By Megann Horstead | For The Sentinel
The Shorewood Village Board has a contested race in the April 4 election for trustee.
With three seats at stake, incumbents Daniel Anderson and Daniel Warren are vying for re-election in a race that includes candidates Lona Jakaitis and Clarence “CC” DeBold. Trustee Edmund Murphy is not running to retain his post.
Candidates expressed why they’re running, discussed what makes them best fit to serve, identified the top three issues facing Shorewood and outlined how they might address them via the Shorewood Sentinel’s candidate questionnaire.
Why are you running for village board?
Jakaitis: I believe in being involved in my community. I want to proactively serve the residents of Shorewood. My mission is to listen to and to communicate with fellow residents regarding their needs and their ideas and bring those matters to the board for consideration. Shorewood continues to grow as a family-oriented community with business development, but with that comes challenges. I want to be part of the solution and serve as a voice for the residents.
Warren: I am running for re-election because I want to continue making Shorewood a great place to live and raise a family. I have raised two children in Shorewood, and it has been a wonderful experience. I would like for all individuals and families that come to Shorewood to have the opportunity of feeling this town is a caring and safe place to live. I would like to bring in more business to keep taxes as low as possible, while still maintaining that small-town feel. Change is a good thing if it is done correctly.
DeBold: I am running in this election to be an active voice in the community I grew up in and live in. I feel that I can bring a fresh perspective to different elements of the village. I want to be sure the village maintains fiscal responsibilities by keeping our taxes as low as possible and keep village tax dollars spent wisely.
Anderson: I have been involved with our community while growing up here. I was 15 years old when I joined the Troy Volunteer Fire Department Cadet program. I moved up to firefighter at age18 and stayed involved for 32 years. I was voted as Fireman of the Year in 1986. I served as president and treasurer for many years.
I decided to run for village board because I like being involved with the community. I want to serve and be involved in the decision-making that makes our community better for everyone that lives here.
What makes you a solid candidate fit to serve on the village board?
Jakaitis: I have been a resident for 25 years and am active in the community. I have extensive knowledge of how government entities work, including how they can work together to better serve the constituents. My strong desire to make Shorewood a community for families means I will work for them. I have regularly attended board meetings and will be able to begin serving immediately. As a member of the Louis Joliet Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, I have planned, organized, led and supported activities for our veterans. I will use these same skills to work for Shorewood as a trustee. My fitness as a candidate has been recognized by the Operating Engineers Local 150, which endorsed only me for Shorewood trustee.
Warren: I have experience serving and leading the community in various capacities. I served as a past vice president and president of Troy Fire Protection District. I served as planning and zoning commissioner for four years before being elected to the Shorewood Village Board of Trustees, where I’m currently fulfilling my first term as a trustee. Additionally, I serve as vice chairman of the planning and zoning commission and vice chairman of public works committee. I listen to all of the facts and public opinions and base my decisions on what the facts are and what would be best for ALL of Shorewood, not just now but also for future Shorewood residents. I am honest and straightforward. I don’t play the political games. If it is the best thing for the residents, then it is good for the village.
DeBold: I feel that I am a solid candidate for the village board, because of my strong work ethic and experience as a small business owner. I also was a volunteer fire fighter in the community before becoming a career firefighter/paramedic. From being a business owner to helping people in emergency situations, I am able to make tough decisions that will benefit the village as a whole.
Anderson: I’d like to think that growing a small business that started out working along side my grandfather and two employees to a business that has grown to 24 people has had a lot to do with why. I have learned that we have to all work together to achieve our goals, listen to other opinions and ideas, and be flexible and willing to change. I always keep in mind that I am here working for the whole community, not just a few with their own interests in mind.
What do you think are the top three issues facing the Village of Shorewood? Explain how you might help the board in addressing them.
Jakaitis: The No. 1 one complaint I hear from residents is truck traffic, especially along River Road, Seil Road and Mound Road, to and from the warehouses. I have witnessed trucks coming into subdivisions to turn around. This creates a dangerous situation for residents. I would work with the Shorewood Police to see increased patrols on village roads and bring in the Will County Sheriff’s Department to patrol unincorporated roads. I would work with the warehouses to educate drivers about the truck routes. I would make sure that designated truck routes in the Village are well-marked. If the City of Joliet is successful in building the multi-faceted retail development at I-80 and I-55, Shorewood will face even more truck and commuter traffic. This will impact the quality of life of all our residents.
Another issue is the depletion of the aquifers in Shorewood and western Will County. The Village is in the process of getting Lake Michigan water, but until that is in place, conservation is necessary. As western Will County continues to grow, the potential lack of drinking water is a major issue. According to the Illinois Water Survey Group, the current aquifers will be depleted within the next decade. We need to educate our residents on the importance of conservation.
Creation of a riverwalk along the DuPage River is another project the village should address. The Village of Shorewood has talked about creating a riverwalk since 1996. I would like to be part of the team that works with business owners to see this finally become a reality. The City of Naperville has a thriving downtown centered on their riverwalk. I believe that we can bring restaurants and retail to the area to create a family-friendly area making Shorewood a destination.
Warren: Our town’s water supply is drying up, and we have begun the process of getting Lake Michigan water to the village thanks to the referendum passed by the citizens. There is more to do on that front, and I want to see it through.
We need more businesses in Shorewood. We have already and continue to reach out and entice companies to build or expand. With the economy looking to be a little more stable, more businesses will come. The gas and wash, for example, that place serve as a great addition to that corner and offers huge benefits for ALL residents, especially those living on that edge of town. With the success they experienced, this should bring more interest to that part of the village.
Due to the village’s growth, which is a good thing, we are in need of a newer and larger facility for the public works department. This would be a big expense. We need to do this without raising taxes and pulling back the rebates.
DeBold: One of the village’s top issues would be responsible growth. We need to work on expanding our business development along Rt.52, and keep residential growth as well. Businesses are vital to the economic engine of the village & residents like to have different amenities readily available.
Another important issue facing Shorewood would be to complete the Lake Michigan water project. It has been shown that the ground water supply for the area is slowly decreasing. The village has passed a referendum to secure lake water and the beginning steps have begun. I want to see this thru in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.
Lastly, I feel the village needs to stay on top of village services. As business and residential growth occur, we need to be sure our infrastructure, police, and public works departments are adequately staffed to keep up with the growing needs of our village.
Anderson: Getting Lake Michigan water to Shorewood: A sustainable quality water supply for our future is a must. Development at our Towne Center: The recently proposed development at Rock Run on the east side of I-55 in Joliet: This development will have a very big traffic impact on Shorewood with the interchanges, bridges and increased traffic that may affect our roads.