GLENWOOD | Four residents will compete for three, four-year seats in the April 9 election for village trustee.
With current Trustees Alvin Freeman and Twone Thomas not seeking re-election, that makes Carmen Hopkins the only incumbent on the ballot.
Hopkins is running as part of Village President Kerry Durkin's Progressive Action Party, which also includes trustee candidates Ron Gardiner and Paul Styles.
Hopkins, 49, was elected village clerk in 2009 and appointed trustee by Durkin in December 2011.
Hopkins believes his background as a real estate accountant makes him qualified to deal with economic issues facing the village.
"I think it makes me a little bit more of a viable candidate," he said.
The improvement of village parks, resurfaced streets and the hiring of additional police officers are some of the things accomplished during his time on the board, Hopkins said.
Gardiner, 48, is no stranger to Glenwood politics. He served as trustee from 1999 until 2007, when he lost a re-election bid.
Gardiner, a marketing director for a Chicago law firm, has worn many hats in the village, including serving as past president for both the Glenwood Lions and United Way of Glenwood.
He is currently the Economic Development Commission's liaison to the Village Board and is a former board member of the Southland Chamber of Commerce.
He identified keeping home values stable as his main goal.
"The way I think that we can do that is to have good public safety, good infrastructure (and) youth programs," Gardiner said.
Styles, 72, wants to find resolutions to the village's vacant housing problem and the vacancies in the Glenwood Plaza on Halsted St.
"We need to make something happen with Glenwood Plaza because that's the cornerstone of the village and it's the first thing everybody sees and it looks terrible," he said.
Styles plans to call upon his experience as a member of the village's Plan Commission and as a former member of Economic Development Commissions in both Flossmoor and Oak Forest.
"I spent 20 years in the mortgage business, and then I spent 15 years building and owning shopping centers," Styles said.
The three Progressive Action candidates face a challenge from Mark Myers, 52, who is running as an independent.
Myers, a chemical compounder for a hair care company, ran unsuccessfully as an independent trustee candidate in 2011.
He said he wants to bring businesses to Glenwood to help offset property taxes.
"As you drive up through the Village of Glenwood, you can see we lost a lot of businesses," Myers said. "We don't really have too many restaurants, and so those are some of the things that concern me."
If elected, he wants to hold regular forums so residents can ask questions and trustees can be more available to those they serve.
"We have a lot of seniors here in the Village of Glenwood that are not able to come out to the Village Hall meeting," Myers said.
In the election for Village Clerk, Ernestine Dobbins runs unopposed for a four-year term as a member of the Progressive Action Party.
Dobbins, 67, was appointed clerk by Durkin in 2011.
The former English teacher with the Chicago Public Schools said her organizational skills and professionalism suit her for the job.
"Since I've been appointed to the board in December (2011), I have not missed one meeting," Dobbins said. "I think that speaks to the fact that I am committed."