River Forest President Cathy Adduci won a third term in the April 6 election. | Photo provided

On April 6, Cathy Adduci took two-thirds of the vote to win a third term as River Forest village president. Patty Henek, a current village trustee, garnered 34 percent of the vote. 

In an interview with Wednesday Journal on April 13, Adduci said she is “elated” to have been elected for a third term.

“There were many people I worked with, and I’m appreciative for the help and guidance of everyone,” Adduci said. “I’m proud of us -– myself and my supporters – for running a positive campaign, focusing on discussion and solutions.”

The overall direction the village will take, however, isn’t going to change, Adduci said, while acknowledging that there may be tweaks along the way.

“We will finish the initiatives we’ve started,” said Adduci. “We will continue to improve the quality of life in River Forest.”

Some of these areas include support for an ever-increasing older population, continuation of the stabilization of property taxes, and ongoing efforts to spend within the means of the village. Enhanced safety for residents and the village’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives will continue to be efforts of great focus. That includes River Forest’s growing relationship with Maywood.

Strengthening already positive interactions with neighboring Oak Park is important too, said Adduci, as is developing deeper connections with Forest Park and Elmwood Park, which also neighbor River Forest.

Adduci said she’s also excited about development in the village, including on the corner of Lake Street and Lathrop Avenue, where environmental remediation is finally finished. Making the area safe and cleaning it up was always the goal for the property, Adduci said. Debate over the project continued Monday at the village board where three members demanded additional information on the development.

Adduci also stated that the village will look at “meaningful development” at Lake Street and Park Avenue, and she said she’s excited to see economic growth on both North Avenue and Madison Street.

All voices are important, stressed Adduci, even those of residents who didn’t support her run for reelection.

“I want to include everyone in the conversation,” Adduci said. “It’s not about winning or losing. We all win by working together.”

In the village trustee race, Lisa Gillis (1,770 votes, 28.4 percent), Respicio Vazquez (1,615 votes, 25.9 percent) and Ken Johnson (1,456 votes, 23.3 percent) were elected to fill three open trustee seats in River Forest. Johann Buis, who came in fourth, trailed Johnson by only 56 votes.

Gillis, a 23-year resident, raised three children in town and brings over 30 years of advertising and business experience to the board. She currently serves as chair of the River Forest Sustainability Commission, has been a member of the Oak Park-River Forest Infant Welfare Society for over 20 years and is an adjunct professor and lecturer at Dominican University. She plans to focus on COVID recovery, equity and inclusion, and affordability.

Ken Johnson, a 15-year resident, raised two daughters in town. Johnson has practiced law for over 25 years and opened his own firm in 2003. Johnson wants to see the village continue to be “one of the most desirable places to live in the Chicagoland area” and plans to focus on community engagement and ensuring the long-term economic success of River Forest.

Respicio “Res” Vazquez, the only incumbent in the race, will serve a second term as a village trustee. He plans to focus on COVID recovery, equity and inclusion, and maintaining the financial stability of the village.

In the contested race for two seats on the River Forest Park District Board of Commissioners, Mike Grant (1,576 votes, 33.4 percent) and Carl Bade (1,316 votes, 27.9 percent) were victorious over Brad West (990 votes, 21 percent) and incumbent Mark Brown (831 votes, 17.6 percent). 

Three candidates sought two positions as River Forest Library trustees, and the winners were Ann Berens (1,856 votes, 45.7 percent) and Cathryn Ruggeri (1,171 votes, 28.8 percent). Katherine Bevan received 1,039 votes.

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