George Lofton is officially a member of the Flossmoor Village Board, and he may be looking to stay.
The Village Board voted 5-0 Monday, Nov. 2, to affirm the appointment by Mayor Paul Braun to a seat vacated last month by former Trustee Gyata Kimmons. Lofton is to serve in that appointed role through the April 2021 election, but he said in a phone interview with the Chronicle he is considering running for the remaining two years of Kimmons’ term.
“At this point, I would say I’m interested,” Lofton said.
Lofton said he wanted to wait to announce any possible candidacy at an “appropriate time” but he is happy to be helping the village for the time being. He said he knew Kimmons’ seat had been vacated but he had not thought much more about it until he received a call.
“It caught me by surprise, to be honest, when I spoke with Mayor Paul Braun,” Lofton said. “I’m just happy to serve, happy for the opportunity.”
A new ordinance passed in December and upheld in October by the Chicago’s Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight prevents elected officials from elsewhere from working as lobbyists in the city. Kimmons, who was elected in April 2019 to a four-year term with the Flossmoor Village Board, lobbies Chicago on behalf of companies such as Walmart and McDonald’s. He resigned from his elected position on Oct. 21.
Kimmons himself briefly joined the Zoom call that served as Monday’s Village Board meeting to wish Lofton well in the new position.
“George Lofton, I just wanted to applaud your efforts in joining the board,” Kimmons said.
Mayoral candidate Michelle Nelson also congratulated Lofton on the call and thanked him for serving. The village board joined them in welcoming Lofton.
“I wholeheartedly endorse this appointment,” Trustee Perry Hoag said.
“His reputation preceded him, and I know he will do great work with the board,” Trustee Joni Bradley-Scott added.
Lofton, who took his oath during the Monday meeting, was thrown right into things with a tax levy discussion. But he said the village helped him get up to speed.
“I got a quick study from the folks on the staff,” he said. “I really felt good about the support I got from the trustees.”
Lofton is a 15-year resident of Flossmoor. He worked for 37 years for Commonwealth Edison, where he retired as the vice president of economic development. He also managed marketing and sales for the company for more than a decade out of Harvey.
Following Lofton’s retirement, he started Lofton & Associates, a business development consulting firm. He holds a Bachelor of Science in agricultural engineering from Chicago Technical College. He and his wife have three daughters.
While Lofton has served on Roosevelt University’s Board of Trustee for a decade, in addition to five years on the board for First National Bank in Chicago Heights, this marks his first time holding public office for a municipality.
Local,Region: South Suburbs
via HF Chronicle http://hfchronicle.com
November 7, 2020 at 04:49PM