Baker will lead Granville; Araujo elected to 6th term in Bruce
The election results are in, with changes in leadership in Granville and Peru townships, while Bruce Township voters stayed with their tried and true incumbent.
Jared Baker won the Granville village president race with 274 votes. Newcomers Bob Bruch and Jeff Greathouse will join incumbent Tina Dolder on the village board of trustees. Village president candidate Lucian Verda will remain on the board.
Three candidates were vying for village president in Granville. Baker, Verda and Randy Borio met with the Putnam County Record before the election to share their views, experience and plans. Incumbent Baker shared his experience as a village trustee and business owner. He planned to improve the village government and provide more transparency to village operations.
Borio served three terms on the village board previously – his last term ending with yesterday's elections. He brought his long experience with public service and community and fraternal organizations to the election. He focused on the ongoing work on McCoy Street, the two business districts and providing proper safety training to village employees.
Verda serves on the village board. His experience included nearly 20 years with the Granville Police Department, as well as 14 years as the Granville Public Works Department director.
Bruce Township Supervisor Henry Araujo held onto his office in a close race, receiving 56 percent of the vote. This will be his sixth term.
The supervisor race was not without controversy. Challenger Steve Biroschik took Araujo to task for calling general assistance (GA) recipients "those people." He used social media to object to Araujo's words as demeaning and disrespectful, not only to GA recipients but to the community as a whole.
Biroschik has also opposed township officials' salaries and benefits, including the recent resolution increasing the officials' salaries annually by 2 percent. He promised to provide transparency to the township government if elected.
Democratic candidate and assessor Doug Biederstedt is the next Peru Township supervisor after winning 61 percent of the vote. His opponent, Republican Chuck Studer, had 39 percent of votes.
Republican Lou Wasilewski won the township clerk race with 51 percent of votes, and Steve Michelini is the new highway commissioner, garnering 56 percent of votes.
With all four of Peru Township board of trustee seats up for election, incumbents Nicholas Biagioni and Arthur "Art" Rigby faced a battle to retain their positions. Biagioni and Rigby faced Republicans John Funfsinn, Caitlin Nelson and Steve Weberski, and Democratic contenders James Dooley, Randy Ferrari and Ryan Rynkewicz. In the final tally of the hard fought race, newcomers Rynkewicz, Ferrari and Dooley and incumbent Biagioni took the highest number of votes.
Before the election, Rigby shared his philosophy of living within his means and frugality with the Illinois Valley Times. He spent 14 years as a LaSalle County Board member and the last four as a Peru Township trustee. During his tenure on the board, taxes were lowered and the salaries of elected officials were cut. Rigby opposes the move by City of Peru to take over the township.
Initial vote tallies were reported by the various county clerks, with all precincts reporting. These results are reliable, but final results have to be certified before being entered into permanent record. You can see these results in full at the county clerks' website.