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Home Sections Politics Mayor-Friend of Filipino Americans Runs for Re-Election
Mayor-Friend of Filipino Americans Runs for Re-Election PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Saturday, 26 March 2011 10:14

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

Journal Group Link International)

  

N APERVILLE, Illinois (jGLi) – This bedroom community of 10,000 registered voters in Chicago's northwest has known only one mayor during the last 16 years. Incumbent suburban Naperville, Illinois, Mayor A. George Pradel wants to extend his presence for four more years when he seeks re-election for his fifth and last term on April 5th against Councilmen Kenn Miller and Dough Krause.

 

In a recent courtesy call to his office, Filipino-American Naperville resident A. Jun Delfin asked Mayor Pradel if he was running for office. Mr. Pradel said he was running for his re-election because he would no longer be eligible to run after 2016. He would be termed out by then by operation of new election city code.

 

Although ten to 11 percent of the city population is Asian American, there is a high percentage of Filipino Americans in the city. Mr. Delfin, a businessman, assured Mayor Pradel that he would tell his fellow Filipino Americans to support him for being sensitive to the needs of the ethnic community.


Mayor Pradel noted that Filipino Americans “are not pushy” to have a high-profile image in the city. “They are just quiet, hard-working employees. They don’t have time to campaign around as candidates. Many Filipino Americans work at Edward Hospital & Health Services and the school districts 2 or 3, which are biggest employers at 7,000.” But he hopes they will go out and vote this time.

 

The unlikely mayor told Mr. Delfin, chairman and CEO of The Unlimited Agency, and this reporter that when he was young, he never harbored ambition to be in politics. In fact, he started as a police officer. He must be so-effective as a peace officer that he stayed in that service for 29 years.

 

“I DID NOT WANT TO BE A MAYOR”

 

“I did not want to be a mayor,” Mayor Pradel said. “I really wanted to work with children, as a social worker or orphanage. But things changed in the Marine Corps. And I got the job in the police.” Mr. Pradel recalled. And he ended up studying police science, law enforcement and criminal justice that’s why he spent the best years of his life wearing the police uniform.

 

“I wanted to help young people to have the best way of life, keep them in the right track and to have proper education, especially the children in high school, where they have to obey the rules,” Mr. Pradel said.

 

But when there was an opportunity, after almost 30 years in the police, he threw his hat in the political ring, beating four other candidates in his first crack at politics as a mayoral candidate in Naperville.

 

Mr. Pradel said he beat a candidate, who has been a veteran in the council for 16 years and who was “very mad at me when I won.”

 

MAYOR PRADEL NEVER LOST AN ELECTION

 

He has since won re-election for four terms for the last 16 years. But he will be finally bowing out of office in 2015 if he wins on April. In 2016, the two-term limit will kick in.

 

Mayor Pradel is actually part of policy- or law-making council made up of nine council members, who are elected for four years for each term.  Four of these incumbent members serve the balance of two years so they can run for a four-year term with the other alternating four-year term council members holding office for continuity.

 

Running the day-to-day affair of this bedroom community of 150,000 people is city manager, Dough A. Krieger.

 

During federal elections, Mayor Pradel wears a Republican hat “because my Dad was a Republican. If my Dad were a Democrat, maybe I would also be Democrat.”

 

When I pointed out that he was a “chip off the old block,” he cracked, saying, “You are right.”

 

Mr. Delfin has been friends with Mayor Pradel’s staff. But he wanted to know more about the mayor and perhaps the 73-year-old Mayor Pradel’s secret of popularity and longevity up close.

 

UNLIMITED AGENCY IS LOCAL, NATIONAL & GLOBAL

 

J un Delfin wanted Mayor Pradel to know that his The Unlimited Agency, Inc. is not only local but also national and global in scope. “We offer ourselves as the hub and incubator of financial and business entities for current and prospective entrepreneurs aligned and in partnership with us.

 

“We live to promote an environment of continual growth, crossing all barriers, as we lead our clientele, network and colleagues to emulate our practices, especially in challenging limitations, assured of our need for each other ad life-long cooperation.”

 

But for those who could not drop by the mayor’s office, Mayor Pradel is inviting them to visit the website of Naperville city government.

 

At the website, everybody would be able to see that Naperville was founded in 1831 and has been an attractive and progressive city.

 

In his message, Mayor Pradel explains that Naperville is “known as the high technology center of the Midwest because of the many research centers that have located here. These campus-type centers blend effectively with our beautiful homes, apartments, and convenient shopping areas. “Naperville residents keep in touch with the past through such traditions as attending free Municipal Band concerts and ice cream socials at Central Park. “We’re devoted to developing Naper Settlement, a living-history village that is an accurate representation of an Illinois prairie community.

 

Naperville is also home to Centennial Beach and the Riverwalk, a linear park set along the DuPage River designed in commemoration of the City’s 150th birthday. The Riverwalk received first place in the Illinois Home Town Awards program and was a finalist in the national All-America Cities award competition.” # # #

 

Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 



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