South suburban Country Club Hills will have a new mayor for the first time in 27 years after Tuesday's election.
Mayor Dwight Welch announced his retirement in December following a controversy over city finances in which the mayor was accused of using taxpayer money to pay expensive restaurant bills, among other unnecessary charges.
Before Welch announced he would not seek re-election, the city council overwhelming passed a proposal to limit terms. The referendum was meant to force Welch out of office. The mayor initially fought back by saying he would run again anyway, but he later retracted and announced his retirement, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Four current aldermen and one former alderman are on the ballot to replace Welch: Lisa Evans, James Ford, Anthony J. Davis, Vincent Lockett and Sherman Williams.
Lisa Evans has been an alderman since 2013. She is a U.S. Army veteran and currently owns a small business with her husband. If elected mayor, she pledges to bring more grocery stores, dine-in eateries and national retailers to help Country Club Hills grow economically, according to her website.
James Ford has served as alderman since 2005 and chairs the Law and Ordinance Committee and the Contract Compliance Committee. As mayor, Ford would like to expand business opportunities with outlet mall developers, create a jobs program for youth and improve the quality of life for senior residents.
Anthony J. Davis has been an alderman since 2011, and he currently chairs the Finance Committee in City Council. He also works as a real estate broker and owns On-the-Go Concessions in nearby Harvey. Among his proposed initiatives if elected mayor are eliminating wasteful spending, reducing long-term debt and improving transparency and accountability, according to his website.
Vincent Lockett has served as alderman since 2005 and currently chairs the Planning, Zoning and Development Committee. He previously worked as a car salesman for 20 years. In his campaign, Lockett focused on ending corruption and "business as usual" under Welch's leadership.
Sherman Williams is a former alderman in Country Club Hills. At a mayoral forum in March, Williams said he would restore tax rebates and eliminate the city's red light cameras, according to the Chicago Tribune.