Two candidates who already hold elected positions in Fox Lake are vying to be the village president.
Edward Bender, 75, a retired executive from W.W. Grainger, has been village president for four years. He is being challenged by Donald Schmit, 59, owner of construction company Precision Boring. Schmit sits on the village’s board of trustees. Both are longtime residents.
Schmit’s impetus for running for president appears to be the decision to give a $150,000 economic incentive to a gas station, the village’s 13th, as the previous 12 stations had to invest their own capital. He argues that incentives should be given only to businesses that will attract visitors to town.
He also pledges to focus on economic development, if elected, and to be more accessible.
Bender said that the incentive to the new gas station meant a vacant building now was occupied and the owner would improve the property. He has spent his term as president advocating for the need to market Fox Lake as a destination point for visitors. The village has letters of intent from a hotel and restaurant that want to locate there.
Bender also has been fiscally responsible: The fund balance at the end of 2010 was $175,000. By December 2012, the fund balance was $3.9 million, he said. Conscious of what the economy has wrought on the village – high unemployment and foreclosure rates – he said he would continue to be fiscally prudent and work to not raise taxes.
We endorse Bender.