Coughlin Will Pursue Second Term as Mayor Longtime Geneva Resident, Alderman Will Be Opponent
Kunz, Tona, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Geneva Mayor Tom Coughlin announced Wednesday that he will run for a second term.
He won't have to look far for an opponent. The aldermen who sits to his left, Kevin Burns, also will throw his hat in the ring.
Coughlin has lived in Geneva for 21 years and has moved from the west side to the east side to downtown, giving him a broad perspective on neighborhood concerns and east-west divisions.
"I think they are both very charismatic people and have a lot of support," said former mayor Dick Lewis. "I would expect it would be a very ethical and competitive race."
Burns said Coughlin told him he was running for re-election, and Coughlin knows Burns will run.
"I will be announcing my campaign shortly," said Burns, who didn't want to elaborate on his platform. "We look forward to a very vigorous and aggressive campaign."
The race will pit two well-known, longtime residents with experience on the council.
Burns has been an alderman for 3 1/2 years. Coughlin was an alderman for four years before becoming mayor. He has served in that capacity for 3 1/2 years.
Burns is the hometown boy, a Geneva High School graduate with family connections throughout town. His father, John Burns, is park board president and his brother-in-law, Chuck Emma, is on the park board. Another brother in-law, Doug Cuscaden, is a former alderman and now plan commission member.
His wife, Terry, does public relations work for the high school and aunt Mary Kessler served on the library board until recently.
Because of their political pedigrees, voters are going to have to examine their voting records for differences. That's fine with Mary Lu O'Halloran, a member of the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee who often deals with the council.
"I would like to see a good healthy race on the issues, not on charisma, that will help us unite our city council and face the issues ahead," she said.
Coughlin said he won't make campaign promises other than to get out and knock on as many doors as possible. When he ran in 1997, he pledged to kick start the Dodson Place development on Third Street, which finally is taking shape. His priority if re-elected is to see that project financed.
But he also pledges to lure a grocery store to the east side of town.
"It's way past due," he said. "It's possible. There are no guarantees, but I will do everything in my power to get it down."
In addition to that, he stands on his record.
"I am quite proud of what has been accomplished throughout my administration," Coughlin said.
To wit, Coughlin says: The downtown's vitality was maintained while increasing sales tax revenue along Randall Road to keep property taxes down; Millard Refrigerated Foods and Pillsbury moved into the business park, bringing $1 million in property taxes with them. …