So instead I am going to address the question "How do you beat Tom"
I think it is in fact very possible to defeat Tom if you had the right approach, the key is going to be to treat Aurora as several different cities and deal with the issues in each area and point out stuff that would cause concern without sounding just negative.
So I am going to break town up into several different parts.
Far/Far East Side (most of these folks are not life long Aurora residents)
-- Traffic: Point out how bad Eola has gotten and how bad the timing is on the lights.
-- Make working to move the EJ&E commuter line project forward an issue (it will help property values)
-- The fact that you can go to several places in Aurora to get ink done but no place to see a first run movie (not family friendly)
-- Finally how as the clinic showed they do not have the same zoning protections as the rest of town, make changing that a priority
Will/Kendall county portions of the city. Most of these folks are not remotely engaged in local issues so...
-- Traffic: Making Eola 4 lanes all the way from Wolf's Crossing to I-88 and improving the timing of the lights on Eola.
-- The commuter line issue above
-- Pointing out how the park system in the area seems to neglect the edges of the city
-- Work better with Will/Kendall county
Near East Side:
-- Very aggressive building code enforcement
-- Crime, more cops on the beat. Deal with the idiots so everyone has a better life
-- Smart development on Farnsworth
Near West Side
-- See Near East Side
Far West Side
-- Crime, traffic
Quality of life, how the city was surprised by the clinic, how the city either ran out of salt or decided to stop salting the roads.
If I were running for mayor (help us all) one of the first things I would do is start doing coffees all over the place and start doing them now.
This election to some degree is still going to be word of mouth. You would see me at every homeowners and community group just saying hi, asking what's up and following up with people.
If you establish who you are before someones mailer does you will be set. I would set a goal of hitting 4 meetings a week and following up with 20 people a week. I would be come the living version of "How to win friends and influence people". This will be real effective in the Kendall, DuPage and Will county portions of town.
You have to start now, but that kids will work. Aurora hates negative campaigning, being the positive candidate who has been to their meetings and following up with them is the key.
Some other possible candidates:
Linda Chapa-LaVia : I think she would be the one to beat if she ran. The longer she stays in Springfield the less that is going to be a positive for her.
Chris Lauzen: His name has come up before, it would be interesting to see. He did win Aurora in the primary for the 14th. Don't think he would do it but it would be interesting if he did.
Mike McCoy: Former Kane County Board Chairman, his name came up last time and he took a pass. I don't know how much of a base he has in Aurora anymore.
Alderman Scheketa Hart-Burns: Don't think she would run against Tom, but would be a great candidate if she did.