Niles Mayor Robert Callero issued a statement Dec. 26 saying he is not running again in the April 2013 election.
The decision was not unexpected, since Trustee Andrew Przybylo, a political ally of Callero's, has declared his candidacy for mayor. Trustee Chris Hanusiak is also running for mayor.
Callero was elected trustee in 1996, and became interim mayor of the village in 2008 after former Mayor Nicholas Blase resigned under pressure. Callero was elected mayor in April 2009.
Following is the text of Callero's statement:
I have decided not to seek a second term as Mayor in the April 9, 2013 Election. My reasons are as follows: Family means more to me than anything else, and the Village of Niles has been my home and the people of Niles my family for 55 years. In turn, I have served the Village as Trustee and Mayor for over 18 years, and 20 years more as a member of the Police and Fire Pension Boards. But Niles is only one of my families.
My first family is my wife Rita of over 50 years, our 5 children, and 8 grandchildren that live within forty minutes of our Niles home. My business has also been in Niles since 1960. My normal business work-week has always been 60-80 hours my whole life, and even in retirement, as Mayor, I worked 30 hours per week besides the time spent on family business matters. It is now time to bring myself back and give more time to my first family.
During my administration as Mayor, we have accomplished many things in making Niles a better community. When I became Mayor, we were in the midst of an economic recession and our sales tax receipts were declining. My first major project was to cut expenses and maintain a balanced budget while not diminishing the services to which our community was accustomed. With the help of our Niles employees, we were able to bring new businesses into Niles, increasing our sales tax receipts and enabling us to keep our real estate taxes as one of the lowest in the surrounding communities. During my tenure, most of our main roads were repaired and repaved with government grant funds, and we started a beautification program for Milwaukee Avenue. I initiated a program to help control storm water flooding – a program that took the work and cooperation of many Niles employees, and will be implemented over 15 years. Other accomplishments were the formation of an Ethics Plan and Committee, a Niles Comprehensive Plan guiding us through 2030, retention of the Niles Free Bus System, and a citizen committee structure to give elected officials more input from citizens. And during my watch, Niles was named the Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids by Bloomberg’s Businessweek.
However, as I stated, it is time for me to spend more time with my wife and family. I trust our next Mayor will continue these and other programs.
My choice for Mayor on April 9 is Trustee Andrew Przybylo and I endorse Andrew Przybylo and his slate of Trustees, led by George Alpogianis, and know they will continue these programs and lead us forward in the next four years.