Basta wins full term in competitive Bolingbrook mayoral race

Incumbent bested Will County Board member, sitting village trustee

Mary Alexander-Basta, the acting mayor of Bolingbrook, won a full term leading Will County’s second largest municipality in Tuesday’s election.

Alexander-Basta, who was tapped by longtime Mayor Roger Claar to finish his term when he retired last year, led a field of three candidates with 43% of the vote. She had previously been a village trustee after being elected to that office in 2019.

Jackie Traynere, a Democratic Will County Board member who ran unsuccessfully for the mayor’s office in 2017, got 33% of the vote. Bolingbrook Village Trustee Sheldon Watts pulled in 24% of the vote.

“I was confident that taking the high road was going to have a positive effect and it did,” Basta said Wednesday. “I was confident in the voters of Bolingbrook.”

Basta’s fellow “Bolingbrook First” slate members also were elected, including Marti Barton for village clerk and Michael Lawler, Troy Doris and Maria Zarate for seats on the Village Board. Lawler and Zarate were incumbents.

The “high road” comment was an apparent reference to an advisory ballot question put to voters via a petition from Traynere’s camp about a fee for garbage service in the village. The question asked residents if they wanted to rescind a “tax increase” for garbage collection, but Basta and others in village leadership refuted the framing.

“The garbage tax was non-existent,” she said. “It’s not a tax. It’s always been a fee for a service. It’s a non-issue.”

Still, about 69% of voters said the village should repeal the “tax.”

A majority of voters also said they were not in favor of allowing video gaming in the village.

While Traynere touted the result of the vote on the garbage collection fee, she it was “kind of hard to figure” why voters were “happy with the status quo.”

Traynere added she will not run again for mayor. In a campaign email to supporters, she said she and her slate would “continue our work and keep fighting for a more transparent, equitable, and responsive government.”

Watts did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

As for the future, Basta said she wants to focus on attracting more businesses to the village and the ongoing legal effort to retake control of the village’s drinking water system from Illinois American Water.

She added that she hopes to be more “hands-on” in collaborating with elected officials at the county and state level on issues relevant to Bolingbrook.