Westville: 3 candidates for mayor, 8 for village board

WESTVILLE — Voters will have three choices for mayor, and eight choices for three village board seats on the ballot in April.

Incumbent Mayor Jeff Ellis is seeking re-election against former Mayor Michael Weese and current village Trustee Bill Cottrell.

The board seats held by Cottrell, Dena Jenkins and Rick Jones are up for election. Jenkins and Jones are both seeking re-election, former board members Don Hall and John "Rusty" Golden are seeking to rejoin the village board, and newcomers Larry Hitzeroth, Mark Dunham, Greg Petticrew and James Ceader want to join the board.

Mayor

Jeff Ellis

Age: 30

Occupation: Sales supervisor, Gaudio & Son

Incumbent: Yes

Other political experience: none

What experience makes you a good candidate: The past four years have been a great learning experience for me. I have brought new business to the village and currently working on furthering progress for a new CVS/Pharmacy. I have lived in Westville all my life and take it personally when there are legitimate complaints about the village. I strive to correct those issues.

What are the most important issues facing the village: The state needs to keep up with funding to municipalities. Also, our park bathrooms are in need of upgrades, and several storm sewers need to be upgraded.

Michael Weese

Age: 63

Incumbent: No

Other political experience: Westville village president for 12 years, village trustee for two years

What experience makes you a good candidate: I have already held the position for 12 years and had good relations the citizens of Westville.

What are the most important issues facing the village: Controlling village finances, as well as improving village streets and improving the village's infrastructure.

William (Bill) Cottrell

Age: 46

Occupation: Illinois conservation police officer

Incumbent: I am currently a Westville village trustee

Other political experience: Georgetown city alderman for one year

What experience makes you a good candidate: In addition to my leadership traits and skills, my experience as gas and water chairman and buildings and grounds chairman for the village have allowed me to work with numerous people and agencies to resolve some of the most important issues the village faces. I have seen the need for many upgrades and repairs that previous administrations have refused to recognize, and have worked to rebuild the infrastructure of our village-owned gas and water systems.

What are the most important issues facing the village: The most important issues I see facing our village are the necessary upgrades to our infrastructure, and the financial impact the village will be subject to by the overdue funding from the state of Illinois. This causes the village board to consider other means of funding, yet still provide safe and reliable services by owning our own infrastructure. Fiscal responsibility is needed in these trying times.

Westville Village Trustee — Vote for 3

Larry Hitzeroth

Age:69

Occupation: Retired

Incumbent: No

Other political experience: None

What experience makes you a good candidate: My background in scouting.

What are the most important issues facing the village: Times are hard and they need someone who cares. I care!

Don Hall

Age: 68

Occupation: Retired engineer from NACCO / Hyster

Incumbent: No

Other political experience: Seven years as trustee on Westville Village Board

What experience makes you a good candidate: I have already served on the village board. I have also had many years of management experience at NACCO / Hyster, requiring me to supervise and work with groups of people in order to coordinate and complete projects, create budgets, and handle departmental matters such as wages, discipline matters, and promotions.

What are the most important issues facing the village: The most important task is to prioritize the needs of the people and the community so as to get what is most important budgeted and completed with the money and manpower available. This needs to be accomplished while still maintaining a surplus of funds for unexpected emergencies. It is also very important to separate village funds and the funds for our village-owned gas and water systems. Both should operate as independently as possible.

Greg Petticrew

Age: 52

Occupation: Self-employed

Incumbent: No

Other political experience: None

What experience makes you a good candidate: Life.

What are the most important issues facing the village: The same issues that the village has faced for years — outdated water, drainage and sanitary lines. (The only reason that East Kelly is getting fixed is because of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.) Wasteful spending, abandoned properties and relying on the state to pay its bills are also problems.

Dena Jenkins

Age: 46

Occupation: Registered Nurse

Incumbent: Yes, I have been a trustee for the past four years

Other political experience: None

What experience makes you a good candidate: My experience on the board has given me a better understanding of the way government works. There is much more to the position than just attending meetings. There are many steps to any process that is done in government. All decisions should be made in the best interest of the village. Trustees are elected to represent the citizens and it is their job to listen and weigh all sides before making a decision.

What are the most important issues facing the village: With all the federal and state cuts that are headed our way, I think finance is our biggest issue. We need our village employees to complete repairs and maintenance without having to go outside and pay other companies. We have done well with this in the past couple of years, and our village employees have saved us tens of thousands of dollars. Having the proper equipment, training and employees to complete these jobs can be one of the biggest benefits that we have.

Rick A. Jones

Age: 56

Occupation : Locksmith

Incumbent: Yes, I have been a trustee for the past four years

Other political experience: Precinct committeeman

What experience makes you a good candidate: I have spent the last four years learning some of the ins and outs of running a village. I consider being a trustee a privilege, but it does require a commitment of time. I feel I have a good working knowledge of practical issues such as road repair, maintenance and replacement of equipment. My prior job was maintenance at the Danville prison.

What are the most important issues facing the village: We need to hold the line on all areas of spending, yet sometimes realize that quality of life is important, too, such as upgrading our park, repairing our roads. It is a balancing act, for sure.

John "Rusty" Golden

No information provided

Mark Dunham

No information provided

James Ceader

No information provided

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