Lake Zurich trustee candidates get down to business
Updated: April 22, 2013 11:50AM
LAKE ZURICH — With the April 9 municipal election just a few weeks away, the nine-candidate race for four seats on the Lake Village Board is heating up.
Throughout their campaigns, the candidates have primarily focused on how to bring more economic opportunity into the downtown and other village business districts.
Helmut Gerlach, Todd Minden, Ildiko Schultz and Debra Vander Weit are running with the United Lake Zurich Party. Their opposition is from independent candidates Daniel Stanovich, Geoffrey Petzel, Jeffrey Halen, Jim Beaudoin and Mark Loewes.
Despite party affiliation, candidates on both sides said they are committed to business in Lake Zurich.
“We’ve got to do a better job of making Lake Zurich a better place for businesses,” said Beaudion, who owns two businesses in Chicago. If elected, Beaudion also said he plans to address budget issues.
“I think I have a lot to offer and I know I can make an impact in the village,” he said.
Vander Weit noted that the United party has been meeting to discuss how to solidify their platform.
“We all share a vision of what we need as a village,” she said. “We’re all using the same theme. We’re working together.”
Schultz’s economic focus is related to the village’s downtown tax increment financing district. She is encouraging the village to refinance the TIF before the end of the year.
“I think that’s going to be the No. 1 priority,” said Schultz.
Minden has an eye on the Route 12 corridor, but is motivated to revitalize the downtown business district as well.
“I remember when downtown Lake Zurich was more vibrant,” he said. “It frustrates me to drive through downtown and not see progress,” he said.
Gerlach outline a focus beyond the downtown. He said the village as a whole is ripe for economic development.
“Downtown is just one component,” said Gerlach. “We are trying to bring businesses to the village.”
Despite running against the United party, Stanovich also said he’d like to promote more economic development throughout the village.
“I’d like to see a lot more progress in the village and making it a lot more attractive,” said Stanovich. “Downtown is a big piece of that, but there are also vacant storefronts all over town.”
Petzel expressed frustration with what he sees as a lack of action on the part of the current Village Board. Lake Zurich, he said, continues to have poor drinking water quality because the village has not tapped into the Lake Michigan water allocation obtained in 2011.
“I think it would be good for the budget and for property values,” he said. “But nobody has made any decisions to actually get something done. It’s really frustrating as a resident.”
Halen, who is an incumbent running as an independent, said he not only wants to bring businesses to Lake Zurich, but he also is committed to helping the businesses that are already in town.
“I’m trying to make a difference in Lake Zurich,” said Halen. “Being a current board member, I understand some of the issues.”
In addition to business development, Loewes said he aims to keep property taxes as low as possible.
“My No. 1 thing I’d want to do is have friendly business relationships,” said Loewes. “We should really focus as a board to fill empty retail space we have downtown.”
Sitting trustees Jonathan Sprawka, Rich Sustich and Terry Mastandrea are not seeking reelection.