Cook faces Kilroy in 41st Ward race for area commiteeperson
by BRIAN NADIG
41st Ward democratic commiteeperson candidates Joe Cook and Bill Kilroy are both attorneys with a law enforcement background.
Current ward committeeperson Tim Heneghan, a retired firefighter, has decided not to seek re-election.
Cook, a Wildwood resident, is a senior attorney for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and has previously worked in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office in the gangs and narcotics divisions. He also serves as a major in the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps for the national guard.
Kilroy, a Norwood Park resident, serves as the chief legal counsel at Claim Services after recently retiring as a Chicago police lieutenant. He served 33 years on the police force, serving as a patrol officer, a police department legal officer, a sergeant and a 17th (Albany Park) Police District watch commander. Both candidates spoke at a Feb. 20 candidate forum hosted by the Big Oaks-Union Ridge Neighborhood Association.
Cook said that his background working in government would help him as committeeperson to recruit candidates who have the experience and qualities to be effective public servants, with a special eye toward finding "good, solid" local candidates.
"I believe I have a good idea of what a good candidate is to represent (the 41st Ward)," Cook said. "We need to have a stronger voice, stronger representation in the Cook County Democratic Party."
Kilroy said that as committeeperson one of his priorities would be to increase the ward’s voter turnout, explaining that he wants a voting bloc that the powers-to-be cannot ignore. He also has said that if elected he would not use the post as a stepping-stone for another elected position.
"I want the mayor and City Council to pay attention to us," Kilroy said. He added that the ward deserves better resources, especially when it comes to the number of patrol officers assigned to the area.
One undercurrent of the campaign is that Heneghan is endorsing Cook, while Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st) is backing Kilroy. Napolitano defeated Heneghan last year to win his second term as alderman.