Crowded race emerges for Ela Township Board
Updated: February 4, 2013 2:29PM
Two slates of candidates filed to run for the Ela Township Board of Trustees by the 5 p.m. deadline Dec. 26.
The April 9 ballot will offer choices from seven incumbents, the eight-person Ela Tax Reform Party, and one independent candidate.
Lucy Prouty will be running for her third term as Ela Township supervisor; Bill Donnan for his third term as clerk; John Barrington for his second term as assessor; Bill Kruckenberg for his fifth term as highway commissioner; Nancy Thompson for her second term as trustee; Larry Bowman for his second term as trustee; Jack Reck for his second term as trustee; and Lynn O’Brien, who aims to begin serving a term as trustee.
O’Brien explained that though she had be asked to run on slates for other boards, she felt that running for Ela Township would be the best fit for her expertise and experience.
“I chose Ela because they don’t spend what they don’t have, and in these economic times, there’s not many that can say that,” O’Brien said.
She believes she can make a positive impact on the township board, given her involvement in community groups like the Rotary Club and the Lions Club, and her success as a business owner. O’Brien has owned and operated Women’s Physical Therapy Institute in Lake Zurich for 13 years.
Barbara Evans, her slate’s leading candidate for supervisor, said that she and her running mates are committed to transparency and using the township’s tax dollars more responsibly.
“I think that the community needs, deserves better service,” she said. “There’s so much more that we can be doing.”
Her past titles include trustee for the Village of Deer Park, PTO president at Charles Quentin, director of the Ela Festival of Arts and Ela Fine Arts Show, and member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Assessor hopeful Wayne Wnek also pledges to bring more transparency to the township, specifically relating to tax expenditures.
Wnek, who currently owns and runs appraisal firm Wayne L. Wnek and Associates in Hawthorn Woods, is an HUD-approved appraiser, and was senior vice president of FMV Opinions, Inc. in Chicago prior to that.
For highway commissioner, Lake Zurich resident Randy Abbott plans to utilize his 18 years of experience working for the Ela Highway Department. He said he has a keen interest in maintaining the township in which he was born and raised.
Paul Jankowski, also of Lake Zurich, said he’s interested in making improvements to the township’s operations.
“We think there are large opportunities to make improvements in terms of more efficiency, and we’d also like to make the government a little bit more transparent,” Jankowski said.
He added that the township could be doing a better job responding to requests without delay, and that he hoped to improve upon that response time if elected.
Currently retired, Jankowski was former vice president of the residential food service division of Reedy Industries in Glenview, and holds an MBA in management.
Running for one of the trustee spots is Hawthorn Woods resident Vaseem Iftekhar, a retired associate director of project management from Abbott Labs. He also holds an MBA in management.
“One thing that I firmly believe in is that proper project management leads to a maximum return on investment for the township community,” Iftekhar said.
Iftekhar was the associate director of project management for Abbott Labs for eight years before retiring, and was director of project manager for Knoll/Boots Pharmaceuticals before that.
Nancy Shepherdson, of Deer park, is running for trustee so that, if elected, she can put a halt to what she sees as officials spending taxpayers’ dollars without accountability.
“What really got me interested in what Ela Township government was doing was when they spent more than $2 million on the Ela Township Hall built on Route 22 and Quentin, which is a fancy building — and yet the community really doesn’t get a lot of use out of it because they didn’t set it up as a community center,” Shepherdson said.
Shepherdson is owner of communications company NS, Inc. and co-author of Built on Values: Creating an Enviable Culture that Outperforms the Competitions. She has an MBA in marketing and finance and a master’s degree in economics.
In addition to transparency, members of the Tax Reform Party agreed that they would manage the township and its tax dollars as if it were a business.
Though he hasn’t a deep political background, Mike Jennings is a Skokie firefigher and Lake Zurich business owner, who hopes to utilize his keen business sense in office.
“I intend to manage the township’s money as if it were my own, and I don’t like to be wasteful,” Jennings said.