Candidates for the Village of Homewood Board of Trustees

Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld and Village Clerk Marilyn Thomas are running for re-election unopposed. Four candidates are running for three trustee positions on the Homewood Village Board. They are Lawrence Burnson, Anne Colton, Barbara Dawkins and Jennifer "Jen" Sjoblom. Burnson, Colton and Dawkins are incumbents. Andre Thames is registered as a write-in candidate.

Mayor:

  Richard Hofeld
Richard Hofeld
Education: B.S.B.A Roosevelt University, major: accounting
Occupation: Business Owner
Employer: HouseMaster Home Inspections, since 1983
Incumbent: Yes, currently serving as mayor
Other elected positions: Former village trustee
 
Most Important issues: Maintain our strong financial position; transit-oriented development; work with developers to bring mixed-use development (commercial and market-rate apartments) to our downtown; work with Metra and other agencies to obtain funding to replace the existing Metra tunnel with an attractive, easily accessed new tunnel or pedestrian overpass.

Goals: Create a Science Center campus; establish a performing arts center (live theater/movies) in the downtown; fill downtown business spaces with restaurants and boutique shops; continue keeping the Halsted business corridor filled with community requested business and food uses.


Board of Trustees:

  Anne Colton
Anne Colton
Education: University of Illinois, Columbla College
Occupation: Documentary film maker/web designer
Current employer: Self-employed
Incumbent: Yes.  I have served as Homewood Village Trustee for the past eight years.

Other elected positions: Prior to joining the Village Board in 2009, I was on the Board of Trustees for the Homewood Public Library.
Most important issues: In order to thrive as a village, we need to maintain our economic viability. A strong downtown, a reliable big-box presence on Halsted and 183rd Streets and robust housing stock are all components of our economic picture, and we need to keep them all in balance. In my eight years on the board, I have provided proactive, vigorous leadership in our efforts to attract new businesses and develop new opportunities for our community. We need to continue to make Homewood a destination — for visitors, for businesses, and for new families — and that will only happen with experienced, visionary leadership.
     Additionally, we have made tremendous inroads in terms of the village's relationships with the other taxing bodies. We now enjoy a mutually beneficial partnership with the schools, the library and the parks in a way that benefits the entire community. That needs to continue, and we need the
right people in place for that to happen.
     We also need to maintain outstanding services for our residents.  Reliable water service, public safety, and public works are always a priority, and that will continue.

Goals: If elected to a third term, I will continue the great work that this board has done in the last eight years. We have had so many new businesses and development come in recently, and that will only get better as we move forward.  I plan to expand the "destination factors" of our downtown — restaurants, bars, the Science Center, and possibly a performance venue — to create a buzz throughout the region and help people discover how awesome Homewood is.
     I want all people in Homewood to feel that they have a voice in how our town is run.  Coming to meetings, joining commissions and even just emailing me with concerns are all excellent ways of participating in our community, and I want everyone to know how much their input is valued.
     I look forward to continued partnerships with the schools, library and parks, and hope to engage in joint planning sessions with them in order to find ways to best serve the people of Homewood.
 

  Barbara Dawkins

Barbara Dawkins
Education: Rich South High School, 1990; B.A. Northwestern University, 1994; J.D. Vanderbilt University, 1998
Occupation: I am a supervisor in the Juvenile Justice Division of
the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.  I oversee all of the suburban prosecutions.  Before becoming a supervisor, I prosecuted gang-related homicides.
Current employer: Cook County State's Attorney's Office
Incumbent: Yes, eight years

Most important issues: Economic development and public safety continue to be two of the most important issues facing our community.  Our residents want and deserve to live in a community with vibrant and diverse businesses.  We face a unique challenge due to our close proximity to Indiana, and the Cook County tax burden. It is important that Homewood is a place where companies can do business.  As trustee, I will continue to seek desirable new businesses and maintain our current businesses.  We must also continue to market Homewood as the friendly, smart, diverse community that it is.  Simply put, we must let all prospective businesses know what we already know, that Homewood is the right place to live, work, play, and do business.
     Public safety is also a major concern.  We must continue to provide our great police department with the tools it needs to protect our community.  As trustee, I will continue to support the police department in its continued efforts to make our community a safe, livable place.

Goals: My goal as village trustee is for our village to continue with the growth which has already started.  There are tremendous things happening in town.  The Science Center, Martin Square, the hotel, the food co-op, and the other new businesses in our downtown are examples of this exciting growth.
     We have nightlife, and we even have a couple of art galleries in town.  The village board has helped to facilitate this growth.  I look forward to seeing even more improvement in our village. Homewood is becoming a vibrant, desirable destination for individuals and families.


  Jennifer Sjoblom

Jennifer "Jen" Sjoblom

Education: B.A. Sociology/Criminology, Northern Illinois University, 1998
Occupation: Manager/Event Planner and Realtor
Current employer: Idlewild Country Club and Baird & Warner Real Estate
Incumbent: No

Other elected positions: Non-Governmental: President and board member of Homewood Area Chamber of Commerce
Most important issues: If elected, I hope to address the issues impacting the economic development of our business districts, funding for our education system, our property values and property taxes. We need to address the key factors that contribute to keeping our community an affordable, viable and
desirable area in which to live.

Goals: If elected, I will strive to find solutions that are equitable to all. I will make every effort to find and implement solutions for the continued economic issues that impact our community, our residents, our schools, our businesses and our charitable non-profit organizations. I will seek to bring transparency to the residents of Homewood, helping them understand how and why decisions that influence them are made.
 

  Lawrence Burnson

Lawrence Burnson
Education: B.S., Criminal Justice, Lewis University, 1977; M.A., Public Administration, DePaul University, 1980
Occupation: Retired March 8, 2016 after 42 years in law enforcement, the last 14 as Chief of Police in Homewood
Incumbent: Appointed Village Trustee in May 2016
Other elected positions? None

Most important issues: Continue to pursue economic development in all parts of our community, including transit-oriented development in our downtown area.
Work with village staff to strengthen our pro-active property maintenance program to enforce codes that assure the continued attractiveness of Homewood.
     Working with our government partners (schools, park district and the library) to promote activities that are beneficial to all of our village's families, as well as further cooperation with neighboring communities to foster projects that are good for the entire area.

Goals: Continue to provide our Police, Fire, Public Works and Village Administration with the necessary tools to provide the greatest level of service to our residents, business owners and guests.
     Work with staff to find grants and other methods of funding to strengthen and update the infrastructure in the Village.
In conjunction with other communities in the Southland, look for additional sources of water that can control costs and provide the best service possible.
     Continue working on the revitalization of the downtown area, including the expansion of the Science Center, establishing a performing arts center and bringing in businesses that bring excitement and long-term stability to the area.
 

Village Clerk:

  Marilyn Thomas
Marilyn Thomas
Education: B.A., University of Illinois at Chicago; M.A., Governors State University
Occupation: Retired full-time; writer/editor for the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle
Incumbent: Yes. I am completing a two-year term.

Most important issues: In my role, I'm responsible for accurate village board minutes. I consider these to be important records not just for immediate needs but for historical purposes.  I'm working diligently to provide the citizens, via village staff, the best records possible.

Goals: I hope to attend future clerk association meetings to sharpen my skills and stay current with issues clerks across Illinois are asked to handle.

 

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