Kleber will continue to serve on D181 board for two years

Hinsdale Library Board winners, uncontested races listed

Margie Kleber won the race for a two-year term on the Community Consolidated District 181 Board, defeating challenger Christine Dannhausen-Brun.

Kleber, the current board president, said she felt confident going into Tuesday’s vote.

“I was hearing really good things from a lot of people in the community,” Kleber said, citing letters of support she received.

Her uncontested election to the board four years ago meant this was her first real campaign experience.

“I got to meet a lot of people. It forced me to really get out there,” she remarked.

Kleber appreciated the affirmation from parents of current district students, who she knows “were watching things really closely this past year” due to pandemic issues.

She attributes her win to her collaborative approach as board president.

“When we disagree, it’s important that we all be respectful of other people and listen and then engage in constructive discussion,” Kleber said. “People may not like a decision, but they like the process, and I think that really resonates with them.”

She expects to continue trying to balance the needs of full in-person learners with fully remote students. Kleber is especially excited to work with incumbent Bill Cotter and newcomers Mike Martin and Grace Shin, the uncontested candidates for four-year terms.

“They’re all really great, and they’re all really independent thinkers,” she commented. “I think we have a good, diverse group.”

Dannhausen-Brun admitted to being “bummed” about the result, but accepting.

“The voters are looking for someone else right now, and that’s OK,” she said Wednesday morning.

But the mother of six took solace in the example she set for her family.

“It was great to have my kids see democracy at work and that it matters to get involved and be a part of the voice in the process,” she commented.

Differences on the district’s COVID-19 response were sharp, Dannhausen-Brun noted, and safety protocols unfortunately made it challenging to meet and hear directly from voters.

“The pandemic made it difficult to connect with voters and have the individual one-on-one conversations and let them get to know you,” she said.

The fast-evolving landscaper, with the district shifting from a hybrid model in December to this week’s return to full-time school, kept her on her toes.

“It’s amazing how much can change in a few months,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that people knew there are other issues (besides the pandemic) for the board to consider.”

Running for elected office is “not for the faint of heart,” she advised. She is considering alternative community service opportunities.

“Maybe there are other ways I need to contribute,” she said.

Library, village races

In the Hinsdale Library Board race, incumbents Mary Bock, Amy Glynn and Kristin McDaniel were joined by challenger Richard Munson in winning seats. Ryan Trombly also vied for one of the four open spots on the board.

Tom Cauley, who ran uncontested, will remain the Hinsdale village president for the next four years.

Incumbents Neale Byres and Matt Posthuma and newcomer Michelle Fisher were elected to three open seats on the Hinsdale Village Board. They faced no opposition.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean