By Devin Rose
Michael Gibbs, a current River Forest village trustee and candidate for village president next April, announced last week that he will run atop a slate of three other River Forest residents seeking election as trustees.
The first-time trustee candidates are Lissa Druss Christman, Tom Dwyer Jr. and Kevin Hanley. They were all raised in River Forest and want to preserve what they've always enjoyed about the community.
"We are all committed to the village and to where we live and where we grew up, and we just want what's best for our children, which is what we have right now," said Druss Christman, 43, who owns a communications firm based in River Forest.
She also works as a consultant with a Chicago public affairs and communications firm.
Dwyer, 34, is a certified public accountant and runs a law firm with his father. He also sits on the village's Traffic Safety Board. Hanley, 37, has worked in the financial services industry and currently works at Merrill Lynch.
"I think we all complement each other in our professional experiences to give the incoming board more of a variety of experiences that can help the village," Druss Christman said.
The candidates said that while they love the way the village is right now, they won't be blind to challenges and changes the future may bring. They'd like the future to reflect the past, but want to stay head of the times as well.
Gibbs said one advantage of running together is knowing that the trustees are like-minded but not lock-step. He said if elected they hope to promote the village to developers without taking ownership of areas to develop.
The financial experience that Dwyer and Hanley bring makes them a huge asset since the next board will need to watch its finances, Gibbs said.
To learn more about these candidates, visit their website at www.prideinriverforest.com. Residents vote for individual candidates and not for a slate of candidates.
Potential candidates have until late December to file nominating petitions to get on the April ballot. So far, in addition to the trustee slate announced Oct. 16, announced trustee candidates are Roma Colwell-Steinke, the current village clerk, and Tom Cargie, currently president of the River Forest Park District. Gibbs will challenge Trustee Cathy Adduci in a race for village president in the April 9 election.