No drama in Manteno

May 10, 2019

MANTENO — Don’t expect to see any upheaval in Manteno’s village government, even though the election was last month.

The reason: Incumbents ran unopposed.

In the election, three of the six village trustee seats were up. Just three people ran — trustees Joel Gesky, Wendell Phillips and Todd Crockett. The other elected position was clerk; incumbent Robin Batka was the lone candidate.

They took their oath of office at Tuesday’s meeting.

This year’s election was similar to the one in 2017, when Mayor Tim Nugent and other candidates ran unopposed. Nugent, a former Kankakee police chief, has been mayor since 2005.

The village board meets twice per month in sessions that usually last no more than 25 minutes.

Trustees also meet as various committees throughout the month. These committees are public works, public safety, planning and zoning, and finance. This is where members can get more detail about city issues.

Manteno board meetings are on YouTube, but committee sessions are not.

Nugent said votes are nearly always unanimous. Disagreements are voiced during committee meetings and are worked out they are voted on, he said.

“We’re fortunate to have a board that is open to discussion,” he said in an interview. “Our board has been unified.”

Manteno’s political situation is a far cry from the one in Bradley, which had been generating headlines lately.

In the April 2 election, the Bradley board’s majority switched from Democrats to Progressive Citizens. Late last month, Bradley Mayor Bruce Adams resigned. The trustee majority chose Adams’ rival, Mike Watson, as the new mayor.