Russo appointed to replace Gelly as trustee

New member took oath immediately

July 22, 2009

River Hills — Peggy Russo will replace former trustee Cordelia Gelly on the Village Board.

Gelly resigned July 1 to move with her family to London.

Russo, 60, was one of three applicants for the board. Victor Harding and Samuel Blumenthal also applied. Harding, a member of the Plan Commission, sought election to one of two vacant seats in April. He was third in the voting trailing Gelly by 11 votes. A total of 40 votes separated first and fourth place in the close election.

The board interviewed the candidates July 15, selecting Russo with four votes on the first ballot. Harding also received two votes.

In an interview after her selection, Russo said she had been thinking about running for office when Gelly unexpectedly resigned.

"I have time now to study and research the issues," Russo said. "The way the world is now, we need to pay more attention, not less."

She has been an active community volunteer over the years, particularly in the schools, and comes to the board feeling knowledgeable about the village but without having an agenda.

"I am not affected by the water (Milwaukee Country Club) issue or traffic on Green Tree Road," she said. "I don't have a preconceived agenda. We need to get the facts and be open-minded."

Russo is a graduate of Marquette University. She is married to F. William Russo and has two adult daughters and a son.

She took the oath of office after her appointment.

- Mary Buckley

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