The Village of Flower Hill Mayor Robert “Bob” McNamara will not be running for reelection this coming March, but instead for one of the trustee seats. Village of Flower Hill Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington has also announced that he will be running for the open mayor seat. Current trustees Randall Rosenbaum and Gary Lewandowski will run for reelection as trustees. Village Justice Dennis Reisman will also be running for reelection.
All candidates listed will be running on the Flower Hill Party line and were all endorsed by the party, according to a release.
For the past five years, McNamara has been the mayor of Flower Hill and was previously the deputy mayor for three years and a trustee for one year. Herrington has served alongside him as deputy mayor for the past three years. He was a trustee for two years prior to that.
“I’m going to drop down and be a trustee,” McNamara said. “The first thing I did was make Brian deputy mayor and we really mirrored each other in many situations and I could be gone and he could take over and vice versa, there would be no problem. I felt as if this was the time to turn it over to Brian and give him the reins and run it with.”
When McNamara first became mayor, he asked Herrington to be his deputy mayor and to learn the ropes of the mayor role as time went on. Now, Herrington is looking to make the step up.
“My work has gotten really busy and I was actually considering coming off the board, but we restructured some stuff at work and Bob came to me and said he wanted to take a step back and the timing just ended up being perfect,” Herrington said. “It wasn’t something that was in the works for a long time other than when we did it.”
Herrington also cited McNamara as a mayor that delegated and had him work with the building department, highway department and various administrators in a village with a $4 million budget.
“If I did not grab him now and urge him to take over the mayor job, I would probably lose him,” McNamara said. “My concern would be if I lost him that, although I have some great trustees, nobody else was ready to step up into the job at this time. That would have concerned me.”
Herrington plans to campaign on several issues that concern the village, including keeping taxes down, reckless driving and the environment. He would also like to set up several committees that could help the village become more efficient and set up opportunities with other local governments and companies.
“We have come up with a game plan of what we want to tackle,” Herrington said. “Number one is we want to hold the line on taxes, we have been able to manage this village in a fiscally responsible manner. We were able to decrease the tax hit last year and we want to continue to create opportunities like that.”
Herrington would like to bring in a traffic engineer to find a solution of drivers speeding on village roads, which has received several complaints from residents.
“The last piece, which I think is really important, is protecting the environment,” Herrington said. “I think in the next couple weeks you will hear and see some different initiatives on that side. Really tackle the nitrogen issue. Every little bit helps.”
Another trustee is expected to announce their candidacy for the mayorship, but Herrington is currently the only candidate for the election which will take place on Wednesday, March 18.
McNamara still wants to serve his community, but this time as a trustee on the board. He says that his biggest accomplishment to date is getting the villages finances in order.
“We have a lot of reserves put away for emergencies,” McNamara said. “I think the one thing I focused on in the beginning was the building department. It was bringing in the right building inspector, the right team, treating people like they wanted to be treated and creating an architectural review board. Those were the things I focused on, worked on and had a lot of fun doing.”