CRYSTAL LAKE – Two newcomers are hoping to be a fresh voice on the Crystal Lake City Council, while most incumbents running for a seat are citing their years of experience as reasons why they make good council members.
There are three seats, for which there are five candidates, up for grabs in the April 9 election.
Ralph Dawson and Jeffrey Thorsen are longtime incumbents. Cameron Hubbard was appointed in November to fill a vacancy. The men are up against challengers Charles Ebann and James Tomasello.
"I bring a different perspective to the council," Ebann said. "My long-term corporate professional background is unique. ... I’ve had success with achieving cost reductions and obtaining favorable budget results. I think analytically and try to look at all aspects of a situation before making decisions."
Tomasello pledged to have an open ear for residents.
"I want to be sure that all citizens’ voices are heard and evaluated, especially if they take the initiative to express those concerns," he said.
Hubbard may be new to a city council that's been together for more than a decade, but he credited his family history in Crystal Lake for leading him to public service.
"My family farmed and helped settle this land, they held elected office, they were local business owners, and they raised our family here," Hubbard said. "Their example is an inspiration to me, and these roots are the foundation of my candidacy."
Thorsen lauded the city's accomplishments this past year with its incentives for businesses.
"The City Council has accomplished much in comparably slow years of economic growth," he said. "... These incentives immediately encouraged business to invest in spaces that would otherwise remain vacant. Incentives have also attracted and retained the types of companies that provide area jobs."
"I feel the biggest accomplishment over the past year that the city council has made would be the infill of over 1 million square feet of retail and commercial space," he said. "This new revenue is significant to our community’s economic growth."
Candidates for Crystal Lake City Council
Voters will select three • Ralph Dawson (i) • Charles Ebann • Cameron Hubbard (i) • Jeffrey Thorsen (i) • James Tomasello