SHOREWOOD - Economic development, affordability and selecting the next village manager are some of the top issues in the Shorewood Village Board election.
Incumbent board members Michael Maher and Ann McKaig are seeking re-election to the board, and newcomer Jessica Carpenter hopes to join the board for the first time. Shorewood voters will be asked to choose two of the three candidates in the April 4 election.
To help inform voters about the candidates, North Shore Now asked them to answer the following three questions in 50 words or less.
Why are you running for village board?
Maher: It has been a privilege to serve Shorewood as village trustee for the past 11 years. I have the skills, experience and commitment to work cooperatively, to make critical decisions to ensure Shorewood is safe, affordable, a great place to live and that your tax dollars are spent wisely.
McKaig: I love Shorewood — our neighborhoods, schools and businesses — and I keep a positive attitude about continuing to move Shorewood forward. My background, experience and relationship skills make me well qualified to ensure economic sustainability, rebuild aging infrastructure, select the best village manager and find common ground with all residents.
Carpenter: I am running because I saw actions taken by the board over time that made me question our decision-making process. As I talked to other residents and learned more, I realized I needed to get involved in order to positively impact the community we all love.
What do you think is the most important issue facing the Shorewood Village Board, and what do you think should be done to address that issue?
Maher: In the coming months, the village board will need to select a new village manager to replace the retiring village manager. It is critical for the future of the village that this be a thorough and thoughtful process resulting in the hiring of a highly skilled and competent manager.
McKaig: I believe that careful planning and collaborative decision-making is the most transparent plan to care for Shorewood in a way that balances today’s needs with tomorrow’s challenges. I am most excited about involving more people; improving communications; fixing the stormwater problems in the southeast quadrant; and, maintaining affordability.
Carpenter: I have met many seniors and young families who are worried they can't afford to continue living here. Extreme emphasis on large development has come at the expense of our infrastructure. The village board has to address concerns about increasing fees and taxes while working to maintain services.
Shorewood's business district has seen tremendous growth in recent years. How would you describe your approach to future economic development projects in the village?
Maher: I will continue to actively support the revitalization of our business district. The revitalized business district has added many new restaurants and unique businesses such as Draft & Vessel, Cloud Red, Three Lions, Camp Bar, Ruckus and North Shore Boulangerie. A vibrant and thriving business district attracts new residents and visitors.
McKaig: I have learned development is about carefully considering all reasonable opportunities that might contribute to our economic, social and environmental health. Future projects will be smaller in scale, reflect community priorities, and align with long-range market research. We know what the wishes and concerns are; we can work together.
Carpenter: We have done a great job of sparking new business, but we need to address the many empty storefronts. I'm the only candidate who doesn't support diverting more taxpayer dollars to fund large corporate development at the expense of community needs. Allocating resources appropriately enables everyone to thrive in Shorewood.
Address: 2100 E. Menlo Blvd.
Occupation: Chief financial officer and human resources director
Education: Master of Public Administration and B.A. Biology from University of Illinois-Springfield
Political history: Village trustee since 2005
Phone number: 414-841-3989
Email address: email@example.com
Address: 4539 N. Wildwood Ave.
Occupation: Consultant providing program development and professional coaching services
Education: MA in Art Therapy, University of Illinois-Chicago ‘92; BA, Northwestern ‘89
Political history: Appointed to vacant seat in 2013, and elected to full term in 2014; Parks Commission, 2008
Phone number: 414-758-0148
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 4360 N. Alpine Ave.
Occupation: Stylist for Mac & Mia
Education: Bachelors degree from Syracuse University in design and retail
Political history: Campaigned for the Obama and Hillary campaigns, first time campaigning for myself
Phone number: 310-709-8476
Facebook: Jessica Carpenter for Shorewood