Five seek three open seats on Burr Ridge Village Board
Who they are
Occupation: director and executive vice president, Lemont Bancorp; director, Lemont National Bank
Length of residency: 34 years.
Offices held: member, Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals 2005-present; member, Gower School Board, 1997-2001; vice president, Gower School Board, 2001-05; founding member, past president, Gower Foundation; founding member, past president, Hinsdale South Foundation
Occupation: senior project engineer, Ambitech Engineering Corp.
Length of residency: 35 years, 1967-1978, 1989-present
Offices held: Village trustee, Jan. 2013-present; member, Burr Ridge Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals, 1997-2013; vice chairman, Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals, 2004 and 2012; president, Burr Oaks Glen Homeowners Association, 2003-present; secretary, Burr Oaks Glen Homeowners Association, 1999-2003
Occupation: homemaker, former retail specialist and owner of an image and wardrobe consulting firm
Length of residency: 16 years
Offices held: organizer, Salvation Army toy drive; community volunteer
JANET RYAN GRASSO
Occupation: international flight attendant, American Airlines
Length of residency: 17 years
Offices held: member, founding board of governors, Five Seasons Sports Club, Burr Ridge; past president, Salt Creek Club, Hinsdale
Occupation: retired, director of operations
Length of residency: 17 years
Offices held: president, Chestnut Hills Homeowners Association
Updated: May 13, 2013 2:12AM
BURR RIDGE — The five candidates for three village trustee seats agree business is important.
But whether the focus is on attracting or maintaining business, and whether people need to be put first, is where they differ.
Candidate Diane Bolos said the village must find ways to retain those businesses already here.
“We have a vibrant business community that is enthusiastically supported by the residents,” said the longtime Plan Commission member. “I want to make sure we provide village support to enhance the continued success of the existing businesses while encouraging new business growth.
Bolos and Janet Grasso both said the village needs a family-friendly dining spot, while incumbent Trustee Guy Franzese sees a need for more upscale restaurants, a sports bar, and upscale shops.
Franzese and Kathryn Galainena also would like to see more corporations make Burr Ridge their home.
“ I am proud to say we now have enough restaurants and retail stores,” Galainena said.
Steve Less said he is interested in businesses that serve the people and generate income for the village. Less became involved in local politics when his neighborhood sought relief from noise generated by the Saia trucking company. He sees an opportunity to help other residents avoid such problems.
“The last two annexations were reactive due to issues with the use of the unincorporated property,” said Less.
He wants to help develop a long-range, comprehensive plan covering the undeveloped or under developed properties in and near Burr Ridge. The plan would include possible annexations or rezoning of areas to improve the village and its residents’ lifestyle, he said.
Franzese, appointed to the Village Board in January, believes the plan to improve the overpass at County Line Road and Interstate 55 is important to the village and its businesses, but he wants to proceed cautiously.
While all five candidates support the bridge project, Less and Bolos share Franzese’s concerns about the cost of ongoing maintenance of landscaping around the interchange.
Grasso said she is confident money from the hotel motel tax will cover all costs of maintenance of what she called a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to attract and welcome visitors to the village.
Galainena places the support and growth of the Police Department near the top of her list of important local issues. While previous administrations have talked of consolidation with neighboring departments, Galainena supports an independent force.
“I feel strongly that our police force needs to remain independent and fortified. We are no longer a sleepy little town,” she said.
Grasso, wife of former Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso, said she is running “to continue the work envisioned by others by continuing development and growth while maintaining the integrity of Burr Ridge.”