Three candidates run for Velva commission president

VELVA Three candidates are vying for president of the Velva City Commission in a special election set for Sept. 17.

Former commission president Cindy Shattuck, former deputy city auditor Dawn Lakoduk and city commissioner Darren Johnson are looking to fill the vacancy left with the resignation of Ken Fox in May. Fox stepped down for personal reasons. Commission president in a commission form of government is the equivalent of mayor in a council form of government.

The poll will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Velva City Hall.

Lakoduk manages the Granville office of the McHenry County state’s attorney, where she also is victim witness coordinator. In addition, she is gaming manager for the Velva Fire Department. She served as deputy city auditor in Velva from 2009 to 2012. She is a volunteer ambulance driver.

Lakoduk said her experiences as deputy auditor encouraged her to get further involved in city government.

“I enjoyed working with the people and I feel that with my experience working as a deputy auditor, I have a lot to offer to the citizens,” she said. She also has experience working for a financial firm for about 10 years.

Johnson was elected to the city commission in 2012. He is employed by BNSF Railway.

“Velva, for the most part, is a well-run town,” Johnson said. He has an interest, though, in keeping the city financially accountable. He said he would focus on getting audits up to date and ensuring the city follows state laws and appropriate financial standards for budgeting and taxing.

Shattuck was commission president from 2002 to 2010 after having previously served several months as a commissioner. Shattuck said she decided to run again with the encouragement of a number of community members who stated her positive attitude and decision-making abilities would be good for the city.

Shattuck said it takes many community volunteers in various roles to keep a city moving forward, and she believes city government is an area where she can best contribute her time and talents.

“I would like to be one of those ingredients working together to keep Velva growing stronger,” she said.

Shattuck has worked for more than 30 years for Verendrye Electric, where she is credit manager. She is vice president of the Velva Association of Commerce, secretary for St. Cecilia’s Church Council, a First Responder with the Velva Ambulance and president of Inter-Agency, an advisory committee for area service organizations.