Racine Fire Department Captain Mark Villapando has been tapped to fill former Trustee Chris Larsen’s vacancy on the Sturtevant Village Board. His appointment means he will serve until the April 2017 election – the remainder of Larsen’s two-year term.
Villalpando has experience as a village trustee; he was a member of the Community Development Authority for several years and on the board from 2001 until 2003, which is why Village President Steve Jansen asked him to fill the empty seat.
“Mark has a lot of knowledge about the village and with his history in public safety, I think he’ll make a great addition to the board,” Jansen said during a phone interview.
Villalpando is a 26-year veteran of the Racine Fire Department and has lived in Sturtevant his entire life.
“I actually live only a block from where I grew up,” he noted. “I’ve lived on 90th Street my whole life.”
Villalpando said he was surprised when Jansen stopped by his house last weekend to ask him if he would serve on the board after Villalpando had just been talking with Village Administrator/Clerk Mary Cole about serving on a couple of committees.
“It was a total surprise when Steve came over last Sunday and asked if I was ready to be a trustee,” he said. “A couple months ago I talked to Mary about serving on a committee so I told him I had to think about it.”
What ultimately swayed him to accept Jansen’s invitation was Villalpando’s previous experience in village government. Before running for the village board in 2001, he was a member of the CDA – the body tasked with overseeing the village’s tax incremental financing district that closes this year – and he said being part of Sturtevant’s future is something in which he’s definitely interested.
“When I was on the CDA for those years before I was a trustee, some of my votes impacted the direction of the TID, and this year is a neat year with the TID closing. Now we can do some work with money left over … I want to do something … It’s just a desire to serve, I guess.”
Jansen confirmed that he will appoint Villalpando to the CDA again and plans to shuffle some committee assignments to play to his board members strengths.
Villalpando will be sworn in at the May 3 village board meeting.