Just when you thought the campaign ads were over, two Niles residents, Andrew Przybylo, a longtime trustee, and George Alpogianis, a former trustee, have declared their candidacy in the April municipal election in Niles.
"Andrew is going to run for mayor, and he has asked me to run alongside him," Alpogianis said.
The two are interviewing other prospective candidates to form a slate of four candidates, and indicated they are interviewing some strong female candidates. Alpogianis said both he and Przybylo want women to be represented on the ticket. They have not yet named their party.
Earlier: Governor signs law clearing liquor license holders such as Przybylo to run for mayor
Earlier: Niles Trustee Joe LoVerde declares candidacy for mayor
Another sitting trustee, Joe LoVerde, had earlier announced his candidacy for mayor, but has been experiencing problems with his hearing and receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic. LoVerde said last week he is waiting to see how the treatment works before deciding whether to pursue the mayoralty.
Alpogianis said some current board members are too concerned with the past.
"It's not even about the former mayor anymore," he said, referring to 47-year Niles Mayor Nicholas Blase, who stepped down in 2008 and served federal prison time for fraud related to a kickback scheme.
Alpogianis wants to look to the future, he said, explaining he moved to Niles for good schools and good services, and wants to restore services that have been cut, such as the Niles Free Bus. The board voted in September to reconfigure routes and reduce hours to save money, though the bus is still running.
"Free bus service is not only symbolic of Niles, it promotes shopping," Alpogianis said. "That's revenue in the village. It promotes people moving into our village."
Alpogianis also said animal control services had been cut, and that village employees who retire are not being replaced.
Patch will report on future political developments as they occur.