Thornton village president will not seek re-election

2012-12-06T00:00:00Z Thornton village president will not seek re-electionPaul Czapkowicz Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
December 06, 2012 12:00 am  • 

THORNTON | Change is coming to the village next year, as Jack Swan has announced he will not seek re-election as village president.

"At the end of this term, which would be May 1, I have served here 20 years," Swan said. "I just decided that I think I should step down and let some younger blood get in here."

Swan had served as fire chief for two years prior to becoming village president.

He said establishing a full-time paramedic program, expanding the Police and Public Works departments and hiring a full-time superintendent for the Recreation Department were among his proudest accomplishments in office.

Besides Swan's position, three trustee seats will be up for election in April, as the terms of Kim Atkinson, Judy Diekelman and Joseph Pisarzewski will expire. The village clerk position will also be up for election.

Village Clerk Debbie Pisarzewski will run for re-election. She said her husband, Joseph, will run again for trustee, as will Atkinson. She said Diekelman will run for village president.

The village president, trustees and clerk all serve four-year terms.

The filing period for those seeking election on the April 9 ballot is Dec. 17-26.

In addition to the five village positions, the Library Board and Thornton School District 154 each have five board seats available.

In other village news, the Thornton Police Department was recently awarded a Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program grant by the Illinois Department of Transportation in the amount of $9,850.

The grant allows the village to pay overtime to officers so they can do extra patrols or conduct roadblocks at certain times of the year as designated by IDOT.

Some of the main purposes of the grant are to enforce seat belt use, encourage proper child restraints and to prevent drunken driving.

"It gives us extra cars on the street for extra traffic enforcement, which reduces accidents," Police Chief Douglas Beckman said.

The Police Department conducted its first enforcement period around Thanksgiving. A second will be conducted in the days before and after Christmas.

"Usually they're for like two weeks around holidays," Beckman said.

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