Long-time West Dundee president Keller won’t run again
By Erin Sauder For The Courier-News December 13, 2012 2:20PM
larry keller west dundee
Updated: January 15, 2013 11:31AM
WEST DUNDEE — For village President Larry Keller, the decision not to run again for his seat in the April election will be “the end of one era and the start of another.”
Keller took on the role in 1997, after spending seven years as a trustee.
“It’s been a long run and it’s been very rewarding but it’s time to move on and do some other things in my life,” he said.
One of those things is spending more time with his grandchildren. He’d also like to start up a volunteer corps for the village.
“It’s one of my goals so that people that have time on their hands and would like to help out will have a source to use that time and energy in,” he said.
In the past two decades as a public servant, Keller has watched the village change considerably, including the addition of a public works building and a fire station, lighting on Main Street, and the revamping of Grafelman Park.
“Those are kind of landmark things,” he said. “A lot of other things have happened behind the scenes.”
For instance, during his tenure the village implemented a recycling program, and thanks to the Randall Road water treatment plant, the community has been enjoying better water quality. Just this year, residents approved a referendum allowing the village to negotiate power supply agreements on behalf of all homeowners and small businesses who don’t opt out of being included.
“Every year it’s like there is something else we move forward on and work on to improve the community,” Keller said.
He said it’s hard to narrow down what he will miss the most about holding a public office.
“Probably the association I’ve had with the people of the village and the people in the community that help the community in all sorts of ways,” he said. “I’m basically a people person. I was a teacher and that’s a people job. So is this.”
Keller says there isn’t much he won’t miss about holding elected office. In fact, he couldn’t think of a thing.
“It’s been a very rewarding task,” he said. “I consider myself a person that wants to help out. From that standpoint, that’s what I’ve done over the years.”
Come April, it will be someone else’s turn.
One in the running
Already, West Dundee resident Chris Nelson, 41, has thrown his hat in the ring.
He works for Comcast as manager of government and regulatory affairs for the greater Chicago region.
Prior to joining Comcast, Nelson worked in the municipal management field in the communities of Sycamore, Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates, working in a number of operating departments, including administration, community development, code enforcement, police and human resources.
“Having worked for communities large and small — all of which were dynamic and growing — I have had the benefit of working with a variety of excellent municipal teams on an even greater variety of projects,” he said in a release.
Nelson is a member of the board of the Dundee Township Boys and Girls Club and is in his third term as president of the Grand Pointe Meadows Homeowners.
Nelson said his goals as village president would be to strengthen the village’s tax base through aggressive economic development efforts; make accessing village services easier; develop stronger ties with area legislators at state, county, township and municipal levels; preserve and expand local events such as Heritage Fest and Dickens in Dundee; and increase access to elected officials.Nelson said he sees the role of village president as that of a public servant.
“Public service is a calling, one that I take seriously,” he said. “I care about my community and want to help preserve its small town feel, along with its solid tax base. It is my hope that the residents of West Dundee see my education and experience as assets and elect me to the office of village president. Given that privilege, I promise to serve the residents of West Dundee to the best of my ability.”