Rosenthal unopposed for Deerfield village president, 5 vie for 3 trustee seats
Village President Harriet Rosenthal
Key points for next term
• Commercial development
• Ongoing government transparency
“I am running for a second term because I continue to have much to offer, and still very much feel the passion.”
Updated: February 4, 2013 6:23AM
DEERFIELD — Village President Harriet Rosenthal will run unopposed for a second term as Deerfield’s top elected position.
The Village Board race, however, is contested with incumbent trustees Alan Farkas, Mary Oppenheim and Barbara Struthers seeking re-election against two challnegers. Rob Nadler, who serves on the Plan Commission, and Jerry Kayne, a former trustee, will also appear on the April 9 ballot after filing nominating papers before the Dec. 26 deadline.
Struthers, who is running for a third term, said bringing retail to Deerfield needs to be the focus going forward.
“The main thing is to get retail into Deerbrook Mall and do something with Cadwell’s Corners, whether it is retail or not,” Struthers said.
Struthers called her second term one of success for the village, herself and her fellow trustees.
“One of the things I find I can do as a trustee is getting the attention of the village or the police department to help our residents,” Struthers said.
After serving a term from 2001-2005, Kayne explained that he took a break from public office to focus on his children through their high school years. Now that they are in college, Kayne said, he is ready to get back into public service.
“A trustee should be putting in a lot of time,” Kayne said. “I also believe that, as far as I’m concerned, you shouldn’t stand by and complain if you’re not wiling to help the cause.”
Kayne also agreed that retail improvement should be a priority for the village by keeping existing retailers and “mom and pop shops.”
“I believe ... in having good rapport and communications,” Kayne said. “I also think taxes need to be rolled back.”
As an incumbent, Trustee Oppenheim said her “job isn’t finished,” and that’s why she’s running again.
“I think that the insight and experience I’ve gained over the past four years will make me more effective and ... a greater contribution as a trustee,” Oppenheim said.
Oppenheim said she also is comitted to beefing up Deerfield retail.
“I’m a firm believer in long-range planning,” Oppenheim said. “As a member of the Northwest Quadrant Task Force, I have been working to plan the final development of that portion of downtown.”
While Trustee Alan Farkas also wants to see retail improved, if elected to a second term, he said it could come as a “double-edged sword.”
“There’s been some proposals in the past that talked of giving incentives to new businesses to come to Deerfield, but that comes at a cost to our village,” Farkas said. “I certainly don’t want to disadvantage someone who’s been in town for several years and give a newcomer an advantage.”
Farkas noted the public does not see most of what he and the trustees do, but that they have some very important work ahead of them.
“They (public) take a lot for granted because the village has operated so well for so long,” Farkas said. “Maintaining the infrastructure, maintaining a strong fiscal base, making sure that we have good staff that’s well supported; these are the things that really make our village strong.”
Nadler, who is running for public office for the first time, said he believes his expertise in retail development will benefit the village. He called commercial and retail development two of of the biggest issues Deerfield is facing.
“I’m involved with the redevelopment of shopping centers, and with municipal agreements with private developers,” said Nadler, who explained that he works for the largest owner of shopping centers in the country.
During his time on the village’s Plan Commission, Nadler said the commission was successful in implementing a creative approach to rezoning commercial property at Waukegan and Lake-Cook roads.
“We tightened up zoning there so we can make that commercial corridor a viable retail area,” Nadler said.
In December, the Village of Deerfield Caucus endorsed Farkas, Oppenheim and Struthers.