Campton Hills incumbent Tyrrell faces challenger Wojnicki April 4

Tyrrell seeks 2nd term to build on success; Wojnicki offers 24 years of County Board service

Michael Tyrrell, left, and Barbara Wojnicki are running for Campton Hills president in the April 4, 2023 consolidated election.

CAMPTON HILLS – Campton Hills voters have a choice for village president in the April 4 consolidated election, incumbent Michael Tyrrell or challenger Barbara Wojnicki.

In an endorsement interview with the Daily Herald, Tyrrell said he was seeking a second term to build upon the village’s future.

“The village of Campton Hills is soon coming up on its 16th anniversary,” Tyrrell said. “As a new entity, it certainly – like all fledglings – it went through its periods of struggles and strifes and challenges. I am now the third president of the village and my goal is to build. Now that we’ve gotten past the infancy or the terrible two stage, is to build upon that for the benefit of the community.”

As a 40-year resident of the community, Tyrrell said he has something to contribute in his leadership.

Wojnicki said she is a 30-year resident of the community, was active in advocating for open space and brings 26 years of government public service to the table. She served two years as a Campton Township trustee and represented the area for 24 years as a Kane County Board member.

“I am actually the longest serving board member so far in the history of Kane County,” Wojnicki said. “I have a lot of government experience. And much, much community involvement with a true understanding of our residents’ issues and concerns.”

Wojnicki lost her primary in 2022 to David Young, who represents District 15 on the County Board.

The most important issue facing Campton Hills is the infrastructure of its roads, Wojnicki said.

“The funds to redo the roads are so inflated at this time, so I think that’s an issue we really need to focus on,” Wojnicki said. “I know we had help with government funding, state funding, through the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) fund. I’m a little concerned that we have those ARPA funds this year and last year. But unless in 2024 they give us another grant of funds from the state, it might be a little bit hard to budget for all the roads and do it in a way people – our residents – are very comfortable with.”

Tyrrell agreed that roads are a challenge because of the price.

“For the first 13 years of the village, two prior administrations, they did about two miles of roads per year,” Tyrrell said. “That was not sufficient to meet our future. Three years ago, we doubled that. And this coming year, we anticipate to do a combined between eight to as much as 10 miles of roads. We delayed it last year because the price of asphalt went up by nearly 40%.”

There is no more ARPA funding. The village gets Motor Fuel Tax and Road and Bridge funds for its roads, Tyrrell said.

“We are currently in the process of going out for bid. And as soon as we know what those bids are we will be able to clearly define how many miles of roads we can do this year,” Tyrrell said.

In terms of other infrastructure issues, Tyrrell said they just did a major overall on Village Hall.

“That was done without incurring any debt or reducing our reserves,” Tyrrell said.

Wojnicki said water resources are another important issue for the village.

The village relies on well and septic with a couple of subdivisions relying on a community well, she said.

“We’ve had issues in the past in the spring with heavy rains and septic fields overflowing,” Wojnicki said.

She suggested the village could assist residents when their septic fields overflow.

Tyrrell said as a non-home rule community Campton Hills is limited in what laws it can pass and how it can spend its money.

“Potentially helping residents with septic fields is beyond the scope of what a non-home rule community can do,” Tyrrell said. “We would not be able to spend money on that issue.”

Wojnicki agreed that the village’s offices needed renovation and the creation of a meeting room. She agreed that the village could not use funds from its general budget to assist residents with septic fields.

“But some of that [ARPA] money could have been set aside … and maybe formed a cost-share program for the residents that would relieve some of the expenses when they go through flooding issues or some kind of drainage issue,” Wojnicki said.

Trustee candidates at a recent forum brought up a parking issue. The village offices and police department are located within a larger shopping center. There is parking in front of village offices and several businesses across from Old Towne Pub, a popular restaurant.

“Our parking lot … accommodates 32 cars, including two handicapped. Behind the restaurant is – within easy walking distance – over 100 or if you stretch the legs a bit, you can double that number,” Tyrrell said. “When our parking is full, we can’t service our clients. We certainly recognize that any business, including the restaurant, wants to service their clients. We have that same obligation.”

When people would come to Village Hall for permits or other business, the village got complaints about having to park too far away, Tyrrell said.

The village started its renovation in October and needed to bring in construction equipment and tradesmen, Tyrrell said.

Tyrrell said the village was upfront in communicating the closure of the parking lot to accommodate construction, the public and the facility’s future use.

Now that construction is completed, Tyrrell said the parking lot still needs to be available for the public and for volunteers who serve on its committees and for trainings.

Wojnicki said the parking issue has been going on for several years and it hurt the business when police came in and told people they had to move their vehicles.

“It’s Old Towne Pub, the restaurant we are talking about. And the owners of that pub are our own residents,” Wojnicki said.

“I would like to see an arrangement made where you definitely say on this evening we are having meetings and our parking lot is generally closed. But during the day, when there aren’t as many employees there, and there’s some room there, I just think some sort of an arrangement can be made,” Wojnicki said. “And peace between the village and that particular restaurant.”

Brenda Schory

Brenda Schory

Brenda Schory covers Geneva, crime and courts, and features for the Kane County Chronicle