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Race for seats on Village Board uncontested

March 18, 2014

Three trustee seats are up for election.

One incumbent is stepping down, and one new candidate is in the running in Elm Grove, making for an uncontested spring election.

Patrick Kressin, a landscape architect with Graef Engineering and member of the village's Public Works Board, is running to replace Trustee John Mazur, who is not seeking re-election.

Trustees George Haas and John Domaszek are running to keep their seats.

Kressin, who has lived in the village for 11 years, is married with two kids and third on the way.

"The most important thing for me is to keep Elm Grove a great place to live," he said. "I had an opportunity here to run, and I thought my expertise and experience could help the village maintain its great status."

Kressin said he thinks his career experience, working on projects such as Bayshore Mall and Underwood Crossing, will help him work with developers.

"In my day job I spend a lot of time working for developers to help get their projects approved through municipalities," he said. "I've had the ability to listen to every side of the argument and weigh the different pros and cons."

Domaszek and Haas both look forward to another term.

"I've enjoyed my time on the board thus far," said Domaszek, a newer trustee who just finished his first term. "I feel like I've been able to help bring a perspective of some of the younger families in town."

Domaszek is an attorney with the Sorrentino Burkert Law Group and has two kids at Tonawanda Elementary School. Since elected, he pointed to the Juneau Pathway as one of the most important projects he helped work on, as a trustee and a member of the Public Safety Committee.

Looking ahead, Domaszek said, he doesn't see any big stumbling blocks, but the redevelopment of the downtown will be important to plan.

"There's a lot of empty spaces," he said. "I don't know what type of funding the village can provide, but I think it's getting a village plan in place as far as what we want there and who's interested in coming."

George Haas has lived in Elm Grove for 28 years, and served on village government committees before becoming a trustee 19 years ago. He is married with two adult children who live in Chicago.

"I've been blessed in life with a lot of things, and I think it's my obligation to give back to the community," Haas said. "It's something I get a great deal of satisfaction out of. I think Elm Grove has been a very good place for my wife and me to live and raise our family, and I'd like to keep it going that way."

As chairman of the Finance Committee, Haas said, the biggest challenge moving forward will be holding down taxes.

"The village staff have been very good at coming up with creative ways of keeping taxes down, but I think that's going to be an ongoing challenge," he said. "Our residents have come to expect a high level of service and keeping that without skyrocketing taxes is a challenge."

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