By Josh Bootsma

Background: The Lansing Journal made efforts to contact all candidates in the April 6 election to gather information to share with Lansing voters. Using a “candidate info form,” we asked the same questions of each local office seeker. Answers were prepared and submitted by the candidates. We have been sharing the info race by race in a series of “Voter Guide” posts.

LANSING, Ill. (March 7, 2021) – Village Trustees represent residents’ interests as they sit on the Village Board and make decisions that affect businesses and individuals in Lansing. There are six Village Trustees that usually meet twice a month to discuss and decide on Lansing business. Trustees are paid $13,000 per year.

Why Village Trustee elections matter

ADVERTISING MESSAGE——

Village Trustees initiate, consider, and vote on issues that affect life in Lansing—economic development, public safety, roads and infrastructure, finances, and property. Trustees make their decisions by listening to resident concerns, asking for staff recommendations, and considering long-term impacts.

Since the last trustee election in 2019, Village Trustees have discussed property taxes, street resurfacing, COVID-19 safety precautions, and many other topics. The Village Board has also decided to deny special use requests for businesses with questionable backgrounds, while granting special use requests for many new and exciting businesses. Trustees have shared differing opinions on whom to hire, whether to support gambling in Lansing, and whether to increase salaries for elected officials.

Village Trustee elections – Four candidates running for three positions

The individuals below are the names voters will see on the April 6 ballot for the Village Trustee elections. All three terms are for four years. Four candidates are running for three positions.

Village Trustee election
Maureen Grady-Perovich (Photo provided)

Maureen Grady-Perovich (Independent)

Town of residence: Lansing

Education: BSN Purdue University, MS Purdue University, Doctorate Governors State University

ADVERTISING MESSAGE——

Occupation: Professor of Nursing

Resumé highlights:

  • Current Village of Lansing Trustee overseeing Youth Center and Insurance
  • Lansing Resident for 34 years
  • 41 years in Nursing (over 30 years in Emergency Nursing)
  • 14 years as Professor of Nursing
  • Active Volunteer, Honor Flight Chicago, Common Ground, Volunteer Recognition Committee

Most important issues:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Public Health / Safety
  • Communication with stakeholders

Goals and promises:

  • I will answer emails and telephone calls and follow up as indicated, communication is the core value in improving Lansing.
  • Work closely with Lansing businesses schools, churches, organizations and Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce to define areas where we can work together for a common goal.
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • I am appreciative of the enormous confidence you, as voters, have placed in me as I represent you in my current role as Village Trustee. I will continue to work with the various stakeholders to improve communication regarding issues impacting the Village. I will continue to support cost effective plans to improve our Village’s infrastructure and services needed by our residents, businesses, and visitors. Continue to use position as Trustee to represent you by actively listening to your concerns and addressing them in the appropriate forum.
Village Trustee election
Brian Hardy (Photo provided)

Brian Hardy (Village Voice Party)

Town of residence: Lansing

Education: Graduated from T.F. South High School; attended St. Joseph’s College

Occupation: Self-employed fabricator/welder

Resumé highlights:

  • 4 years experience as an elected Village Trustee in Lansing
  • Owner/operator of a successful business in Lansing for over 33 years (Chicago’s Finest Ironworks)
  • Former President and Director of the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, 1996 to 1999

Most important issues:

Some of the most important issues include:
  • Continuing to fund our Pavement Management Program to help repair and maintain our streets
  • Maintaining an aggressive pursuit of grants to financially assist all of our departments
  • Working with other taxing bodies and other local agencies to reduce property taxes for both Lansing residents and businesses
  • Collaborating with other local agencies and groups on programs and events that benefit Lansing residents

Goals and promises: As a Village Trustee for the last 3 1/2 years, giving back to my community has always been a priority.

As a resident and business owner in Lansing for over 30 years, my goal is to promote and develop continued economic development throughout the Village while also prioritizing public safety for our entire community.

Village Trustee election
Micaela Smith (Photo provided)

Micaela Smith (Village Voice Party)

Town of residence: Lansing

Education: MBA & MPH, Saint Xavier University; Bachelor of Science, University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign

Occupation: Community Relations & External Affairs Coordinator, Thornton Township

Resumé highlights:

Here are three bullet points that indicate my qualifications:

  • Chief of Staff for a State Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr., 2012-2019
  • Assistant Director of Government Affairs & Community Relations for Chicago State University, 2019-2020
  • Lan-Oak Park District Commissioner, 2017-present

Most important issues:

  • COVID Recovery- The COVID-19 pandemic has created a crisis for all and it’s critical to revitalize our Village so that our businesses, families, seniors and students can thrive again.
  • Public Safety- The recent spike in carjacking, other robberies and theft has made our communities apprehensive. It is extremely important to enhance public safety measures to protect the well-being of citizens.
  • Interact with Businesses- Maintain a neutrally beneficial relationship between the Village of Lansing and its business community through programs such as the Lansing Facade Improvement program.

Goals and promises:

  • Constituent Services – Provide assistance for programs and resources that are necessary to sustain improved quality of life.
  • Accessibility – Encourage open communication, feedback and discussions about any issues, concerns and questions.
  • Partnerships & Collaboration – Working together can help achieve goals for long-term cost-savings and service improvements to strengthen the community.
Lionel Valencia (Photo provided)

Lionel Valencia (Village Voice Party)

Town of residence: Lansing

Education: Attended Hyles Anderson College and received a continuous improvement certificate from the University of Wisconsin

Occupation: Director of Operations at Staffing, Inc. in Willowbrook, IL

Resumé highlights: 

  • Appointed as a Village Trustee in 2020
  • Chairman, Lansing Human Relations Commission, 2018 to 2020
  • Past President, Lansing Association for Community Events (L.A.C.E.), 2018 and 2019

Most important issues: Together with my fellow candidates, we will continue to work on making a difference in the quality of life for diverse groups of Lansing residents. As the former president of L.A.C.E., I see the Fox Pointe venue as an ideal location to bring groups together and help create a shared sense of community.

Goals and promises: I am proud to be a voice for our growing Hispanic community. As a representative, I bring different perspectives to the table. As a Spanish speaker, I can help bridge communication gaps that may exist. I have spoken to many of our Hispanic business owners and want to continue to seek ways to incorporate their existing needs as well as potential new business owners into village economic planning. I will work hard to facilitate communication not only for our Hispanic residents and business owners but also for the entire Village, our businesses, and all our residents.

Village Trustee elections will be held on April 6, 2021. Village offices are located at 3141 Ridge Road, Lansing, IL

Related


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1 COMMENT

  1. Nice job, Josh and the Lansing Journal. Thank you! Dr. Maureen C. Grady-Perovich

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