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Werner Withdraws From Mayoral Race

Mayoral incumbent Joe Werner announced Tuesday that he will be leaving public office after the election in April to focus on his business and family.

Mokena Mayor Joe Werner announced Tuesday that he will withdraw his nominating petitions from the ballot for the April 9 election.

Challenger and former village trustee Frank Fleischer will be the only mayoral candidate to appear on the ballot.

Werner cited personal reasons for his candidacy withdrawal, saying that he wants to focus his energy on his family, his business (Werner-Nugent Plumbing) and his job as the water department superintendent and plumbing inspector for Blue Island.

“It’s not an easy conclusion to come to,” said Werner. “My dedication, my passion to the village is undiminished.”

Werner, who has served two terms as mayor and one term as a village trustee, said he could not commit in full certainty to the amount of time necessary to responsibly fulfill the obligations required of the mayor.

He specified that his withdrawal was not due to medical or family-related complications and that he arrived at the decision to leave the mayoral race after a logical evaluation of his priorities.

Werner said that he initially decided to withdraw his candidacy during the first week of January, only a few days before the Mokena Friends and Neighbors Candidates, of which Fleischer is a member, filed objections to the candidate petitions of Werner and the incumbent trustees.

Several petitions, including Werner’s, were challenged on the grounds that they did not contain the minimum number of valid signatures from registered voters who live in Mokena. Werner said he wanted to show respect for the residents who signed his petitions by proving the legitimacy of their signatures and, as a result, delayed announcing his withdrawal. All petitions were deemed to be valid by an electoral board and all challenged incumbents were allowed to remain on the ballot.

Werner will officially withdraw his petitions on Jan. 30.

When he announced his withdrawal, Werner endorsed his fellow incumbents, trustees Joe Siwinski, John Mazzorana and George Metanias and Village Clerk Pat Patt.

“What’s really, really important is that the voters take a close look at who the trustee candidates are,” said Werner.

Whichever candidates are elected trustees will play a major role in determining what direction the village government takes in the coming years, Werner said.

Werner also commented on the sole mayoral candidate, former village trustee Frank Fleischer.

“I think he’s got the capability,” said Werner, who noted that Fleischer previously served on the board for 16 years. “I would think he’s got a good running start.”

Fleischer issued the following prepared statement in response to Werner’s withdrawal:

“On behalf of the Mokena Friends and Neighbors and our many supporters, we would like to thank Mayor Joe Werner for his many years of service to the residents of Mokena. We look forward to a smooth transition.”

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RAK January 30, 2013 at 05:22 PM
I agree except for the schools. That would be an empty campaign - the Mayor has no control over D159. The last thing that the dysfunctional D159 Board needs is the Mayor or any other political entity getting involved. (They can't even rent out a football field without causing a controversy) I admired Werner for not getting sucked into that cluster**** over the past few years. We need strong schools, but it isn't the Mayor's job.
ray kroc January 30, 2013 at 06:35 PM
McDonald's wanted to build in mokena Where the creamery is now. But at that time certain members Of the board Were opposed to the thought iofa Drive through. Thats when trustee mazzoranna made his comments about mokena being a Drive through community to get to other communitys.
Amanda Bowl January 30, 2013 at 06:42 PM
I agree a strong write-in campaign! And the 4 incumbents left on the ballot are still better than their challengers. Please everyone, take a good look at Tony, Mary Beth, Vince and their clerk candidate.Not good.
RAK January 30, 2013 at 07:03 PM
And yet, when the Creamery is open, they have a drive through. The rest of the year they have a sign that says spend your money in a different town, great planning! At least they gave us a giant cow.
Eric Blair January 30, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Let’s see what most here are advocating. More growth so we can have more tax revenue to pave the way for bigger government that will necessitate more growth for more police and fire personal that will require more revenue that depends on more growth for more, more, and more. I heard people came to Mokena for the small town atmosphere. Only now they want to turn Mokena into Orland Park or Oak Lawn. This town was much better when it was blue collar. Now it’s turning into yuppieville with their million$ houses and fake personalities. Rank and file tradesmen can no longer afford to live here. Let’s face the fact that it’s war. The good news is that the yuppies will destroy themselves on their own just like they destroy everything else with their short term thought process. “Die Yuppie Scum” used to be a popular bumper sticker. Time to bring it back.
Yasmine January 31, 2013 at 12:45 AM
I bet you miss Ebert's and Big Jim's Pizza. Remember Mokena Ski & Sports- yes we had a ski shop on Front Street where that expensive nameless inconsistant restaurant is now.
Winners January 31, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Frank is no hand picked candidate , he is running with a full slate of candidates to Win in April and take Mokena on a new course . We are running full speed ahead to remove the Rubber Stamp Trustees that have nodded and smiled for Werner for the last 8 years and done NOTHING ! We're tired of watching Mazzorano attack residents who oppose his views and Metainias who lost his spine , plus I show up occasionally Siwinski . Support the Friends and Neighbor Candidates ,show up Tuesday at the VFW and ask questions ! 6:30 to 9:30 food and entertainment $35
steven visser January 31, 2013 at 03:15 AM
I can agree with the write-in candidate because , if its any election we should re-do is that township assessor Joe Kral. That establishment of government has to go. Township government should have been abolished a long time ago.Who ever runs against Kral is getting my vote. He reminds me of PAUL RUFF
Amanda Bowl January 31, 2013 at 06:31 AM
Frank was the 4th person Labriola asked to run for mayor because 3 others said no. He knew Frank would jump at the chance.
RAK January 31, 2013 at 03:54 PM
We have to pay to hear your opinions?
R.W.Voter January 31, 2013 at 05:52 PM
I used to have respect for Mayor Werner, but this act of withdrawing from the election after the deadline is one of the most selfish moves in politics. It is the same type of move that happened when Jerry Weller left office and the primary winner waited a while and then pulled out and we didn't have a chance of winning and we got Halvorson. May your plumbing business go bankrupt Mr. Werner. Thanks for nothing. Thank you
Winners January 31, 2013 at 11:28 PM
You don't have to pay to hear opinions if you've already decided on your candidates ,but If you think the FANS Candidates are viable you can stop bye and extend some support to them and have a good time with entertainment and food .
RAK February 04, 2013 at 02:31 PM
So what you are saying is that there is no free event where we can see what these people represent? Do they at least have a web-site with endorsements? Before I give any money to anyone I need to know if they are right-wing nut jobs, liberal tree-huggers, ex-klansmen or former black panthers. Not being a longtime resident, I get the feeling that these are old politicians from a dark time in Mokena's history where many economic developments and opportunities were wasted. Their first political act being an electoral legal maneuver does not give me much confidence.
mokena res February 04, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Didn't want a drive through? Can't they see the cremery's drive thru?
mokena res February 04, 2013 at 04:25 PM
I have said that in the past, the middle working class is going to be taxed out of here, while all these yuppie moms and dads agree with the tax hikes to increase the teachers salaries. Don't the teachers know throughout the state and country, jobs are being lost? wages cut? hours cut? Also, I moved to Mokena to get away from that city life, higher taxes. And now they want to build and build. I know we need some stores, but we have everything we need here or within a short distance.
carole February 05, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Thanks Mayor Joe for your service and dedication
Cereal Bowl February 06, 2013 at 05:59 AM
And now ..... Frank will be the mayor. See how that all works.
Mildred Frackenbottom February 06, 2013 at 07:25 AM
Mokena- Small Town Charm with Small-minded Leadership. Thanks for screwing us over , Joe.
Mokena Resident February 06, 2013 at 03:17 PM
he never lived in mokena. he never worked in mokena. used mokena to get a job by giving a job to his peloquin partners kid. he should be under investigation.
Mokena Resident February 06, 2013 at 03:30 PM
anyone who doesnt see this as a long con doesnt know anything about SHADY suburban political staples.
Mokena Resident February 06, 2013 at 03:31 PM
for $35
Change for Better February 08, 2013 at 04:31 PM
No Write in Candidate filed yesterday for mayor seat ! Congratulations Frank - expectations are high and we know you will give it your all .
Concerned Citizen February 09, 2013 at 04:32 AM
Good riddens Werner. Take toe realtor and his attorney with you as well! Let's clean house with the special interest group! You were only out for yourself and as you put it "the bennys"
Concerned Citizen February 09, 2013 at 04:39 AM
I agree. Frank is the only one with substance!
Concerned Citizen February 09, 2013 at 04:42 AM
Git er done! It will take getting rid of Downs and his so called economic director!
Concerned Citizen February 09, 2013 at 04:43 AM
Your first mistake is liking Werner.
Concerned Citizen February 09, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Wow, I didn't think there were intelligent people in Mokena. Kudos!
Concerned Citizen February 09, 2013 at 05:02 AM
The owner of the now defunct Gas City/Creamery gave Joe and the boys a $5,000 campaign contribution last mayoral election. Follow the money 2+2 is always 4.
Concerned Citizen February 09, 2013 at 05:03 AM
Forgot to mention, the giant cow is there to save it from the creditors as Gas City is now bankrupt!
Concerned Citizen February 09, 2013 at 05:06 AM
You are giving credit where credit is not due. Labriola is not that smart!

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