Three terms enough for Montgomery president : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Three terms enough for Montgomery president |
|Michelini confirms she will not seek re-election next spring|
|by John Etheredge|
That's how Marilyn Michelini explained her recent decision not to seek a fourth term as Montgomery village president next spring.
"I don't have any specific reason, but like they say, you know when it's time (to step down)," Michelini said, adding, "I've loved every minute of it, but it's been three terms and I believe in term limits.
"I also believe in new ideas and it's good to have change," she continued.
Michelini described her decision not to run as being "very emotional, because I've enjoyed the job."
Michelini first ran un-opposed for village president in 2001 and then won re-election in a contested race against long-time village board member Pete Heinz in 2005. She again ran unopposed for her third and final four-year term in 2009.
Prior to her election as village president, Michelini served from 1987 to 2001 as a village board member and as an appointed member of the Kane County Board in 1982 and 1983.
The mother of five children was active in Parent-Teacher Organizations in the East Aurora School District in the 1960s and served as the district's representative on a committee that completed the feasibility study that led to the establishment of Waubonsee Community College in 1967.
Michelini noted that a "lot of her ideas" for the community have been fulfilled over the past several years.
She said she has no firm plans on how she will spend her time after her term ends following the April 9 election, but suggested she might travel more to visit her children.
"My oldest son was transferred to South Carolina and they have been wanting me to come down there and stay, but it is just difficult. If I want to stay for longer than a week it's just impossible," Michelini said, adding, "These are good retirement years and I have to consider that, too."
Michelini acknowledged the past year has been a difficult one for her as village president, but it did not affect her decision not to run.
Over the past year board members have clashed on budget and other issues. In a split ballot last April, the board voted to terminate the employment of Anne Maria Gaura after 11 years as village manager even though she had a full year left on her contract. Michelini had twice re-appointed Gaura to the village manager's position-subject to prior votes of approval by the board.
"Actually, I think we a have pretty good rapport on the board (now), though we do occasionally have some questions from left field," she said, adding, "I think I have a good working relationship with all of the board members and that's something I have been working to establish."
During Michelini's tenure as village president, the village experienced an unprecedented homebuilding and commercial business boom. Since 2001 the village's population more than tripled to over 18,000 in the 2010 census. Meanwhile, new stores opened in the village's shopping centers including Menards, Wal-Mart and JCPenney.
Looking back on her career as village president, Michelini said she is most proud of the board's decision to construct the new village hall at 200 South River Street in the village's downtown.
Referring to the new village hall, Michelini said, "It was not only needed, it was good for everyone. The building was designed so that it could give back to the community, the residents. We wanted them to feel that this was their village hall."
To accomplish that goal, Michelini said the building was designed with a community room that opens out onto a plaza area that now serves as a public gathering place for events like the village's annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and the annual 5K River Run. The community room is used by local civic groups and is the site of the village's monthly senior program gatherings.
Michelini singled out the establishment of the village's historic preservation commission and the preservation of the historic Settlers Cottage on the front lawn of the new village hall "as something I definitely worked for."
The dedication of a new village police station on U.S. Route 30 at Griffin Drive in 2005 was another important accomplishment for the village during her tenure as village president, Michelini said.
The village secured the site for the station by trading the old police station at 1460 South East River Road (Ill. Route 25) to the Fox Valley Park District for a vacant 25 acre parcel owned by the park district on Route 30.
"The police station was many years in the discussion stage," she said, adding, "Our old station was inadequate. I think the fact we were able to acquire the land on the west side where the new station is located was a good example of local governing bodies-the village and park district-working together to achieve something good for our community."
Michelini added that she is looking forward to the park district's expansion of the Stuart Sports Complex on property adjoining the police station.
"I'm happy to see that come to fruition," she said.
A more recent and significant accomplishment, Michelini said, is the widening of Orchard Road to five lanes by contractors for the Kane County Division of Transportation.
Michelini, other village officials, and the Montgomery Economic Development Corporation had been urging the county to widen the road for nearly a decade.
"We went to bat with the state, the county and the powers at be to get it done and it was tremendous to see it (the construction) actually happen over the past year," she said.
Michelini added she is also proud to have been a founding member and now past president of the Metro West Council of Government and of the Chicago Metropolitan Area Planning Group.
Michelini and Gaura led the effort to establish Metro West which serves as a lobbying organization for local governmental agencies from Kendall, Kane and DeKalb counties.
Michelini noted she was also a supporter of the village's initiative to create the Montgomery Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) as a public-private partnership between the village and local business community.
Endorse candidate in
next spring's election?
Michelini said she may endorse a candidate for village president in next spring's election.
"I know the people have taken out packets, but that means nothing because it come down to who files their petitions," she said.
"As I look at it, after all the candidates file, I may offer an endorsement. In the past I haven't because you are in a position where you have to work with everyone. But since I won't be here, I may endorse."
The one-week period for candidates to file their petitions at village hall will begin on Dec. 17 and end Dec. 24.