STEPHENSON — The City of Stephenson will elect a new mayor Tuesday. 

The current mayor, Lowell Bengry, will not be seeking re-election for a new term. Bengry has served in the city government for more than 40 years. He was first elected to the city council in April 1978 and has served as city mayor for 11 years. His time as mayor has not been consecutive, he first served as mayor from 1992-1994 and was elected again in 2009.

“I’m getting old and I would like to retire,” Bengry cited as his reason for not seeking re-election. “I’ve been serving on the council for 40 1/2 years and it’s enough.”

“I’m not leaving office because I am mad at anyone, I don’t hold a grudge,” he added, “I would just like to spend more time at my camp.”

Bengry said that he would not say with certainty that he will never serve on the council again. “I would not count that out, I am still interested in the community and will continue to work with it.”

“I have enjoyed working with the people over the years, and am very thankful of the the support they have given me throughout the years,” Bengry said. “The best thing about Stephenson is its people.”

Bengry said that he hopes that the people of Stephenson are as cooperative and supportive of the incoming mayor as they have been for him over the years.

There are two candidates running for mayor:  Connie Westrich and Amy Larson.

Westrich promises a new face to local politics. She does not have experience in public office, but “comes from the corporate world.” Westrich said that her experience working as business development manager for L’Oreal USA has provided her with skills that she can utilize in a mayoral setting. Business building, communication skills and working with growing people are a few of the skills she cites.

Westrich said she wants to improve the aesthetics of the city, create more community involvement and bring in more businesses.

However, Larson cites her many years on the City of Stephenson City Council as one of her qualifications for mayor. She is currently serving on City Council and has 16 years experience in local office.

“I’ve learned a lot over the past 16 years, and I think it’s time for me to step forward to address the community’s concerns,” Larson said. “I’m qualified for this position, I have the experience and I am ready.”

If elected, Larson hopes to work on fixing city streets and improving the overall infrastructure of the city.

“I am committed to the community and I care about its people,” she said.

Citizens of the City of Stephenson will be able to cast their vote for mayor during the election Tuesday.