Tom Mills Will Face Audrey Viau if Recall in Elmwood Park

The former trustee is willing to step forward as an interim president if Elmwood Park residents collect the signatures needed to trigger a recall of Village President Audrey Viau.

The lack of communication between village leaders prompted former trustee Tom Mills to say he would step forward as a possible candidate if the recall effort against Village President Audrey Viau goes forward.

"I was asked by multiple residents to run," he said."But it was watching the discussions and lack of communication between the board and the president that made me want to run if we do have a recall."

Mills served two terms as a trustee about 10 years ago.

The Friends of the Village of Elmwood Park officially against current Village President Audrey Viau if the necessary 66 signatures are collected to trigger a recall.

But Mills was clear about his candidacy being defined as "interim only" and not as the first step to running again in April during the general election.

"By April I'm hoping to get some things in order so someone can step forward to run for a full term," he said. "I'm just too busy teaching and being with family to really give that position the attention it deserves for two years."

Mills is a motorcycle safety instructor who tries to spend as much time with grandkids as possible.

If there is a recall election and he wins, Mills said he wants to turn negatives into positives:

  • Fully annexing the Taylor Home property so it lies entirely in the village (part of it is in the City of Racine);
  • Marketing the village's assets; and
  • Research and obtain resources like grants for a more sustainable future

When it comes to marketing, Mills said he thinks the primary objection to Walmart coming to the old Kohl's property is because the company wants the village to change its land use plan.

"I don't think there's an objection to any busiess as long as they stay within the land use plan, and that includes Walmart," he said. "But part of the problem with Walmart has been the lack of information presented to the board and to residents."

And "marketing" also means fully utilizing the talents of various trustees.

"We have a lot of smart and talented people on the board and they're not being fully utilized," Mills added. "Look at Brad Jaeck and his plans for Taylor Home or Pat Tierney on the Planning Commission. He's an excellent source for building and development, and neither one of them is being utilized to their full extent."

Another step Mills said he would take if elected is not heading the Planning Commission but instead appointing someone else.

"I know the president is the head, but if I'm talking to a developer, I can't really be objective and so, yes, I would appoint someone to head the Plan Commission," he confirmed.

According to a recent email from the Friends of the Village of Elmwood Park, the group has 40 signatures and 10 people knocking on doors to collect the rest. Nick Haas, a member of the group, confirmed to Patch via email that they hope to have the 66 necessary signatures - 25 percent of the number of residents who voted in the 2011 election - or more by tomorrow.

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