Wildwood residents praised for 'being heard' in election
Elizabeth Davies believes the Wildwood Park District Board election couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It’s the only way that the residents could truly be heard,” she told the Lake County Gazette. “With the process at hand, they could no longer be ignored.”
Davies is a Village of Grayslake board member, but she said her parents have lived in Wildwood for as long as she can remember. Her father has been on the park board since 2015.
In Tuesday's election, Dave Rupp and Anna Nelson were swept into power with an average of 36 percent of the vote each. They ran on a platform resonated with voters because it’s what they all wanted, Davies said.
“In Wildwood, the taxpayers grew tired of seeing money misspent,” Davies said. “Wildwood was once beautiful; now priorities in spending are so misplaced, we couldn’t get things like wood chips for the parks. All community amenities were let go for frivolous spending.”
The turning point came in 2013, when one of the lakes in the area became so polluted that residents were prevented from swimming in it for parts of three straight summers.
That spurred Davies’ father, Dan Bundalo, to run for the park board post he still holds. Bundalo launched his campaign after he and other concerned residents were told there was no money in the budget to pay for needed water treatments.
Davies said things have gotten better over the two years her father has been in office, and she’s hoping having Rupp and Nelson on board will add to the positive momentum.
“Anna and Dave have both lived here for over 25 years," she said. "They remember when parks were taken care of and want that back. They both can remember the good times."
Both support a plan aimed at restoring the area’s 11 parks and four lakes.
“The parks and lakes are our gems,” Nelson said. “We need to get back to those days.”
Rupp previously served two terms – six years – on the board, and said he ran again after being pained by how off-course he thought things had become.
“They’re the right people for the job,” Davies said. “They have a good plan and the support of all the residents.”
Nelson vows that upkeep will again become the order of the day, with boats being repaired, park benches restored and park lawns regularly trimmed – just like they used to be.
“There’s an excitement in the area, and everybody is just ready to get to work,” Davies said. “Everyone was tired of seeing things go neglected.”
Organizations in this Story
33325 N. Sears Blvd.
Wildwood, IL 60030