Village Voice Party, Lansing, Illinois
by Melanie Jongsma
Zeldenrust joined the Village Voice Party two years ago, when then-Trustee Patty Eidam ran for Mayor with Zeldenrust, Brian Hardy, and Mike Manno as Trustee candidates. Zeldenrust was not elected then, but Eidam was, and she then appointed Zeldenrust to fill her vacated Trustee seat. In that capacity he has chaired the Finance and Police Committees. “My time as Trustee has taught me a great deal about municipal government,” he said at the press conference, “and has given me a taste of what can happen when good-hearted people come together and care for the village they love.”
As a former police officer himself, Zeldenrust has a special sensitivity to the needs of the Lansing Police Department. He cited improvements made this past year—more officers, new squad cars, and shared patrol costs with District 158—and he promised to continue with similar enhancements if elected in April. He also expressed appreciation for the Village’s Finance Department and their “continued struggle to do more with less.”
A lifelong church member, Trustee Zeldenrust has found a way to activate church members’ desire to bless their neighbors. His role in Lansing government gives him access to people and departments who know about specific needs in town, so he helped form a volunteer group—Love for Lansing—to respond to those needs. Projects have involved yard work, carpentry, tree trimming, small repairs, and clean-up.
“I look forward to continuing the good work we have started,” said Zeldenrust at the press conference, citing the following specifics: communicating LPD’s high standards and integrity to new officers; supporting the work of the Human Relations Commission as they build connections between generations, cultures, and ethnic groups; growing the network of churches and civic organizations and developing a system that makes them aware of needs in the community; and identifying new sources of revenue so street repairs can be expanded.