Despite no incumbents, Huntley will not see competitive race for Village Board

Three candidates filed for three open seats, while all incumbents up opted against running

Huntley Village Hall

Half of Huntley’s Village Board will be new after this April’s election.

Filing for Huntley Village Board candidates ended last month with three candidates filing for three available seats and all three incumbents up this year opted against running.

The incumbent trustees who chose not to run again included Niko Kanakaris, Harry Leopold and Curt Kittel.

Those who did file included former Trustee John Piwko, who served on the board for 14 years before losing the most recent election in 2019; Vito Benigno, a retiree who served as the Jesse White Foundation’s executive director; and Ric Zydorowicz, who is the current vice chairman for Huntley’s Plan Commission and works as a bank branch manager.

In an email, Kittel confirmed he would not be running again, but did not elaborate further.

Leopold, who is in his 80s, and Kanakaris, who has served for 16 years, both said they had other things they hoped to focus on and shared the sentiment that they had served long enough.

Piwko said in general, he likes the direction the newest board has taken for the past couple years.

He supports the development going on, but acknowledged he had a hand in much of the city’s current trajectory since he served so long on the board.

Overall, the level of development in Huntley has been positive, he said, but it should be done with the intent of improving quality of life. Piwko said going forward, the village will need to prioritize bringing in residential living to mirror the amount of business coming in.

One thing Piwko said he has changed his opinion on since being on the board was part of the direction around the Interstate 90 interchange. At the time, residents clamored for some entertainment type of venue in the area, but he was against it at the time.

He’s changed his tune on that, he said.

“Things change, and I can see the strategy,” he said.

Zydorowicz said he’s looking forward to serving on the Village Board and ran to be a part of building the village’s future. In addition, as someone with a banking background, fiscal responsibility is a key priority for him.

“You need strong communities so people can thrive in general,” he said. “That’s what I’m about.”

As someone who is on the Plan Commission, Zydorowicz has had a lot of say already in recent developments throughout the village. He said he agreed with Piwko about the need for residential, but said it’s just as important to bring in business to help take the tax burden off residents.

“In Illinois, we are taxed to the extreme,” he said. “We need to lessen that burden.”

Last week, Benigno, similar to Piwko, said he liked the direction the village was headed in, and hopes to keep it up. He said growth is inevitable, but it can be positive or negative.

“I want to continue it in a positive direction, which is based on what’s best for the community,” he said.