Bass defeats Turry for mayor of Lincolnwood Village
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
Lincolnwood Village Board trustee Barry Bass defeated three-term incumbent Gerald Turry for mayor of the village in the April 4 municipal election.
Bass received 1,175 votes, or 56.9 percent, and Turry received 890 votes, or 43.1 percent, according to the Cook County Clerk.
Turry was seeking re-election to a fourth term on the Lincolnwood Alliance Party slate with incumbent trustees Ronald Cope and Craig Klatzco, and candidate Jean Halevi. Also running for trustee was Georjean Nickell, who was not a member of the party slate. Incumbent Beryl Herman was running unopposed for re-election for village clerk.
Cope received 1,256 votes, Nickell received 1,237 votes and Halevi received 1,111 votes. Klatzco lost and Herman was re-elected.
On his Facebook page, Bass said that Lincolnwood was his home where he was raised and where he raised his family and started a business.
"I can think of no greater honor than serving as mayor of my hometown," Bass said. "Together we built a coalition that spanned every community – a diverse body of residents committed to building a stronger, safer village." Bass thanked his supporters and thanked Turry for his 12 years of service.
"I look forward to working with you through the transition," Bass said.
Turry said that he was running for re-election because there was much to do in the village and that he wanted to continue to deliver village services. On the Lincolnwood Alliance Party Web site, the key points of its platform are to maintain a sound fiscal policy and keep property taxes low, continue government transparency, seek out businesses and developers to occupy underutilized sites, improve the village’s recreational and infrastructure facilities, beautify the village and maintain relationships with other local taxing bodies, neighboring municipalities and local, state and federal officials.
"I feel good and I believe that there is still a lot of good that I can do for the village," Turry said. "There are a number of projects that I want to continue and I am concerned about continuing to keep delivering the services that the village has. Public safely, public works, the police and fire. Those are important services in the village and we need to continue that. We need to continue that so people feel safe and that the village is kept clean and beautiful."
Turry was elected village trustee in 1995 and was re-elected three times before being elected mayor in 2005. Turry was an educator and administrator at Niles West High School for 30 years prior to his career in government.
Turry said that he is excited about the election and that he would work to address crime, development and finish a deal with the City of Evanston for the purchase of water instead buying it from Chicago.
Bass, who was elected as trustee in 2015, said that he is a lifelong resident who is running as an independent candidate for mayor because the village needs a new leader to attract businesses, stimulate the economy and create jobs.
"Turry will have an enlightening moment," Bass said. "The residents of Lincolnwood have had enough and they want someone with a vision."
Bass said on his campaign Web site that he wants to increase private investment to drive economic growth, ease regulations and get rid of "red-tape" to increase development, develop the Purple Hotel site, concentrate on the village budget that is, according to him, facing a $3.5 million deficit and upgrade technology, infrastructure and sewers.
"There’s been a mishandling of the Purple Hotel site and the village did not hold the developer accountable. No other entity would have allowed this. Certain legal action could have been taken and we could have had leverage. Eminent domain comes to mind. Things of that nature. Legal action should have been taken," Bass said.
Bass said that there has been an increase of crime in the village and that he would like to see more policing around the village.
"It’s not proactive policing. We have less visibility from police officers and it’s a big issue," he said. "Instead of using money to retain dispatch services when we had a 24-7 police department we have a station that closes at 5 p.m. There is no safe harbor for the village."
Turry said that every village has its share of problems, but he doesn’t think that violent crime has affected the village in the scope that Bass describes. "Every village has a crime problems," Turry said. "That’s why I have reinstated the Neighborhood Watch program." Turry said that the police department has been doing an outstanding job protecting the village.
"He can’t degrade what the police are doing," Turry said.
Bass said that by being a trustee on the village board since 2015, he has seen situations in the village that he does not like.
"If you are a friend of the cabal of people in charge then you get your zoning changes approved," he said. "If you know people then things get done. The residents are tired of the same old shenanigans."
Bass said that he was not seeking to become mayor until several months ago.
"I’ve been approached by a coalition that includes Georgia Talganis and Peter Moy and it was not something that I was seeking. But then I began to think that some people have no voice and I have made a choice to run," Bass said. Talaganis is a former village clerk and Moy is the former mayor of the village.
"Crime is rampant in Lincolnwood and with this mayor it’s like "Where is Waldo?" He’s got his glasses on and his bow tie and he is in Mexico. The guy thinks that it’s going to be a slam-dunk for him. It’s going to be 3-1 Bass," he said.
In response, Turry said that Bass has no understanding of the way the village works and that he is allowed to take vacations without being criticized.
"He’s been silent for 20 months since he became a trustee and now he’s running for public office and he’s talking. Where has he been for the past 20 months? No, we are not on good terms. He is going to lose big," Turry said.