Village Board Shakes Things Up, Iconic Trustee Steps Down
There are a lot of changes happening with Skokie government. Among them, Mayor George Van Dusen is seeking re-election, a new corporate counsel will serve the village and several new candidates are running for trustee, among other changes.
One political era in Skokie is continuing, but others are concluding as the village board will see a mixture of new and old faces in 2013.
Mayor George Van Dusen, who has served as the village’s chief executive since 1999, has decided to seek re-election. The decision is not a huge surprise as he told Patch earlier this year he was “leaning” toward another run for office.
This last term has seen some notable achievements for Van Dusen including the opening of a new police station, a new fire station as well as a new stop on the CTA Yellow Line at Oakton.
“These accomplishments were the result of close collaboration and cooperation between the elected officials, Skokie’s residents and businesses and our professional staff,” Van Dusen said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to build on this path to success and future improvements.”
Van Dusen came into office in 1999 following the resignation of his predecessor, Jacqueline Gorrell. He was first elected to the village board in 1984 following a career that included being an aide to the late U.S. Congressman Sidney Yates.
While Van Dusen has decided to stay, there will be a notable shakeup around him. Marlene Williams who has served as Village Clerk since 1981 is stepping down and the Caucus Party has selected Trustee Pramod Shah to run for that position. Shah had served on the village board for one term.
“He is a terrific face of the party,” he said. “We like to have a balanced ticket. He has done so much for the party and he has lots of contacts with the Indian community. Pramod knows a lot of people.”
Another one term trustee is leaving the board, but like Shah will not be going far, as Michael Lorge is expected to be named Corporation Counsel for the Village, according to multiple sources. Lorge will be taking over for Patrick Hanley who is retiring after serving in that role since September 2002.
A true civic servant steps down -
Finally, Don Perille, 84, who has been part of village government since John Kennedy was in the White House, has decided to move on.
Perille, moved to Skokie in 1959. Two years later he started a 28 year run on the Planning Commission before moving to the village board in 1989. He conceded he considered stepping down before the last election but decided to serve one last term and has now decided it is the right time to retire.
“I’ve got a lot going on in my life,” Perille said. “I just didn’t want to do it anymore. It’s also time for some people to move up. I have sat on that seat for a long time.”
Incumbents Michele Bromberg, Randy Roberts and Edie Sue Sutker have been slated once again by the Caucus Party along with Karen Gray-Keeler, Ilonka Ulrich and Ralph Klein to fill the three seats that have been vacated. Skokie Voice founder Lisa Lipin is mounting an independent candidacy for trustee.