Members of Brookfield’s PEP Party last weekend began collecting signatures for three candidates they are running in next spring’s election for village trustee, and for first time all three candidates are women.
Incumbent trustee Katie Kaluzny seeks re-election in the 2023 Consolidated Election, and she’s joined on the ticket by former two-term trustee Nicole Gilhooley and first-time candidate Julie Narimatsu, who serves on the Brookfield Parks and Recreation Commission.
Brian Conroy, who was elected to his first term along with Kaluzny in 2019, will not seek a second consecutive term as trustee. Before being elected trustee, Conroy spent six years on the school board in Brookfield-LaGrange Park District 95. He’s recently been selected to be on the school district’s superintendent search team.
“I’ve been doing this for 10 years between the school board and village board, and things are going well,” said Conroy, who left open the possibility of coming back to local politics in the future. “It made sense to take at least a two-year break.”
Trustee David LeClere, who is finishing up his second consecutive term on the village board, cannot run for the position again in 2023 due to the village’s term limit law.
Narimatsu, a resident of the village for eight years, has been a parks and recreation commissioner since 2020. She was instrumental in the formation of the Brookfield Parks and Recreation Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money to ensure access to parks programming and summer camps for all and serves as its president.
“I’ve always been interested in public service, and I was looking for new opportunities at village hall for increasing access and equity in village programs and services,” Narimatsu said in a phone interview.
For the past 13 years Narimatsu has worked in the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s office in Chicago. Before being named to the Parks and Recreation Commission, Narimatsu volunteered in various capacities at Congress Park School and LaGrange-Brookfield School District 102.
She was treasurer of the Congress Park PTO for two years and is co-director for the District 102 Fun Run 5K. She also served on the District 102 Delegate Assembly, which vets and endorses school board candidates.
Narimatsu has a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and behavior from the University of Michigan, where she was a classmate of Kaluzny. She went on to earn a law degree from Syracuse University, where she also earned a master’s degree in international relations.
If elected, she would bring another strong voice for sustainability initiatives to the village board. Kaluzny, who is the associate director of the Illinois Green Alliance, was instrumental in the village joining the Cross Community Climate Collaborative (C4) and serves on its environment committee.
Kaluzny has a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and natural resource management from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in public service administration from DePaul University.
She has served as the village board’s liaison to the Brookfield Beautification Commission and Conservation Commission, and prior to election as trustee was on the steering committee for the Brookfield Comprehensive Plan.
Gilhooley seeks to return to the village board after serving as trustee from 2013 to 2021. During her times as trustee, Gilhooley was a liaison to the Aging Well Committee, the Parks and Recreation Commission, Brookfield Public Library Board of Trustees and the Active Transportation Plan Committee.
She presently sits on the board of the Proviso Township Mental Health Commission and is vice president of the S.E. Gross Middle School PTO. Prior to election as trustee in 2013, Gilhooley chaired the Brookfield Beautification Commission.
A graduate of Loyola University-Chicago, Gilhooley is director of human resources at Ultra Consultants and has a background in management consulting.
PEP is the only organized political committee to announce a slate of candidates for the 2023 election, and no independent candidates have surfaced yet. Nominating petitions must be filed with the village clerk between Dec. 12 and Dec. 19.
The 2021 election was first time in at least 50 years that a Brookfield Village Board race went uncontested.