Daily Herald, Eric Peterson
Unexpected additions and absences marked the first day of candidate filing for Schaumburg's 2019 village board election Monday.
Mayoral hopeful Matthew J. Steward and independent trustee candidate Scott Felgenhauer were previously unannounced entrants in the race but the earliest to arrive at village hall.
They were joined by the previously announced team of current longtime Trustee Tom Dailly running for mayor, trustees George Dunham and Mark Madej seeking re-election, and Brian Bieschke -- a 13-year veteran of the village's advisory panels -- seeking the third trustee seat.
Mayoral candidate Sunil Shah filed in the afternoon, while Village Clerk Marilyn Karr also filed for re-election Monday.
Absent from the first day of filing were announced mayoral candidate Nafees Rahman and two trustee candidates he has said are running with him -- Nooruddin Taj and Leon Mangum.
A most prominent absence was Mayor Al Larson, whose long tenure would end at 32 years in May if he does not file by Monday, Nov. 26.
But Larson insisted Monday he remains undecided about another run and has sufficient time to collect the minimum 42 signatures required.
"I'm still mulling things over," Larson said. "My family has to weigh in on this, too."
In contrast to Schaumburg, the first day of filing in neighboring Hoffman Estates was as expected. Trustees Anna Newell, Gary Pilafas and Gary Stanton filed for re-election, but no other candidates filed. The mayor and clerk offices in Hoffman Estates are not up for election next year.
Schaumburg's newest mayoral candidate, Steward, said he's lived in Schaumburg his entire 40 years, apart from attending college and earning his law degree, but has not been as involved as he'd like. He has served on the Olde Schaumburg Centre Commission that oversees new development in the village's historic district for about three years.
He said he believes he has the executive know-how to lead the village board, and he said he often negotiates with developers and believes he can be a help in filling some of Schaumburg's empty storefronts.
"I have management experience. I have finance experience," said the employee of the Hinshaw & Culbertson law firm who also serves as an adjunct professor at Dominican University.
Steward said his campaign is not based on opposition to existing policies.
Felgenhauer, 43, is director of business development for Plaidypus Custom Crafted Software & Mobile Apps in Naperville. He said he moved to Schaumburg as a child in 1980 and has been a resident for most of the time since. He's on the board of directors of the Schaumburg Business Association and has been heavily involved with the Schaumburg Jaycees.
Dailly and the three trustee candidates running in mutual support of his campaign reiterated the value of their experience and the role they believe their past involvement has played in the village's strength and stability.
"I think I bring the knowledge, the experience, the understanding of what it will take to move this village forward for the next 10 years," Dailly said.
Shah is an insurance agent in Schaumburg who has lived in the village for more than 20 years. He has not announced any candidates running with him.
Rahman, the announced mayoral candidates who did not file Monday, has been deputy director of accounting in Secretary of State Jesse White's office since April 2017 and has lived in Schaumburg for 21 years.
Because Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates have a primary system to narrow down a large field of candidates, the filing period for their potential Feb. 26 primary runs through early next week.
A primary would be triggered only if the number of candidates who file exceeds four times the number of seats for a position. It would take five candidates to trigger a primary for mayor or clerk, and 13 candidates to trigger a primary for trustee.
Though most elected boards' filing period for the April 2 general election is Dec. 10 to 17, Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates' already will be over by then even if a Feb. 26 primary is unnecessary.