Three incumbents survive Darien primary
VILLAGE OF DARIEN
Village board trustee
Craig McCue 94
Phil Putman 85
Cheryl Kaufenberg 80
Debi Olmstead 72
Allen Kenyon 58
Cindy Holmes 55
Helen Burton 53
Joel Gauer 50
DARIEN Even an incumbent says the citizens want change.
But all three incumbents Tuesday survived an eight-way primary for Darien Village Board.
Incumbents Craig McCue and Phil Putman were the top vote getters. Challenger Cheryl Kaufenberg took a close third.
Challenger Debi Olmstead, incumbent Allen Kenyon and challenger Cindy Holmes round out the top six who will go on to vie for three seats in the April election.
Helen Burton and Joe Gauer did not make the cut.
McCue is running for his second term on the village board. He said the first thing the village needs to do is get its police chief re-instated. Chief Steve DeVoy has been suspended with pay since Dec. 1.
McCue would also like to see “a shift in power on the board.” To function better, the board needs members who tend to split more evenly on votes.
“More 4-3 votes, not the 5-2 splits we have now,” McCue said.
As an example, McCue and Kenyon planned Monday night to ask for a vote to re-instate DeVoy. While the board never voted on the matter, McCue suspects he and Kenyon would have been the lone supporters of the motion.
Other than the police chief, the thing on everyone’s mind is the sewer system. The village sewer fund faces a shortfall because the aging system leaks. The village has to pay to treat more water than residents are pumping from wells.
It’s going to take money—a loan or a grant—to fix the problem, Putman said.
“It’s going to cost us money all the time,” he said.
Putman said everyone in the village is going to have to share the cost of fixing the sewer laterals that connect houses to the sewer main—even people such as Putnam whose laterals don’t need fixing, he said.
Fixing the sewers is a top priority for Olmstead as well.
She admits she’ll have some learning to do if elected and doesn’t know the perfect way to fix the problem.
But, “slapping higher rates on the citizens is not the right answer,” Olmstead said.
Kaufenberg said the village board’s focus needs to shift from personal agendas to topics that benefit everyone in the village.
“People really want to see people who sit on the board be people of honesty and integrity,” Kaufenberg said.
On April 7, voters also will choose between incumbent board President Bob Metzner and challenger Evelyn Etten.
Residents also will vote on a referendum asking whether they want village police officers to continue providing police protection. If the answer is “no,” the board might consider other options such as the sheriff’s office for police services, officials have said.