right track,â€ Bohler said. â€œSometimes you don’t know how what you’re doing is being perceived, but I guess if you don’t hear any complaints, you assume people think you’re doing all right.â€
Trustee Tom Renk said that prior to the election he did not have high expectations because of the trend for change.
â€œI wasn’t sure how this election would turn out,â€ he said. â€œI’m grateful to those who supported my efforts.â€
Renk predicts that the village will no longer see the large commercial and retail developers pounding on its doors, and that the board will need to work harder at creating win-win annexation agreements with future developers.
He said the village will need to become more flexible in lot size, open space and building materials requirements, and that flexibility will allow the market to dictate what will sell. He said diversity in housing will be the key to a vibrant community.
â€œMany developers have said they don’t want to work with us and I want to try and change that, so they’re not jumping over us and going to the Plainfields, the Yorkvilles and even the Elburns,â€ he said.
Bohler said he is happy to be able to move forward with some things he feels he has not yet accomplished, such as obtaining disaster emergency management certification for Sugar Grove. He is glad that he won, but he said he thought the voters had all good choices in the election.
The one challenger to win, Rick Montalto, came in third in the race for village trustee with 627 votes.
â€œThese are all good people,â€ Bohler said of the candidates. â€œEach had their own ideas for how to improve the community.â€