Niles Trustee Joseph LoVerde has announced he'll run for mayor of Niles in next spring's municipal elections.
"It's always been on my mind, and the time is right," said LoVerde, who has served on the village board since 2007, and the Plan Commission before that.
LoVerde has been the only trustee to straddle the divide that has become apparent in the ways trustees have voted in the past few months. His votes have occasionally aligned with Mayor Robert Callero and Trustee Andrew Przybylo, and at other times with the four other trustees, Chris Hanusiak, Jim Hynes, Rosemary Palicki and Louella Preston.
"I'm trying to be the mediator," he said. "We have some good people on the board."
But he acknowledged the divide has been roiling meetings lately.
"The trustees are the corporate authority of the Village of Niles. A capable mayor is able to have an effective board, all working for the same priority--the benefit of the taxpayers," he said.
LoVerde pointed to his achievements running the Niles Park District, where he took over as executive director in 1997, to establish his record.
"The Park District was in horrible financial shape. It was in severe debt, and couldn't borrow at all. We've turned it around, trimmed staff by 40 percent, built an A plus credit rating, and borrowed $20 million to build new facilities," he said.
He also described it as having good employees, and said that was the formula for success.
In a reference to the fact that state Rep. Lou Lang (D, Skokie) sponsored a bill to make it permissible for liquor license holders to be elected as mayors of municipalities, thus paving the way for Przybylo to become mayor, LoVerde said, "I take offense to that. Springfield should not choose the next mayor, the people of Niles should choose the next mayor."