Three vie for mayor's position in Sauk

1997-03-29T00:00:00Z Three vie for mayor's position in SaukLARRY GALICA
March 29, 1997 12:00 am  • 

SAUK VILLAGE - Mayor Mark Collins thinks he has done a good job governing

Sauk Village these past four years, and is asking voters to re-elect him to a

third four-year term on April 1.

But two challengers, Robert Kohnhorst and Roger Peckham, the latter a former

Collins' ally, believe it's time for a change of administration at the Village


Voters will decide the mayor's race and other village races on April 1.

Collins, 45, served as village trustee from 1987 to 1989. He was elected

mayor in 1989 and 1993. He has lived in Sauk Village for 23 years.

Collins said he wants a third term as mayor to continue the growth and

improvement since he has been mayor.

"I enjoy the job. I enjoy helping people get through red tape when they need

help dealing with the state, county or federal government," Collins said.

He said more than 100 new single-family-homes have been constructed in Sauk

Village. Most are located in new subdivisions, including Deer Creek Estates,

Lincoln Meadows, and Carolina.

Although Sauk Village did not get its promised intermodal facility, the

village did attract several new businesses, including Wayne Industries Steel

Pro, Chicago Air Power, Ferral Gas, and Alguire Tree Service. Other new

businesses include General Dollar store and Sparkling Spring car wash, Collins


The village is working with Trans Development to get other industries to

move into the village, Collins said. Collins said he would like to get a car

dealership, a big department store and other businesses into Sauk Village.

Kohnhorst, 61, said things in Sauk Village are not rosy. Kohnhorst ran

unsuccessfully two years ago for village trustee. He is a retired Sauk Village

Fire Department captain.

He has lived in Sauk Village for more than 30 years. He lived for two years

in the late 1980s in Florida before moving back to Sauk Village.

"We need a change out here. We can't continue as we are. Sauk Village is

going backward instead of forward," Kohnhorst said.

Sauk Village taxpayers may someday be hit with huge property tax hikes to

pay off $14.8 million in general obligation bonds eyed to finance the village's

third tax increment financing (TIF) district, he said.

The promised intermodal facility was supposed to be located in that third

TIF district. If the TIF bonds come due and there is not sufficient TIF revenue

to repay them, revenue from property taxes from the rest of Sauk Village may

have to repay them, Kohnhorst warned.

Collins charged Kohnhorst with spreading misinformation. The village has

issued only $10 million in the TIF bonds, which are general obligation bonds.

But, taxpayers won't repay them. As a last resort, the village can sell off

land in that third TIF district to obtain money to repay the bonds, Collins


Kohnhorst also charged the village mismanaged a single-family rehabilitation

program using Community Development Block Grant money. Cook County suspended

Sauk Village's participation in the CDBG program because homeowners were not

getting their homes fixed up properly, Kohnhorst said.

Peckham, 49, has lived in Sauk Village for 18 years. He is a former school

District 168 board member (November 1987 to March 1996), serving as president

from 1989-1995. He is a former village treasurer, from November 1987 through

January 1996.

Peckham was appointed a village trustee by Collins in January 1996. If

Peckham loses the mayor's race, he is out as trustee because the unexpired term

he is filling concludes on May 1.

"I'm not happy with the direction we're going," Peckham said.

He said there is a lack of communication between the mayor and the trustees.

He claimed the village, when it comes to dealing with new developments, jumps

at opportunities rather than considers serious planning.

Peckham said certain areas of the village, especially the townhouses on the

village's north end east of Ill. 394 look shabby. Some need repair. Code

enforcement should get after the owners to make needed repairs to improve the

image and safety of the village, Peckham said.

More planning needs to be done as far as fixing sewers and streets in the

older sections of the village, said Peckham, who promised he would do that if

elected mayor.

Peckham also would like to provide more youth activities. He said youngsters

should be involved in planning youth activities.

Peckham would not raise taxes, but would prefer charging user fees to fund

new youth activities, he said.

Other races in Sauk Village include village clerk and trustees. Marjorie

Tuley, the incumbent, is running unopposed for village clerk.

Seven trustee candidates are running for three trustee posts.

The candidates include incumbents Robin Flores and Mary Slawnikowski plus

newcomers John Dennis, Thomas Gorski, Dennis Kopaczewski, Robert Nordstrom, and

Henrietta Pawlowski.

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