Highland Park's mayoral race heats up

March 25, 2011 3:28:34 PM PDT
In the race for mayor in north suburban Highland Park, two city council members are vying to replace Mayor Michael Belsky, who is not running for re-election.

The April 5 election is 10 days away.

In Highland Park, the average family earns $134,000, and the average home costs nearly $600,000.

Wealth doesn't mean the city residents are not concerned about how the city is spending is money, especially after a recent tax hike.

The next mayor will have to address the issue.

Two candidates for mayor have ideas to keep the city on track.

Terri Olian is councilwoman and former school board member. A lawyer by profession, Olian wants to focus on economic development.

"I am constantly meeting with businesses and talking with property owners about what is working and what we need to improve so that we retain the businesses that currently exist, and so that we can bring new businesses to Highland Park," Olian said.

Nancy Rotering also serves on City Council. She is an attorney who has worked in both the private and public sectors. A life-long resident of Highland Park, Rotering wants the city to take a closer look at what its spending and why.

"And how much regulation we have, and how easy is it or how hard is it to open a new business in Highland Park and to stay in business in Highland Park. And what are our land use rules? And are we making it easier or harder for people to build here?" Rotering said.

The two candidates have worked together on city council but one issue on which they differed was the city's newly acquired movie theatre.

Rotering wanted to find alternatives before the city took over operation and ownership.

Olian supported the city's purchase -- as a draw for people to come downtown.

Both candidates say whichever way the votes go, they will continue working in the community.

Olian's council term expires and Rotering has two years left in her term.