DiCostanzo appointed to Niles City Council

Published 7:20 pm Monday, January 25, 2016

Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT — John DiCostanzo is sworn in as a councilman representing the Fourth Ward at Monday's meeting of the Niles City Council.

Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT — John DiCostanzo is sworn in as a councilman representing the Fourth Ward at Monday’s meeting of the Niles City Council.

John DiCostanzo said he had “big shoes to fill” soon after settling into his seat as the newest member of the Niles City Council.

The Fourth Ward seat became vacant when longtime councilman Scott Clark passed away in November.

The city council voted unanimously to appoint DiCostanzo to Clark’s position during Monday’s regular meeting.

“He (Clark) was one of a kind. Nobody is going to replace Scott, but I am here to do my absolute best and extend every effort to do a good job as a representative of the citizens of the Fourth Ward,” DiCostanzo said.

The motion to appoint DiCostanzo — one of 10 applicants for the position — was made by Councilman Tim Skalla, who also represents the Fourth Ward.

The motion was supported by councilman David Mann and then confirmed by a 7-0 vote of the council.

Skalla said he appreciated the amount of quality applicants the council received for the Fourth Ward seat.

“It was exciting to see there was that much interest,” he said.

DiCostanzo is no stranger to public service, having served on the city’s planning commission and board of utilities since 2012.

He said he applied for the seat because he has enjoyed his time serving on both boards and wanted to increase his involvement in city government.

“I am excited for the opportunity,” he said. “It is a big job and I plan on doing my best.”

DiCostanzo said he and his wife, Denise, grew up on Long Island, New York, about 35 miles east of New York City.

They moved to Niles with their two young sons in 1988 in order to improve their quality of life.

He currently works as a quality engineering manager at the AM General Commercial Assembly Plant.

“What I appreciate about Niles is we get a really great value for the tax dollar,” said DiCostanzo, praising the city’s public safety and utilities services.

DiCostanzo said he first crossed paths with Clark when Clark was coaching his sons in little league baseball.

He said they weren’t the type of friends that would go to dinner together, but they would talk when they saw each other around the city.

“He and I share the same political ideologies,” he said. “We would always have a conversation and pretty much be in agreement.”

DiCostanzo’s Fourth Ward seat will be contested in the November election.

He said he plans to file to be on the ballot.

Clerk Linda Casperson said anyone wanting to run for the seat would have to file for the August primary. The deadline is April 19.