By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff
The makeup of the Village Board will change when the new board gets sworn in next month.
On April 4, voters said goodbye to one village trustee, while welcoming in two fresh faces and retaining one board member.
The three new board members approved by voters this year were incumbent Margie Bonuchi, and new comers Cally Larson and Larry Newton.
Bonuchi, a 22-year resident of Plainfield, will now fill her third term as village trustee. In addition to being a board member, Bonuchi has also spent time on the YMCA Y advisory board, served as the chair of the Foundation for Excellence, and volunteered with the Harvest 5K and the Rotary Club.
Larson will fill a seat as a new member. A realtor and business owner, she’s lived in the area for 16 years and inside the village limit for the past five years. Larson brings to the board an understanding of local real estate and economic issues.
Newton has been in the area for the past 19 years, and was most recently in public service as a commissioner with the Plainfield Park District.
Leaving the board are Tim Ruane, who was working as a two-month appointee filling a vacancy. Also leaving is Garrett Peck, who earned the fewest votes in the April 4 election.
On April 10, Peck thanked the voters, and wished the newly elected board members good luck.
“Nobody likes to lose, but that’s democracy and the way it goes,” Peck said.
A total of 8,283 votes were cast for village trustees, as voters were asked to pick three of four candidates. The total vote count for the contested seats were as follows:
Margie Bonuchi – 2,387
Garrett Peck – 1,602
Larry Newton – 2,121
Cally Larson – 2,173
Mayor Michael Collins ran for his seat unopposed, earning all 3,423 votes cast for mayor.
Library referendum defeated; new faces on board
Meanwhile, it was strike two for the Plainfield Public Library District, as voters once again defeated a referendum to build an addition at the library by a wide margin.
A $25 million building bond and operating rate referendum was greeted with a resounding no from voters. With 45 of 45 precincts reporting, the nays defeated the yays, 4,663 votes to 2,469 votes.
“The Plainfield community has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 25 years, and the existing space and budget don’t allow us to provide the kind of services people come to expect from a 21st century library,” said Lisa Pappas, interim library director. “We are disappointed that voters chose not to enhance the library, but we will forge ahead to continue to provide the kind of service people expect from us.”
The referendum would have allowed the district to renovate the existing downtown library, and add a
23,000 square foot addition, by adding an estimated total cost to the average homeowner in Plainfield of $128 per year for a $237,000 home.
A similar referendum was defeated in 2016.
“It’s too soon to tell when we will attempt another referendum or what form future expansion plans might take,” Carl F. Gilmore, library board president, said in a statement released by the district. “As a board, we wish to thank the citizens who volunteered and worked so hard in support of these referenda. Going forward, the board will look to operate the Library to the best of our ability with our current budget and space.”
The board of trustees anticipates it will have to shorten hours as well as cut popular services in the near future.
The new members of the Plainfield Library Board of Trustees are Vicki M. Knight, Patricia Lynn Miller, Ryan Gilles, and Lisa Schmidt.
Voter totals for those board members were:
Jason M. Puetz – 2, 593
Vicki M. Knight – 3,598
Patricia Lynn Miller – 3,680
Ryan Gilles – 3,071
Lisa Schmidt – 3,812
Dist. 202 results
Results for the Plainfield School District 202 Race were as follows:
Rodney (Rod) Westfall – 4,539
David W. Koch – 4,671
Robert C. Smith – 5,187
William A. Slabich, Jr. – 4,335
Michael E. Robey – 4 521
Nabeeha Bakhrani – 3,446
Total – 26,699
Of the 419,882 registered voters in Will County, 75,039 ballots were cast. That represents a voter turnout of 17.87 percent, according to Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots’ office. Election results are not official until Tuesday, April 25, when all provisional and mail in ballots have been counted.
Complete election results can be found online at www.thewillcountyclerk.com.