The city of Yorkville soon will have a new mayor.
John Purcell, a long-time Kendall County Board member and local business owner, won a three-way race for mayor in balloting Tuesday. Final, unofficial vote totals released by the Kendall County Clerk’s Office show Purcell with 899 votes, incumbent Mayor Gary Golinski with 757 votes and current Ward 2 Alderman Arden Joe Plocher with 606.
After receiving message after message and phone call after phone call of congratulations following the election results Tuesday, Purcell said he was humbled by Yorkville residents choosing him as the city’s new leader.
“You don’t become a mayor of a city of 20,000 people by yourself,” Purcell said.
Golinski was seeking election to a third, four-year term as mayor.
Golinski said he always tells his Boy Scouts to always leave something better than you found it and he believes he did that with the city of Yorkville. He said he was happy to serve the city as mayor for as long as he did and wishes Purcell good luck in the role.
“It’s going to take a lot for the city to keep going strong,” Golinski said.
Theresa Nevills, Yorkville resident and a friend of Purcell’s, said she and her husband Greg have always been supportive of Purcell running for mayor and was happy with the mayoral election results Tuesday night. She said she thinks Purcell is very honest and is able to remain neutral and consider everyone’s point of view in decision-making.
“I think he’ll be one of the best mayors I’ve seen since I’ve lived in Yorkville,” Nevills said.
Purcell had said he believes he was at an advantage with having the most government experience out of the other mayoral candidates and his business experience as the owner of Ace Hardware just outside of Yorkville’s city limits on Route 34. Along with planned continued efforts to move along road construction within the city, Purcell had said the goal is for the city to build a good commercial base that would hopefully help offset property taxes, with a lot of economic development potential lying along Illinois Route 47 specifically.
Regarding his hardware store, which has previously been a point of contention within city government, Purcell had said it was a business decision to move outside of the city just as it was the city’s decision to award competing businesses space within city limits. He had said it wasn’t on his agenda as mayor to annex his hardware store into the city but he’d be open to the discussion with city officials, should it arise.
Purcell said his first order of business following his first meeting as mayor at the May 14 City Council meeting will be to instill better responsiveness and accountability between city officials and the public, with specific courses of action to do so having yet to be determined.
He said he will make a point to be accessible and that kind of availability will mean a lot to people.
“They want to know they can talk to their mayor,” Purcell said.
Kendall County Board Chairman Scott Gryder said he will have 30 days after Purcell resigns from his District 1 county board seat, with that resignation date expected to be closer to the May 14 City Council meeting, to appoint a new county board member. He said county board members have talked about the possibility of having to fill Purcell’s seat ahead of the election but didn’t want to get too far into the weeds until after election results were posted.
“We didn’t want to put the cart before the horse,” Gryder said.
Gryder said there are currently eight to 10 potential candidates that he has considered on his own, that have reached out to him following the election results, or both. He said he would only announce possible appointee names when it’s narrowed down to just one candidate.
Plocher said he is looking forward to continuing to represent Ward 2 residents and that he sent his congratulations to Purcell following election results. He said he is looking forward to speaking with him on restructuring the city’s tax increment financing, along with continued economic development and retention.
“I see we will probably have a good working relationship in the future,” Plocher said.
Purcell said he thinks the city has a good foundation and it just needs to finish the edges off to put a good house together, so to speak. He said there are some really hard workers within city staff.
“I’m excited to work with these folks,” Purcell said.