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Evergreen Park candidates stress commitment to community

  • Written by Sharon L. Filkins

 

Voters in Evergreen Park will see familiar names on the ballot in the April 4 election as the mayor, village clerk and two trustees are running unopposed. A third trustee position is open with one candidate running.

Seeking re-election is Mayor James Sexton, Village Clerk Cathy Aparo and incumbent Trustees Carol Kyle and Mark Phelan. The one new name on the ballot is Norm Anderson, running to fill a trustee position that opened when Daniel McKeown stepping down.

Running unopposed seems to be the norm in Evergreen Park. Aparo, who was elected in 2001, attributes it to Sexton.

“It is a testament to the mayor because of all the good things he does for the village,” she said.

She cited the recent economic growth spurred by the re-development of the Plaza at 95th and Western Avenue, and added that there have been many improvements being made to make the village more attractive for businesses and residents.

Aparo has been with the village since 1984 when she started in the office of the public works department.

“I never dreamed that I would one day be the village clerk,” she said. She added that it is an honor and privilege to serve the people in our village. ”Every day it is a pleasure to be able to help our residents. It is a very special atmosphere. Many of us here at the village have lived here all of our lives, we grew up together, went to school and church together, and now are working together to serve our village.”

One of the longest serving trustees up for election is Carol Kyle. She has served in the position for 29 years. Her father, Robert Norris, was a trustee and when he died in 1988, she filled out the remainder of his term and has served ever since.

“I have chosen to run again because I believe my chapter in the history book about the village isn’t complete and I still have much to offer,” Kyle said.

She said the most satisfaction for her as a trustee is attending village functions or participating as a volunteer.

“The look on the children’s faces, the residents’ gratitude for the event and the enormous crowds that show up makes me realize that all the planning, meetings and discussions are worth it,” Kyle said.

She serves as chairman of the Recreation Youth and Citizen Services Department and one of her future goals as a trustee is to investigate the possibility of installing a splash pad in one of the village parks.

Incumbent Trustee Mark Phelan is also a veteran board member with 14 years of service.

“I enjoy being a trustee for the village and I am honored to be a public servant. As a trustee and chairman of the public works committee, I believe it is important to always strive to make our village a better place to live. I am proud of all the improvements in our village, the businesses that have joined our community, the great parks our residents enjoy and all the wonderful services available to our residents.”

His future plans for his term is to look for opportunities to make the parks and recreational services better equipped to serve the youth with additional programs for pre-kindergarten and teens. He said he would also like to explore the possibility of providing some form of senior housing in the village for elderly residents.

While Anderson’s name is new on the ballot, he is not new to Evergreen Park. He has been a resident for 50 years and has served as a fire and police commissioner for the last 17 years. He is currently chairman of the commission.

“I feel that I know the village extremely well and understand the needs of its residents,” Anderson said.

One of his goals as a trustee is to continue to support the Fire and Police Departments, to bring further awareness of their importance to the community and to ensure the safety of the residents.

Additionally, he would like to follow through with the final stages of the redevelopment of the Evergreen Plaza with fully-occupied stores.

“I will also work towards keeping our village viable and our property values strong by supporting our building and zoning ordinances,” Anderson added.