Longtime Schaumburg Trustee Connelly won't seek reelection; two other incumbents will
Schaumburg Village Trustee Marge Connelly will not seek reelection in the spring, but fellow incumbents Frank Kozak and Jack Sullivan will run for new terms, joining current plan commission Chairman Jamie Clar.
Having served on the board since 1997, and after 12 years on the Schaumburg Park District board, Connelly said it's time for someone else to step up.
"I think it's good to have more voices and different voices," she said.
Kozak, who co-chairs the Friends of Schaumburg campaign committee, said its three announced candidates -- he, Sullivan and Clar -- bring a combined 96 years of service to the village s.
"We did a lengthy selection process," Kozak said of Clar. "This is a big step for a lot of individuals. We didn't go to anyone who was inexperienced within the village. We wanted them to make the commitment wholeheartedly."
Sullivan, who has served on the board since 1993, initially was surprised he was being asked the same questions as the candidates being looked at as replacements for Connelly. But it proved a good opportunity for him to re-examine his reasons for running and commitment to the next four years, he added.
"My health is good, there's a lot going on, I have experience and I can't abandon the show right now," Sullivan said. "Experience tells you what you need to do and what you don't need to do. Anyone can say, 'We need to do this.'"
Clar, who runs an electrical contractor business, has more than 20 years' experience with the village. He also is chair of Schaumburg's electrical commission and was on the zoning board of appeals for 18 years before his appointment as plan commission chair in February.
He said he believes experience is a valuable asset in understanding the nuances of village government, and he finds his time with the zoning board and plan commission to have been particularly useful.
"I would say they're both very important," he said. "I've got a great amount of experience from both. ... It's always important to elect people with experience."
With the only woman on the board preparing to leave, Kozak said many qualified women were spoken to but couldn't make the time commitment without creating a hardship for their job or family.
Having already served 11 years on the board himself, Kozak said the complications being created by the pandemic made him feel more strongly that this wasn't the time for newcomers to be learning about government from scratch. He cited the major changes to the budget as well as the redevelopment of the former Motorola campus and the proposed entertainment district near the convention center.
"New people would take a year to learn all that," Kozak said. "I would hate to put a whole new set of people in place for (Mayor) Tom (Dailly)."
Connelly said she likely will endorse candidates for the April 6 village board election, but that won't happen until every name on the ballot is known.
"I think each candidate needs to be looked at for what they would bring to the table," Connelly said. "Political experience isn't the only thing that's relevant. It can be experience in many different ways."
She said her desire to hold off on an endorsement shouldn't be seen as a criticism of the known candidates.
"I think all of them are very capable and I have no objection to any of them," Connelly said.