Voice Party debuts for April elections in Elmwood Park
Joe Ponzio (center) talks with supporters after he announces his bid for village president in Elmwood Park. Elections aren’t until April 2013 but the Elmwood Park Voice Party announced its slate Friday at Bacciami Restaurant. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Time
Updated: August 20, 2012 10:48AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Although the election for five Elmwood Park Village Board seats will not take place until April 2013, a slate has already made its presence known.
Members of Elmwood Park Voice Party (EPVP) officially introduced themselves to the public Friday to a packed house at Baciami Restaurant, 18 Conti Parkway. The slate will try to unseat three trustees, a clerk and mayor, who have served the positions unopposed for several years.
The EPVP is made up of Anthony Del Santo, Elvis Hernandez and Philip Marcantelli who are vying for three trustee seats, Diane Marchetti for village clerk and Joe Ponzio for mayor.
The incumbents whose seats are up for election in April are mayor Peter Silvestri, village clerk Elsie Sutter and trustees Alan Bennett, Jeff Sargent and Sam LaBarbera. They have not announced yet if they will run for re-election.
EPVP slate members told the group why they were running and some of the things they want to change if elected. Among their promises were:
putting speed bumps and stop signs around every school in Elmwood Park to slow traffic down,
implementing a specialized gang and drug task force by restructuring the police department’s auxiliary police department,
freezing property taxes,
reviewing every contract agreement with the village.
Marcantelli said he wants to represent all of the people in the village. “Elmwood Park has been for the past 23 years run one way,” he said.
Del Santo said if elected, the EPVP would cut village waste to put more police on the streets and that the village has a crime and gang problem that the current administration doesn’t want to advertise.
“The village president is a Cook County commissioner who doesn’t want the crime stats going up,” Del Santo said. “So he pushes the crime away.”
Ponzio told the crowd nothing has changed.
“You keep your head down and work, but they keep demanding more,” he said. “... Our taxes are going to sweetheart deals instead of being spent efficiently for the people of Elmwood Park.”
“I will end no-bid contracts in this town,” he said.
Ponzio believes the make-up of village board needs to change.
“Elmwood Park is a great village,” he said. “Right now it needs a little help. It needs some fresh eyes.”
“When we win, and we will win, I will put my head down and work hard for this community,” Ponzio said.
Tony Mostaccio, 44, who has lived in Elmwood Park all his life and was at the event, said if he doesn’t see a change soon he is considering moving out of town. He likes what EPVP has to say so far.
Elmwood Park Mayor Peter Silvestri said he knows he will have competition in the upcoming election. He said it’s a bit early for him to announce a slate but he will.
“That’s why it’s America,” he said about EPVP and their run for office. “The people of Elmwood Park have been good to me, and hopefully, they will continue to do so.”