Tag Archives: Ross Dueringer

Curtis takes the reins in Maple Park

by Lynn Meredith
A crowd of Maple Park community members filled the meeting room at the Civic Center on Tuesday night to say goodbye to the village’s out-going village president and to welcome its new president.

Kathy Curtis was sworn in after Ross Dueringer conducted the old business on the agenda and said his thanks and goodbyes. He served the village for 19 years, first as a trustee, then on the Planning Commission and finally for the last four years as the president.

“I know I am leaving the village better than when I got here,” Dueringer said.

New trustees Debra Armstrong and Suzanne Fahnestock, along with incumbent Terry Borg, were also sworn in. They replace Erl Pederson and Kathy Curtis as trustees.

“I’m very honored to be here. I want to say thank you
to my supporters. I am proud of the work accomplished with
Ross Dueringer over the last four years. Together
with the help of the community and the board we can continue.”

New MP Village President Kathy Curtis

“New faces and ideas are a good thing.
Kathy is the new face of the leader of
Maple Park—and (hers) is a much prettier
face than mine. I wish her the best.”

Outgoing Village President Ross Dueringer

“Ross (Dueringer) and I have made a lot of
decisions together over the last 19 years.
Look around. We’ve got sidewalks and streets
… There was a lot of common sense used to
keep it going, to make it a good place
to raise a family.”

Trustee Roger Kahl

Curtis wins in Maple Park by 18 votes

by Lynn Meredith
Eighteen votes decided the race for village president of Maple Park. Kathleen Curtis edged out incumbent Ross Dueringer in a 176 to 158 vote.

Dueringer won the Kane County side of the village 107 to 84, but lost on the DeKalb County side, 92 to 51. He called it “one of those things.”

“I did the best I could. I have no regrets. I was honest,” Dueringer said.

Dueringer served as president for four years and in other capacities on committees for a total of 19 years.

“I’m done. I’ve been doing it for 19 years. That’s long enough. I’ll let somebody else have a chance,” Dueringer said.

He said it was a close race, but one that was conducted with decency. Curtis agreed.

“Ross and I both worked at it and kept it clean,” Curtis said.

Curtis has served as chairman of the Financial Committee for the last four years. She looks forward to taking on the role as president and working with the newly elected trustees, Debra Armstrong and Suzanne Fahnestock.

“The talent of the trustees is phenomenal. It’s a great group,” Curtis said.

She said that her first order of business will be to call the trustees together and appoint them to committees.

April 7 Maple Park election results

The following unofficial results are courtesy of Kane and DeKalb counties. Winners are listed in bold.

Maple Park Village President

Ross Dueringer    158
Kathleen Curtis    176

Maple Park Village Board

Vote for three
Debra M. Armstrong    133
Suzanne A. Fahnestock    120
Terry E. Borg    129

Maple Park Tax referendum

Yes    88
No    234

Let the people decide

MP police referendum puts question to voters
by Lynn Meredith
All referendum questions have one thing in common: They all ask for money to pay for services. Maple Park’s police referendum is no different. It is seeking additional dollars to help fund police department operations.

The Village Board members agree that the department does not have enough money to operate effectively. They are asking for what amounts to taxes of $16 more per year on a $100,000 house for the first year and small increases through 2012.

Currently, five part-time officers provide 56 hours of patrol coverage each week. Additionally, an officer is on-call for one eight-hour shift every 24 hours. If an emergency arises when no patrol coverage is provided, Maple Park relies on the Kane County Sheriff’s Department to respond to the scene and stabilize the situation until an on-call officer from Maple Park can arrive.

“The police referendum that is on the ballot, if passed, would be a revenue stream that would support the Police Department in general,” Trustee Kathy Curtis said.

With a police budget of $93,000, the department faces the issue of not only paying the costly on-call hours, but also retaining enough officers to staff the force.

“They are not overpaid,” President Ross Dueringer said. “We’re giving them $16 an hour to take a bullet.”
While all the trustees agree that the question should be placed on the ballot, trustee Terry Borg does not support its passage.

“Until this board gets our act together, until we exhaust all avenues of aid from the county, we can’t expect anybody to vote for increases in taxes,” Borg said. “I did vote to place the referendum (on the ballot). I believe citizens should have the opportunity to vote on it.”

He sees problems with the use of on-call to operate the Police Department.

“The on-call policy is a budget-breaker for us,” Borg said.

Dueringer is not happy with the arrangement, but said they are doing the best they can with limited funds. He advocates passing the referendum to help solve the issues.

Borg said that internal politics have gotten in the way of hiring a police chief.

“Why do we not have a police chief? I continue to ask that question. We’ve spent $1,000 or more on ads,” Borg said.

Curtis said that since the board could not stop arguing about money and that there simply is not enough, the best thing is to put the issue to the residents.

Villages seeking industry

Larger employers bring jobs, could lead to more people, retailers
by Martha Quetsch
Local village officials agree that industry is just as important as retail and residential growth to the area’s economy.

“You have got to have a variety of elements. One feeds off the other,” Maple Park Village President Ross Dueringer said.

MP wants manufacturing jobs
Industry would be great for Maple Park, Dueringer said. But he does not foresee it coming in the near future.

“We have been open to listening to any light industry, but haven’t been approached by anyone. Unfortunately, the last few years, everything has been at a standstill.”

The village lost one longtime company that was located on County Line Road just north of Route 47, a business that made steel shelving, when it moved to Aurora, Dueringer said.

An industrial park was proposed for Pritchard Road about two years ago, but the village could not agree with the developer about annexation terms, Dueringer said.

With industry in town, residents could work locally, and the village would gain property taxes with the new growth without burdening schools like residential development does, Dueringer said.

Dueringer believes industry could attract more retail to the village, too.

SG is industrious
Sugar Grove officials in recent years have been committed to boosting industrial growth in the village. The reason is to increase the number of local jobs, which starts a positive chain reaction, said Perry Clark, former Economic Development Corporation director in Sugar Grove.

“Jobs drive population, and a larger population attracts retail businesses,” Clark said.

Sugar Grove currently has two general locations with industry. One is the 110-acre Waubonsee Corporate Center at Heartland Drive and Route 47, and the other is at Route 30 and Dugan Road.

Until a few years ago, the business park at Heartland and Route 47 was struggling, with just a 30 percent occupancy.

Through the efforts of the village and the EDC, including business incentives and recruitment, the park was redeveloped and renovated, and since has grown to house about 50 companies.

“It used to be a dilapidated, run-down industrial park. We got a lot of complaints from residents about it,” Clark said. “Over a two-year span we grew that industrial park to what it is today.”

The Route 30 and Dugan Road area, comprising 130 acres, also has about 50 businesses. Most are light-industrial companies, Village Planner Mike Ferencak said.

Sugar Grove’s comprehensive land-use plan features other areas village officials want developed partly as industrial property. Those are along both sides of Interstate 88 east of Route 47, and around the Aurora Municipal Airport on West Route 30, Ferencak said.

With the goal of drawing even more industry to Sugar Grove, the village is extending Municipal Drive north of Route 30 and extending Galena Boulevard west to meet it. With that improvement, village officials hope Sugar Grove attracts more large companies like HondaJet, which recently decided to locate its Midwest operations at the Aurora Municipal Airport.

Kaneville has first industry
The first industrial company in Kaneville opened in 2008, Linear Kinetics, which produces customized automation systems such as computer-based robotics for manufacturers.

It is the only industry in Kaneville, but village officials would like their town to have more, and so would Kaneville residents, based on their responses to a survey by the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission, formed after the town incorporated in 2006, asked residents what type of development they wanted in Kaneville. About 55 percent of respondents said that industrial and commercial development were important to them, Village President Bob Rodney said.

But they want limited, light-industrial expansion.

“Residents have indicated they don’t want to turn (Kaneville) into a big manufacturing complex,” Rodney said.

Luring additional industry to Kaneville will not be easy, because the village does not have the resources to supply water or sanitary sewer connections, Planning Commission Chairman Joe White said.

White said Planning Commissioners will talk in the coming months to the village’s development consultant about what areas to designate for industry in the new comprehensive plan.

If Kaneville is able to attract industrial companies in the future, the location the village likely will steer them to is along the proposed Prairie Parkway route, in the proximity of the gravel pits, White said. In preliminary discussions about industrial growth, village officials said they did not think industry would be a good fit elsewhere, near residential neighborhoods.

Elburn ready for more
The village of Elburn also welcomes industrial growth, promoting the town’s business centers and buildings on its website, www.elburn.il.us. There, it lists several industrial parks located in Elburn with space still available, either ready to occupy or to build.

One of those is the 12-lot Welch Creek Business Center just north of Keslinger Road on Stover Drive and Herra Street, built in 2006. Its developer, Drew Frasz, said Welch Creek currently has just two vacancies. Others include Columbine Industrial Park, in the area of Keslinger and Thryselius Drive, and Keystone Industrial Park, on Dempsey, Hicks and Paul streets.

Among the many businesses located in these parks are auto repair shops, including the new Boyce Auto Werks in Keystone, custom machining firms, filtration specialists and window and lighting companies.

In addition to the business parks in Elburn, several buildings offering industrial space are located at scattered sites in the village, such as 724 Hicks Drive and 747 Herra St.

The village does not plan unlimited industrial growth, but its comprehensive land-use plan does designate additional land for business parks including a large, undeveloped swath along Keslinger south of Route 47. Village Administrator David Morrison said it already is zoned for manufacturing and commercial use, so a future industrial developer will not have to obtain a zoning change.

“It’s what we call ready to go,” Morrison said.

Village officials made sure four years ago that Welch Creek had manufacturing and commercial zoning, too, rather than a special use.

“That really expediates development,” Morrison said.

Did you know …
about these two local companies that provide products and services to the U.S. military?

Hy-Tek Manufacturing Inc.
1998 Bucktail Lane
Sugar Grove
Hy-Tek Manufacturing Co. Inc. designs and produces specialized products for industrial, commercial and government markets. Clients that Hy-Tek has provided engineering or manufacturing services to include the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and NASA. Among Hy-Tek’s products is an explosion-resistant design for military applications of its computers.

Controlled Force
609 Thryselius Drive
Controlled Force provides anti-terrorism tactical training programs that teach techniques to police and government agencies for how to respond to personal, physical threats. Its clients include the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Security Forces. The company’s products include Freddy S.T.A.T., a simulation tactical advanced trainer.

Police hiring process blocked

by Lynn Meredith
The Maple Park Village Board sorted out the hiring of police officers at its meeting on Feb 3.

The board voted down a motion to accept two police officers to be part of a pool of candidates for future employment, and it tabled a motion to hire another officer under a probationary period. It also approved the hiring of two officers already working for the department by taking them off probation.

The 1-4 vote not to accept the candidates and the 4-1 vote to table the hiring of another came after lengthy discussion. Erl Pederson, chairman of the Police Committee, voted in opposition to the rest of the board. He strongly urged the board to consider the short-staffed Police Department, which is operating despite the medical leave of one officer and the recent resignation of another.

“We’re in a very serious situation in regards to employees for the Police Department. We don’t have enough people to go around. We have one officer in charge, and we have one policeman who can give us time,” Pederson said.

Committee member Kathy Curtis explained to the board that on Dec. 15, the Police Committee interviewed six part-time officers. Three of the six were chosen to be given background checks and further consideration. She said that the committee never met to discuss the results of the background checks and which ones would be hired under probation and which ones would be left in a pool for future employment.

“We never had a Police Committee meeting, and no conclusions were ever made about which ones were going on probation and which were not,” Curtis said. “My point being this never went to committee, and it’s supposed to be a majority vote to be able to put a motion like this on the agenda.”

Village President Ross Dueringer said he was told that the candidate being hired was the only one who could give the department any hours.

Pederson commented to the board following the decision to not accept the two officers for future employment.

“Again it’s been demonstrated that everyone wants anything but what’s good for the village of Maple Park,” he said.

Curtis to run for Maple Park president

by Lynn Meredith

The race is on for president of the Maple Park Village Board. Trustee Kathy Curtis announced her plans to run in April. In November, Village President Ross Dueringer announced that he would run for a second term.

Curtis was elected to the Village Board in 2005, serving on the Police Committee and as Financial Committee chairman.

“I’ve been contemplating running for village president for the entire four years,” Curtis said. “Over the next four years is the time for the board to organize itself and work on its vision for the future.”

Curtis wants to see the aging infrastructure of Maple Park repaired, maintained and upgraded to avoid problems with flooding, like what occurred this fall, and to repair the streets and sewers. She also wants to ensure that once repaired, the infrastructure stays well-maintained.

“I want to aggressively pursue revenue streams to repair infrastructure. I want an annual maintenance program so that it stays maintained,” Curtis said.

Curtis says that federal programs and grants are available to repair the sewer system, the water tower, streets and sidewalks. An annual maintenance program could pay for something like the water tower and its upkeep.

Curtis said the board needs to take the next four to five years, while the housing market is down, to go after funding.

“Just because the housing market dropped, we can’t stop visioning the future,” Curtis said. “Without impact fees (from subdivisions), we’re left hanging. We’re running the town on taxpayer money, and that’s only our operating expenses. We need to invest back into infrastructure.”

She wants to make sure the board acts fiscally responsibly by using tax money and not squandering cash reserves.

She also wants to encourage others to run for the Village Board.

“We need more people to come out for trustee positions. We need involvement if we’re going to go anywhere in the next 10 years,” Curtis said.

Staffing woes continue for MP police

by Lynn Meredith

Maple Park is once again searching for police officers to staff its department.

The village hired three part-time officers in August. Police Committee Chairman Erl Pederson announced at Tuesday’s Village Board meeting that one of those officers resigned and another will do so in the next 60 days.

Sergio Fuentes resigned on Tuesday after having been promoted to Sergeant in the Earlville Police Department. An increased workload and time commitments conflict with the hours he works for Maple Park.

Trustee Terry Borg is concerned that the village is losing officers so frequently.

“There doesn’t seem to be a strategy with the Police Department. It seems to be a revolving door,” Borg said. “Are we doing something different this time than last time, given that we just went through this?”

The Police Committee would need to run background checks on new candidates, and even though the cost is minimal, it takes time and effort.

“We go through a certain amount of grief in this process,” Village President Ross Dueringer said. “I can understand some hesitation, but we still need somebody to fill the hole.”

Dueringer suggested that the committee get a pool of police officer candidates to choose from when vacancies arise.

Three officers have completed the 90-day probation period, but the board voted to extend the probationary period for another 30 days to allow time for Police Department head Chuck Slater to write a report on how each officer has met expectations.

At the Feb. 3 meeting, the Village Board will take action either to extend probation, terminate employment or bring the officers on non-probationary status.