Brookfield voters for the eighth straight election swept PEP Party candidates into every municipal office up for election on April 2, turning aside a challenge by a Brookfield Community Party slate urging them break PEP’s stranglehold on village government.
With all precincts reporting the unofficial winners of three village trustee seats up for election were PEP’s slate of Brian Conroy, Katie Kaluzny and David LeClere. And voters went for PEP by a wide margin.
Kaluzny was the night’s big winner, finishing first with 1,814 votes, ahead of Conroy (1,672) and LeClere (1,464), the only incumbent in the race, who was elected to his second consecutive term as trustee and third overall.
“I think what we represent and the things I hope I’m bringing to the table are new and different and what the village needs now,” Kaluzny said. “I felt good about moving PEP’s pledges forward, but with a twist of what I can bring to the table.”
Kaluzny, a member of the village’s Conservation Commission is a fairly new resident of Brookfield, having lived in the village for a little more than five years. She was a member of the Brookfield Comprehensive Plan steering committee, co-founder of Go Green Brookfield and is associate director of the Illinois Green Alliance.
Conroy will jump to the village board after serving for the past six years on the Brookfield-LaGrange Park School District 95 Board of Education.
Mark Rogers, making his second run for a spot on the Brookfield Village Board, finished fourth with 1,101 votes. In 2015, he also finished fourth in a race for trustee. His slate mates in the Brookfield Community Party, Joshua Jones and Tom Galbraith, finished fifth and sixth, respectively with vote totals of 816 and 798.
“The biggest surprise was the turnout,” said Rogers. “There were about 1,000 fewer voters than two years ago. We were counting on a larger turnout that didn’t materialize.”
The Brookfield Community Party ran on a platform of changing the status quo, moving economic development forward at a swifter pace and being more responsive to residents and the business community generally.
They highlighted the significant turnover inside village hall in 2018, which saw the departures of the village manager, planner, public works director and recreation staff.
But voters apparently were convinced the village was on track with a new, experienced manager in place, along with the village’s first recreation director in more than a decade, a new village planner and public works director.
“I think we had a good group of candidates and had a group who worked hard to get our message out to voters,” said Kit Ketchmark, president of the PEP Party as well as the village of Brookfield. “And we have a track record as a group. We’ve done what we’ve told people we were going to do, and people trust that.”
Rogers said he hoped the campaign inspired other residents to become involved in village government and continue to keep village leaders accountable.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get involved,” Rogers said. “Hopefully, we sparked interest and showed that competition is good.”