HUNTLEY – Two new trustees ushered in a revamped Village Board for the next four years after being sworn in Thursday alongside returning Village President Chuck Sass and trustee John Piwko.
First-time trustees Ronda Goldman and J.R. Westberg anxiously waited to raise their right hand and recite the oath of office at the end of Thursday’s board meeting.
They watched village officials earlier recognize outgoing trustees Pam Fender and Rick Hahn for their service on the board.
“I have a lot to learn, but I will never forget my promises to the residents,” Goldman said. “I stood behind being a liaison with the counties, the townships and the chamber so that there will be someone from the village always represented.”
In Huntley’s only contested race, Goldman topped all candidates vying for three trustee positions in April’s municipal election. Piwko and Westberg also secured positions, while former trustee Jay Kadakia lost his comeback bid.
Westberg, who has served on the village’s Plan Commission, takes over as trustee after losing his first Village Board bid in 2009.
The former Air Force veteran said his No. 1 goal is to limit the use of tax dollars with the development proposals that frequently require the board’s attention.
“Much like the campaign, my focus is that any new development that happens in the village is primarily being picked up by the developers, not taxing the residents anymore,” Westberg said.
Piwko returns for his second full term as village trustee after being appointed to the board in 2007. During the election, he indicated he wanted to finalize certain pet projects, including the development of a connected sidewalk and bike path system throughout Huntley.
Sass, who has served as village president since 2001, returns for another four years after overseeing numerous projects that helped grow and develop Huntley during the 2000s.
Both Piwko and Sass said goodbye to colleagues Fender and Hahn. Hahn declined to run for re-election after playing out his 2011 appointment to the board. He will soon return to the Plan Commission.
Fender, a community organizer who has served since 2005, relinquished her trustee seat to focus on her candidacy for Grafton Township supervisor. She lost to independent Jim Kearns in April’s election after defeating incumbent Linda Moore in the February primary.
After being recognized, Fender said she would take time away from the public spotlight and focus on her personal life.
“I’m proud of (Goldman and Westberg). They will do a great job for this community,” Fender said. “Huntley is in good hands.”