Winnetka Caucus selects slates for April election
Pieces for the April municipal elections continue to fall into place.
And plenty of new faces are among the Winnetka Caucus’ recommendations in five local races: village president, village council, Winnetka Park District Board of Commissioners, Winnetka District 36 School Board and Winnetka-Northfield Public Library Board.
The caucus considers its members to be all voting-age residents of Winnetka, and the group is run by a caucus council that this year consists of 32 individuals, said Scott Meyers, the caucus chairperson. The council recommends candidates for open municipal positions each election cycle; the recommendations are approved by the caucus at-large. Nominations can also be made “from the floor,” or outside the caucus recommendations.
In April, 16 positions are up for grabs across the four local boards, and Meyers said the caucus received more than enough applications to fill those seats.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” he said. “… I felt very good about the quality of candidates and just the general interest.
Atop the caucus list is Village President Chris Rintz, who is again a slated candidate as he vies for his fourth two-year term in the top chair. Meyers said Rintz was the only applicant for the position.
In its “Meet the Candidates,” the caucus called Rintz a caring and determined leader who “has a great sense of the pulse of the community.”
With three two-year Village Council seats opening, the caucus slated incumbent Bob Dearborn, Bridget Kathleen Orsic and Kirk Albinson. Dearborn is seeking his fourth term on the council, while Orsic and Albinson are newcomers with village-volunteer experience — Orsic with the Winnetka Plan Commission and Albinson with the town’s Design Review Board.
Current Trustee Andy Cripe is completing his fourth and final term with the council, while John Swierk said he applied to the caucus but was not selected.
For the Park Board, incumbents Christina Codo and Cynthia Rapp lead the caucus slate and are joined by James Hemmings, an attorney, and Jeff Tyson, an information-technology professional. Outgoing park Commissioners Mikey Archambault and David Seaman reportedly did not apply to the caucus.
The caucus’ Winnetka Public Schools Board of Education slate features Emily Rose, the current board president, as the only incumbent vying for re-election through the caucus. Rounding out the slate are Luke Figora, the vice president of operations at Northwestern University; Katherine Myers-Crum, an educational consultant and former charter school director; and Marena Rudy, a local schools volunteer and former small-business owner.
Four seats are expiring on the Library Board, and the caucus has slated incumbents Travis Gosselin, Deborah Vandergrift and Ranjini Shankar, as well as Matt Kinnich, a member of the caucus system in Northfield and former member of the Northfield Architectural Commission.
Residents of Winnetka are welcome to attend the caucus’s fall town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16. During the evening, the candidates slates are up for approval, guests can ask the candidates questions, and floor nominations, which must be announced three weeks in advance, can be made.
Meyers said a floor nomination will be heard in regard to the Winnetka Public Schools slate. Caucus council member PK Wilson nominated Patrick Conway for the slate. The nomination will be considered during the town hall.
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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