Kenilworth village president candidate Cecily Kaz sits down with The Record (video). Opponent Paul O’Connor backs out
Two Kenilworth residents have their hat in the ring to serve as the next village president.
Village President Ann Potter is not running for reelection and will be succeeded by either Trustee Cecily Kaz or Paul O’Connor.
The Record requested interviews with both candidates, and while both initially accepted, only Kaz followed through. O’Connor canceled and did not respond to requests to reschedule.
He reportedly also did not respond to an invitation to participate in a League of Women Voters forum Saturday, March 20.
Kaz has been a Kenilworth resident for eight years. She has three children at Joseph Sears School and a professional background in architecture and engineering, she told The Record.
Kaz has occupied a seat on the Kenilworth Village Board for four years. Her term is ending this year.
O’Connor, a father of six, is an electrical engineer and small-business owner who has lived in Kenilworth for 21 years, according to his profile at FriendsofKenilworth.org. It is unclear who founded or manages Friends of Kenilworth, but the website’s domain name — friendsofkenilworth.org — was registered on March 6.
O’Connor and Kenilworth trustee candidate Marjorie MacLean are endorsed by the group and information on both candidates’ platforms are available on the website.
According to the website the group’s purpose is to “elect independent leadership for a better Kenilworth,” and its principles are “fiscal responsibility,” ‘neighborhood life and home values,” and “transparency and community dialogue.”
Kaz was selected by the Kenilworth Citizens Advisory Committee, a 50-person nonpartisan group that has suggested candidates for Kenilworth municipal and school governance for more than 70 years.
The committee features delegates from an array of Kenilworth organizations, such as churches, the Boy and Girl Scouts, and the sailing and bowling clubs. O’Connor is an at-large member of the KCAC.
In her interview with The Record, a recording of which is below, Kaz answered questions about the Village’s COVID-19 response (starts at 1:10), infrastructure projects (4:40), economic development (9:45), TIF funding (12:00), streetscape improvements (15:40), Joseph Sears and inclusion (17:55), and community events and engagement (21:45).
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319