Gary Wittbrodt

Age: 52

Profession: Certified Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Community / Political experience:
North Riverside Village Trustee since 1995.
Former North Riverside Plan Commission Chairman.
Former Neighborhood Services Area Representative.
Former Teacher’s Union Delegate.
American Cancer Society Committee Member.

Other / Professional experience:
Hines Veterans Administration Blind Center Orientation and Mobility Specialiast.
Illinois Federation of Teachers.
Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Bachelor of Science 1983 Western Michigan University.
Master of Arts 1984 Western Michigan University.
Master of Science in Education 1998 Northern Illinois U.
Master of Educational Administration 2008 Northern IL. U.

List the top challenges facing this board and how you would address them: The top challenges facing the North Riverside Board are balancing the annual budget, addressing flooding issues, and implementing a new water meter program.

The Village of North Riverside is largely dependent on sales tax revenue. The recent economic slump has lessened the amount of revenue received by the village. The general operating expenses have been paid, however police and fire pensions are underfunded. The economic development of the northwest corner of Cermak and Harlem and the demolition and development of the former Wicks property will add sales and property tax revenue to the village budget. Retirement incentives offered to the police and fire departments have lessened salary expenses without forced layoffs. The use of outside contractors will reflect a savings in the building department. The continued pursuit of grant money (about $375,000) will enable the village to replace playground equipment in Veterans Park, renovate the interior of the Village Commons, and purchase surveillance cameras for the Commons Park. Making contributions to Police and Fire pensions at the suggested levels will prove to be a challenge for the board of trustees. All avenues of funding will be explored.

Flooding is a problem that plagues the entire state of Illinois including North Riverside.     Trustees in the western suburbs have formed a coalition to address flooding concerns and provide a cohesive voice to our state representatives. I am one of two trustees in North Riverside to join the MGEO or Mutual Group of Elected Officials. This problem solving committee is comprised of trustees from about eight different suburbs. FEMA plans, mitigation, and infrastructures adaptations are all discussed at the meetings.

A large amount of water bought by North Riverside does not match the amount that is purchased by home owners and businesses. The average water meter in North Riverside is about fifty years old. A program to replace water meters is overdue. New revenue and the ability to detect leaks in the infrastructure can be realized by better monitoring the actual amount of water that businesses and home owners are using.

In conclusion, a tighter budget, a safer and drier community, and a better monitored water system are the top challenges facing the Village of North Riverside.


H. Bob Demopoulos

Age: 38

Profession: Restaurant Owner

Community / Political experience:
Ran for Village President (Mayor) in 2009
I’ve worked on dozens of campaigns and I’m involved in the following:
Delegate for the 2009 Cook County Republican Convention
Member of Americans For Tax Reform
Member of The Heritage Foundation
MoveON Organization
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

Donated Yearly to the following:
North Riverside Police Benevolent Associations (Donated and Attended)
North Riverside Police Department Food Drives (Donated cases of various foods)
North Riverside Firefighters Union Local 2714
North Riverside Fire Firefighters Annual Smokers and Union Fundraisers
5k Run (Donated)
Easter Egg Hunt (Have been donating boxes of hot dogs for years)”

Other / Professional experience:
Business Experience:
Sales Taxes
Property Taxes
Employee Relations
Securing Contracts With Major Corporations Such as Coca-Cola, Solo, Heinz and Visa/Mastercard
Worked closely with Managing Leases and Director/Executive Level Budget Planning”

Education: B.A. from Elmhurst College

List the top challenges facing this board and how you would address them:
1) $1.84 million deficit – Attracting new businesses and utilizing our current departments to the fullest to raise tax revenue and reduce our deficit.

2) Sewer System – Repair this dilapidated system so that our residents no longer suffer the hardships of flooding.

3) Balancing Our Fiscal Year Budget – I’d like to perform a line-by-line audit on our budget and see exactly how much waste is being spent and how many ghost payroll jobs are in play.

4) Business District – I will not only strengthen our business district but also build on it. Attracting new businesses and making sure that it is economical for those businesses to stay in our community. At this rate the Village is punishing our current businesses by adding excess fees and raising licenses at a level in which our business district will shrink dramatically.


Rocco J DeSantis

Age: 53

Profession: Retired/Disabled North Riverside Police Sergeant

Community / Political experience:
50 year resident of North Riverside
30 year Police Officer
20 years as Secretary for the North Riverside Police Pension Fund
9 year negotiator for the police contract
Current member of the North Riverside Police Benevolent
Lifetime member to several police organizations.

Other / Professional experience: Being on a village board or being a police officer is very similar. Both make decisions that have a direct impact on peoples’ lives. Their well being is in your hands. You’re loved for some decisions and hated for others. Being a police officer you learn compassion when people reach out to you for help. At times you need to be firm, direct and always professional knowing that your decision may bring a hardship to someone who came to you looking for a different outcome.

As secretary of the North Riverside Police Pension Fund for 20 years, I had a fiduciary responsibility to its members as does a trustee to the residents of North Riverside. I learned how to be diverse in all investments.  Without diversity your investment has to pay off or you lose.  We had very strict laws regarding investments of the pension money.  I would invest the village money the same way.  We have always been one of the top pension funds in the state.

Riverside Brookfield High School
Attended Triton College
Attended several police courses at Northwestern University, University of Illinois, Champaign and small venues throughout my career.

List the top challenges facing this board and how you would address them: The same challenge that everyone is coping with…lack of funds. When I was getting signatures for my petition, everyone I talked to want some kind of parking restrictions for snow removal and street cleaning.  I have brought this issue to their attention several times.  The Village Administrator told me, “No way”.  That’s not the way to handle concerns of the residents you work for.  This board for several years has wasted money. Rizza Ford is still a question that needs to be answered.  Why did the Village give them over $700,000.00? The current board makes no attempt in bringing new family friendly stores into the village. Gang problems and violence is an everyday occurrence at the mall and people are afraid to shop there. The board needs to be more aggressive in bringing business into North Riverside and getting the thugs out of the mall.  The Village Administrator and the Village Treasurer are two of the highest paid in the area.  We need to cut their pay along with numerous employees’ who are paid in excess due to their relationship with the present board. Layoffs to Police, Fire and Public Works should never be allowed until other cuts in the village are discussed.  I will be a full time trustee. I am retired and have no problem devoting as much time as needed to do the job right. I love North Riverside and want to see it for what it can be. When was the last time a trustee or mayor road in a police car, ambulance or public works truck to see what actually goes on?  Maybe then they can understand the stress of the different jobs within the village. They need to be part of the work force. After all, they were elected to do a job…so do it! 


George Georgopoulous

Age: 47

Profession: General Contractor and HVAC & R Engineer/Business Owner, Planer, Coordinator and Manager.

Community / Political experience: My family and I have lived in North Riverside since 1995. My children attended and are attending Komarek School and RBHS today. My wife and I encouraged our children to join the local Cub Scouts Pack 120 and play baseball, basketball and soccer through North Riverside recreation. I have supported the local Better Scheck cancer walk and attend Matter Christi Church (now St. Mary’s) in Riverside. I have worked behind the scenes with other candidates locally and within the county for many years.

Education: High School Graduate and three years of Community College.

List the top challenges facing this board and how you would address them: The big deficit that we have in the budget and how to fill the gap without borrowing any more money which we would have to pay back with long term interest.

Promote new businesses and help the owners prepare for occupancy in all of the vacant storefronts that plague North Riverside. The Tax revenue generated from these new businesses will help put a dent in the deficit.


Names in bold denote candidates who have provided a profile.