Contested village races in both North Riverside and Brookfield appear to have made a huge impact in the race for three open seats on the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 board last week.
On April 5, Riverside resident William McCloskey, North Riverside resident Karen Bensfield and Brookfield resident Laura Hruska were elected to the District 208 board, receiving 3,047, 2,905 and 2,800 votes respectively.
Brookfield resident Martin Crowley finished with 2,178 votes, followed by Riverside residents Luann Stirek (1,933) and Olga Pribyl (1,768).
McCloskey, who has strong family ties to North Riverside, and Bensfield benefited from relatively strong voter turnout in that village. Although only 44 percent of registered North Riverside voters went to the polls, North Riverside accounted for 20 percent all votes cast.
“I’m thrilled,” said McCloskey, who may have also gotten a boost in Brookfield from the fact that his wife is a teacher at S.E. Gross School in that village. “I’m shocked I was the leading vote getter.”
McCloskey, Bensfield and Hruska also did very well in Brookfield, which accounted for 56 percent of all votes and in LaGrange Park, which contributed another 7 percent.
While those three received 20 percent or more of the vote in those villages, Stirek and Pribyl received between 9 and 15 percent. Crowley did best in Brookfield and LaGrange Park, where he received between 14 and 18 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, apart from McCloskey, Riverside candidates were hurt by the fact that that village accounted for just 16 percent of the total votes cast. Stirek and Pribyl did well within Riverside getting 452 and 361 votes respectively, and outdrawing both Hruska (349) and Crowley (352).
Incumbents hang on in D96
It was a close call for President Cheryl Berdelle, but when the smoke cleared April 5, she and three other incumbents running for the Riverside District 96 school board had retained their seats for another four years.
Riverside resident Nancy Jensen was the leader at the polls, picking up 1,419 votes. She was followed by Linda Bade at 1,247 and Richard Volpe at 1,160.
Bade and Volpe were the two candidates not endorsed by the District 96 Caucus, but Bade campaigned harder than anyone during the run-up to the election. She was the only candidate with lawn signs visible in town and took out newspaper ads supporting her candidacy.
Volpe, meanwhile, was helped in part by a strong showing in the two Brookfield precincts, although he put up solid numbers in Riverside and North Riverside.
Berdelle edged out newcomer and slate mate John Allegretti by just 14 votes, helped in large part by a rather strong showing in the two Brookfield precincts. In those two areas, she outdrew Allegretti by 41 votes.
Ben Sells finished sixth in the race with 1,016 votes, who drew his strongest support from four precincts that make up the northeast quarter of the village.
Uncontested races in D94, 102, 103
There were three other uncontested elementary school board races in the Landmark area, North Riverside/Komarek School District 94, LaGrange-Brookfield District 102 and Lyons-Brookfield District 103.
In District 94, Mark Egger, William Frey, Katherine Fischer and Deborah Czajka were elected to the board.
In District 102, Michael Guagenti, Jennifer Camparoni and Jennifer Kurtz Crooks won election.
Meanwhile, in District 103, Stephen Mazur was elected to fill an unexpired two-year term, while Michele Visk and Judith Petrucci were elected to four-year terms. The District 103 will have to appoint a community member to fill a third four-year term that was left without a candidate after a successful challenge by Mazur knocked two competitors off the ballot.