Mayoral primary on ballot Tuesday, Feb. 26
Morton Grove's two mayoral candidates, Dan Staackmann (left) and Dan DiMaria (right) are facing off in Morton Grove's mayoral primary Tuesday. Composite photo by Brian O'Mahoney and Ari Neiditz~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:13AM
Morton Grove voters Tuesday will be choosing a candidate to run on the Action Party slate in April.
Mayor Dan Staackmann is seeking his second term at the post and is being challenged by Trustee Dan DiMaria. Both were elected on the Action Party ticket and both sought the party’s endorsement to run for mayor this year.
The party’s slating committee, however, endorsed Staackmann in a close vote.
None of the other posts on the April election are being challenged either in the Feb. 26 primary or general election. Those include three seats on the Morton Grove Village Board and the post of village clerk.
Since filing to run against Staackmann, DiMaria has picked up the endorsement of, among, others current Action Party Trustee Bill Grear and former trustee Jim Karp.
DiMaria has cited what he called Staackmann’s failure to involve residents enough in the decision-making process. He also said Staackmann has not done enough personally to help bring new business to the village.
For his part, Staackmann said DiMaria had the opportunity as a trustee and the village board liaison to Morton Grove’s Economic Development Commission to take an active role in attracting business.
He also questioned DiMaria’s motivation in running after he sought but failed to receive the Action Party slating to run for mayor.
Staackmann contended that everyone who sought the party’s endorsement agreed not to challenge the candidates who were selected.
DiMaria, a long-time member of the Action Party, served as clerk before he was appointed to the village board. He then won a full four-year term.
DiMaria did not run for reelection in 2007, but two years later was again elected to the board with the greatest number of votes of any of the six candidates running for trustee.
Staackmann served as trustee for six years before he was elected mayor in 2009. Before that he served for 16 years on the Morton Grove Park Board.
In that role he has said he worked to help solve what had been severe financial problems at the park district.
During his tenure as mayor, the village has sought to reduce costs, in part by outsourcing services.
One of the major changes was the elimination of the village-run senior center. Instead, that facility is being operated by the North Shore Senior Center.
Before joining the Action Party, Staackmann also tried to run as a third party candidate, once with a full slate and once by himself.