4 Niles Trustees Form Slate for April Elections
Hanusiak, Hynes, LoVerde and Weel put aside recent differences to join forces in bids for second terms.
While most people have the Nov. 2 elections for national, state and county offices on their minds, four of Niles' village trustees are getting a jump on the spring municipal elections.
Christopher Hanusiak, James Hynes, Joe LoVerde and Alan Weel have announced they will run as a slate on the April 5 ballot. The announcement comes three weeks before candidates can file petitions to get on the ballot for the Feb. 22 primary election, which will only be held if necessary.
"We'd like to keep doing what we've been doing--making the village run more efficiently and keeping up the services people are used to with lower spending. We also want to pay down the money owed on fire and police pensions," said Hynes.
Of the four candidates, who will run as the newly formed United for a Better Government Party, only LoVerde has been elected as a trustee--in the 2007. Mayor Robert Callero appointed the other three to fill vacancies after trustees resigned or were unable to continue in office.
Hanusiak, LoVerde and Weel plan to run on the ballot for the three four-year positions, and Hynes is running for the two-year slot. The board of trustees consists of six members.
The fact they formed their own party may reduce the need for a primary election, which will only be held if multiple candidates run for the same seat. The winner becomes the party's nominee for that office.
"If I get elected and the other folks do too, we can continue the work we've started in the past year," Hynes said. "We want to just be more efficient, get people the services they rely on and do it all for better price."
The candidates have not yet started circulating their nominating petitions, Hynes said. To get on the ballot, candidates or their representatives have to ask registered voters to sign nomination forms.
Hynes said he may circulate some petitions and will definitely go door to door as the election draws nearer to answer residents' questions and ask for their votes.
The four candidates have come down on opposite sides of some issues recently. For example, LoVerde and Weel voted to keep in place the sign outside the Village Hall honoring former Mayor Nicholas Blase, who is serving time in federal prison after a corruption conviction. Hanusiak and Hynes voted to remove the sign.
A statement from LoVerde acknowledged that the candidates do not think in lockstep, but respect each other's viewpoints and work together for the good of the village.
"We all have tremendous respect for each other's opinions and all share common goals as to how to make Niles a better place for our families and a welcoming environment for business," LoVerde said in the statement.