Lincolnwood installs officials

by Sean Keenehan

The Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees at its meeting May 2 installed Barry Bass as new mayor of the village, Georjean Nickell and Jean Ikezoe-Halevi as new trustees and acknowledged outgoing mayor Gerald Turry and trustees Lawrence Elster and Craig Klatzco for their service.

Bass defeated Turry for mayor in the April 4 municipal election, where Bass received 1,175 votes, or 56.9 percent, and Turry received 890 votes, or 43.1 percent, according to the Cook County Clerk.

"In the days since the election I have heard from hundreds of residents and look forward to getting started on building a better village for all," said Bass. "We’ll hit the ground running to address the issues of the residents who have spoken out. It is with humbleness and excitement that we begin a new chapter for our village. Assembled here tonight is a new composition of trustees who have pledged to make Lincolnwood a better place to live."

Turry had served three terms as mayor and was seeking a fourth term on the Lincolnwood Alliance Party slate. Prior to being elected mayor in 2005, Turry was elected as a trustee in 1995 and re-elected for three terms.

Village clerk Beryl Herman, who was re-elected and sworn in for a another term at the meeting, acknowledged Turry for his contributions to the village as an elected official.

Herman said that Turry was instrumental in securing grants to purchase the former Union Pacific right-of-way to build recreational paths, a pedestrian bridge and fund future streetscape improvements on Devon Avenue, worked on replacing infrastructure that includes parks, water mains and street lights and improving the streetscape at the intersection of Touhy and Crawford avenues.

Herman mentioned the reconstruction of Crawford Avenue, implementing a pilot stormwater management project, developing the Northeast Parkway connector roadway, creating two tax increment financing districts and implementing several ordinances and policies in the village, including updating the village’s Comprehensive Plan and amending the Village Code to allow restaurant drive-throughs in certain retail areas of the village.

"I would like to recognize him on being a mentor on politics, governmental activities and technology. He’s been wonderful," said Berrman. "The Village of Lincolnwood Board of Trustees do hereby wish Gerald C. Turry all the best towards a well-deserved rest from the demands of public office."

Village manager Timothy Wiberg presented Turry with a plaque bearing his official village badge, a framed photograph of village staff members wearing bow ties in Turry’s honor, a rocking chair and a gift basket containing a lifetime pass to the pool at Proesel Park. Wiberg also acknowledged Elster and Klatzco, who were also presented with rocking chairs and gift baskets containing a season passes to the aquatic center.

"I am humbled by the amount of time that you all provide to the village and this community, you guys are basically volunteers," said Wiberg. "I can tell the public that they are all well-served by your dedication and your excellence that you provide to this village."

Turry thanked the board, village staff, residents and volunteers who serve on various committees and commissions in the village and acknowledged several individuals who have inspired his career in village government, including Sally Blackman and late trustee Bob Abelson.

"To our residents I say demand excellence from your elected officials and truth and explanations and attention when you ask a question. I remain optimistic for the future of Lincolnwood and the work ethic of the new board," Turry said.

"To be a successful mayor, one must listen with rapt attention, deal fairly with all parties across a multitude of issues, invoke the golden rule as one’s compass in those dealings, while summoning up a full measure of patience throughout. One must care and care deeply about all of the people one serves and the community one stewards and represents. Board members must remember that you are elected at large, not by a ward or a neighborhood. I surely tried and I hope I was faithful to those standards."

Elster was elected as a village trustee in 1997 and served as a trustee for five terms, including on multiple committed.

"I am confident that the village will continue to be a vibrant community under the thoughtful guidance of our elected officials, including our newly-elected mayor and trustees, the dedicated residents who serve on our boards and committees, and our excellent and talented village staff," said Elster. "Thank you all for your service to our community."

Klatzco was elected as a village trustee in 2013 and lost his bid for re-election for a second term. Klatzco also served for 8 years on the Lincolnwood Public Library Board, and on several committees.

"Craig will be missed by the village board and the mayor will be pressed to find someone to take the challenge of the warrants the way Craig did," said Turry.

The new village board members were sworn into office following a 15-minute recess, and trustee Ronald Cope, who was re-elected for a second term in April, was reappointed as a village trustee.

During the village president’s report, Bass offered to nominate Renan Sugarman, a member of the Board of the Fire and Police Commission, to fill his vacant trustee seat. A majority vote is needed to appoint Sugarman and trustee Ronald Cope made a motion to table the appointment to the May 16 meeting in order to allow the board time to review and discuss the nomination.