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Published: 10/17/2007

Ottawa Hills mayor challenged in first contested race in 20 years

BY MIKE JONES
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

Most elections go uncontested in Ottawa Hills, but this year a member of the school board is challenging the village's incumbent mayor.

Dan Steinberg, who is finishing his second four-year term on the board of education, is challenging Kevin Gilmore in next month's general election.

Village officials said they haven't found records to support it, but think it has been more than 20 years since there has been a contested race for mayor.

Mr. Gilmore said he has enjoyed his first term as mayor, is pleased with the accomplishments made by the village in his four years, and he wants to continue in the job.

He made it clear that he thinks "two terms is appropriate," and that it would be time to leave the post after completion of a second term if he is elected.

The mayor pointed to improved athletic and recreational fields at the campus of the school system as an achievement which took both negotiation and cooperation with other groups in the village to be accomplished.

He noted that the village has a AA bond rating, a good street paving program, and has hired a consultant to establish a marketing program to promote the village to prospective home buyers and others.

Mr. Gilmore pointed to a total of three years experience as a council member and as clerk-treasurer of the village as important steps taken before he was elected mayor.

He is managing partner of the accounting firm of Gilmore Jasion & Mahler, Ltd.

Mr. Steinberg said he nearly ran for mayor four years ago, but decided against it for a variety of reasons.

"I think I could have a positive influence now and on the future of the village," he said.

Mr. Steinberg said he has no particular criticism of the mayor or the village council, but that it's time for village officials to work together in a more unified way.

He said two problems which have to be addressed are an aging housing stock and aging school buildings. The village has to work to keep up neighborhoods, and the schools have to remain competitive.

What will be needed, he said, "is thinking outside the box," to keep village standards high.

Mr. Steinberg noted that the school system is an important asset for the community and that he's pleased with contributions he's made as a member of the board of education.

Because he is running for mayor he will give up his seat on the school board when it expires at the end of the year.

Mr. Steinberg is co-president of Savage & Associates.

Running uncontested for two village council seats are Jim Walter and Norma King.

Marc Thompson, village administrator, is performing the duties of the village clerk-treasurer.

He said no one took out petitions to run for the post. Someone may be appointed to the position later, he added.



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