Larry Aurelio seeks re-election to county board

Steven Barnum , Assistant News Editor

Larry Aurelio is striving for another term on the McDonough County Board.

Some may know Aurelio from the 19 years he has served on the board, while others may know him as the owner of Larry A’s, Macomb’s first pizza restaurant. Aurelio has found success in both business and  politics, which he finds is a helpful mixture.

“It’s important to have a business background because you work on budgets, and you work with different personalities of people,” Aurelio said. “I think I bring a lot of different aspects to the board.”

Born and raised in Macomb, Aurelio has always had an interest in the community’s well being. In addition to representing District 1, which includes the Western Illinois University campus and Spring Lake, he also sits on three committees: Buildings and Grounds, which oversees the court house and Elms Nursing Home; Claims, which handles all bills for the month and Finance, which is made up of chairmen of other committees. There are 21 county board members in total, with seven members representing each of the three districts. On Nov. 6, voters will have the option of voting for three of the following candidates: Aurelio, Wm. Digger Oster, Tessa Pfafman, Lee Calvert and Craig Burns. Scott Schwerer is the Chairman of the McDonough County Board, and he believes Aurelio deserves one of those votes.

“He has done an outstanding job keeping everything going smoothly,” Schwerer said. “He is well-respected on the board and in the community as a businessman.”

Schwerer also thinks Aurelio’s years of business experience has given him knowledge of the direction McDonough County residents would like to take.

“One of his greatest attributes is he has a restaurant and he visits with people, so he knows what people want and what people are thinking,” Schwerer said.

There’s no question whether owning a local business gives area residents easy access to Aurelio’s ears.

“I’m able to see a lot of people in here,” Aurelio said. “If someone does have a concern or an issue they care about, they can stop in and see me.”

Aurelio doesn’t feel that there are any major issues facing the county at the moment. Regarding the declining enrollment at Western, where his daughter attends school, it hasn’t had an impact on his restaurant. He also has yet to see a loss of life in the community.

“You’re always looking to expand,” he said. “It’s always nice to add more industry, but as a whole, I think the area has maintained itself well overall.”

When it comes to hiring employees at Larry A’s, which has been using the same ingredients since the restaurant’s inception in 1954, Aurelio knows exactly what to look for.

“They have to be willing to show up and be willing to work,” he said. “They have to have a good work ethic.” Even with the diversity of opinions among board members, Aurelio still focuses on working with everyone.

“You could have different thoughts and there can be different ideas at the table, but our committees and boards find a way to take care of the issues,” Aurelio said. “I get along with all of them very well.”

It’s safe to say Aurelio’s roots are firmly planted into the Mc- Donough County community. He has been running the family business for the last 30 years, and he hopes to remain on the county board for the long haul. “As long as they will let me, I plan to continue,” he said. “I have invested interest in the area. I enjoy being on the board. I enjoy being in business in Macomb. I hope to continue to do both.”