Stephens leaving Leyden Township post
Bradley Stephens is not running for re-election as Leyden Township supervisor, a post he has held for 20 years. | Provided
Updated: February 15, 2013 9:50AM
After 20 years, Bradley Stephens is retiring as Leyden Township supervisor.
“I’ve had a lot of fun there and cut my political teeth there and learned a lot about the process,” Stephens said. “I think it’s just time to move on.”
Stephens will likely remain employed as mayor of Rosemont. He was appointed mayor in 2007, shortly after his father, Donald E. Stephens, died, and won election in 2009.
Stephens took over as Leyden Township supervisor from Angelo “Skip” Saviano in 1993, when Saviano was elected a state representative. Prior to that, Stephens worked as a carpenter and foreman at the Donald E. Stephens convention center. He also served as a trustee in Rosemont.
According to a 2012 report by the Cook County government, 9,496 people live in unincorporated Leyden Township. Township government acts as a sort of extension of the county government, Stephens said.
“A lot of people don’t get the attention they feel they should from the county,” Stephens said.
Township government maintains roads and water and sewer in the unincorporated areas. It also supplies programs for seniors and youth, issues grants to social service agencies like Oak-Leyden and Leyden Family Services and supplies other services, such as assistances for veterans.
During his time as supervisor, Stephens is most proud of relocating the township hall to Mannheim Road, building a recreation center and taking over Westdale Park and its programs.
Challenges remain. Though it has decreased, prostitution and drug dealing remain an issue along Mannheim Road, as do a handful of motels and apartment buildings that shelter such activities.
Joe Thomas has been slated by the Republican caucus to run for Township supervisor, and he has no opposition.
He served as a township trustee for eight years. He worked with the Utilities Department in Franklin Park for 32 years, ending his career as superintendent.
Once in office, Thomas aims to evaluate the condition of streets, sewer and water mains and create a long-term capital improvement plan.
For activities along Mannheim Road, Thomas said he aims to work closely with the municipalities and the county to come up with a plan.~.