A veteran Councilman and three new Council members were sworn into office on April 29. Bob Gilliam, who has served an unprecedented 36 years on the Elgin City Council, was seated along with newcomers Richard Dunne, John Prigge and Mike Warren.
Bob Gilliam was first elected in 1973 and helped guide the City through massive change. He was instrumental in moving the City forward with downtown revitalization and has worked to ensure cooperation between neighborhood groups to foster positive change.
Perhaps the most significant event that demonstrated the Citys interest in affecting neighborhood change was when the City purchased Casa Linda on Willard Avenue, said Gilliam. When the City finally purchased it, officials made it clear that we were committed to improving our neighborhoods. The property was a public eye sore and we needed to something about it.
Gilliam, 64, is a former School District U-46 teacher and administrator. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada-Reno and his Master of Science from Northern Illinois University.
As lieutenant with the Elgin Fire Department, Richard Dunne has been on the employees side of the Council table and believes that perspective has helped lay the foundation for his Councilman service.
I view serving on the Elgin City Council as a continuation of my public service and wish to proactively maintain and build on all that is good about Elgin, said Dunne, 47. I believe in safe neighborhoods, responsible growth and fiscal accountability. I have great pride in Elgin and believe its time for citizens to renew their pride in the city.
Dunne has worked in Elgins Fire Department for more than 20 years. He has worked for the Department of Homeland Security and continues to serve in the United States Air Force Reserve. He has earned countless awards including Commendation Medals with the United States Air Force and a Life Saving Award with the Elgin Fire Department. He earned a degree in fire science management from Southern Illinois University.
A professional auctioneer for 19 years, John Prigge not only owns and operates Elgin-based Prigge Auctions but is a freelance writer and a local sports announcer.
I decided to run for City Council because I firmly believe that Elgin needs to improve its image with people outside of this community, said Prigge, 50. I believe we must focus on customer service-related issues. We must also focus on our current assets before acquiring others.
Prigge also believes that City communication and transparency are critical for success.
Prigge spent more than a decade as a customer service representative for AT&T before starting his own business. He is a graduate of Second City Training Center and Improv Olympics Chicago. He wrote Remembering Elgin Trivia Book in 2006 and was a co-host of a local history radio show entitled Remembering Elgin.
An account manager for Rieke Office Interiors, Mike Warren is determined to help steer the City through these difficult economic times.
By analyzing the Citys budget, determining the most effective use of resources and establishing priorities, I believe Elgin can emerge from this recession a stronger organization, said Warren, 40. I believe fiscal responsibility is the single most critical issue facing the City today.
But that doesnt mean Warren isnt passionate about other issues.
We also need to build strong neighborhoods, said Warren. I was raised in Elgin and have chosen to stay here because of the opportunities here. I believe that all starts with strong neighborhoods.
Warren attended Elgin U-46 schools and is a graduate of Elgin Community College. He is the president-elect of Elgins Rotary Club, serves on the board of Elgin Well Child Center and is a trustee of Elgin Symphony Orchestra. His involvement also extends to the Sherman Hospital Mens Alliance, YMCA, Community Crisis Center, The Boys and Girls Club and Easter Seals.