NORTHBROOK, IL — Ahead of the April 6 consolidated municipal elections, Northbrook Patch provided questionnaires to all candidates on the ballot. Six candidates are vying for three four-year trustee seats on the Northbrook Village Board on Election Day. They are incumbents Muriel J. Collison and Daniel H. Pepoon, and challengers Robert Burns, Joy Ebhomielen, Christopher
NORTHBROOK, IL — Ahead of the April 6 consolidated municipal elections, Northbrook Patch provided questionnaires to all candidates on the ballot.
Six candidates are vying for three four-year trustee seats on the Northbrook Village Board on Election Day. They are incumbents Muriel J. Collison and Daniel H. Pepoon, and challengers Robert Burns, Joy Ebhomielen, Christopher Lay and Ana Mendez McGuinnes. Current Trustee Kathryn L. Ciesla is running for Village President, leaving her seat up for grabs, with Sandra E. Frum set to retire. She will be challenged by Eugene Marks for president.
Ciesla, Collison, Ebhomielen and Pepoon have received the backing of the Northbrook Caucus of 2021. Burns, Lay, Marks and McGuinnes are being endorsed by United4Northbrook.
Northbrook Patch is publishing all responses submitted by candidates verbatim.
Age (as of Election Day)
Town/City of Residence
Village board or city council
Party Affiliation (if a partisan race)
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Attorney 17 years
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
I was appointed to the Northbrook Plan Commission in 2013 and served four years before being elected Village Trustee in 2017
The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
keeping our financial house in order during a pandemic.
I will continue to work with the board to come up with creative ways to maintain the services our residents expect and deserve without raising taxes.
Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?
I was very proud of the peaceful demonstration organized by a Northbrook high school student and held in our village. I believe Black Lives Matter absolutely and without question.
Do you think the current board has done enough to support racial equality, and if not, what specifically should be done to do so?
What are your thoughts on the national and local coronavirus response? Do you favor measures such as limiting operation of non-essential businesses and restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a local mask mandate?
I believe in science and following the CDC guidelines. I don’t believe in adding additional restrictions onto businesses. I believe schools and businesses should be open in accordance with the CDC guidelines.
What are your thoughts on the state and local coronavirus vaccine distribution, and how do you think local governments should work together to handle vaccine rollout?
I am disappointed with the way it has been handled in Illinois. We have reached out and offered to host a location in Northbrook. Unfortunately, our offer was declined. It should not be as hard as it is to get vaccines for our most vulnerable residents. Politics should have no place in the distribution of the vaccine.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
In a word…EXPERIENCE. Experience, especially during these challenging times, is paramount. As far as I am aware, none of the other Trustees candidates have ever volunteered to serve on any village committee or commission. It is easy to make blanket statements when you don’t know how things work in reality. I have eight years of experience and am still learning every day.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
My main priorities are keeping the police and fire departments fully funded and supported, much needed updates to facilities, maintaining the level of service the citizens deserve and expect, supporting our local businesses, implementing our sustainability plan, affordable housing for seniors and disabled residents, and continuing to analyze potential developments to make sure they are consistent with the character of Northbrook and the Comprehensive Plan while keeping a keen eye on the potential impact on schools, traffic, and neighbors.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
A few things I am most proud of, and played a significant role in accomplishing, during my time as a Trustee are:
Adopting the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance
Opting out of the Cook County Minimum Wage Ordinance (my view was that it should be state-wide, especially given our location as a border community)
Supporting smart development such as Providence Farm, Greenhouse, The Elaine, Sterling Place and Culvers to name a few.
Implementing local adjudication
Lifting spirits of residents during COVID (4th of July porch parade, fire truck birthdays, Northbrook Strong, handing out thousands of masks and bottles of sanitizer)
Helping and promoting our small businesses through this pandemic (Northbrook Strong Business Grant is an example)
Creation of. “A Green Moment,” during Village Board meetings
The Northbrook Affordable Housing Plan
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
Why should voters trust you?
My reasons for serving are and have always been only my love for Northbrook. I am the only home grown candidate, having lived here my whole life. I consider Northbrook the very best place to live, work and raise a family and want to make sure it remains that way for generations to come.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?
The best advice ever shared with me was:
As a Rotarian I was always inspired by the Four Way Test and I try to use it in my daily life.
Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?