Mayor Delivers 2016 State of the City

West Chicago Mayor, Ruben Pineda, addressed the community on the state of the City, Monday, May 16, 2016. The event was sponsored by the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce.

Themed Our Collective Vision, the Address focused on the process and outcomes of the development of the West Chicago Strategic Plan, which will serve as the City’s roadmap for the near future. Members of the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee were introduced and recognized for their contributions; Doug Domeracki, Dave Sabathne, Alderman Sandy Dimas, Alderman Kurt Meissner, Dona Smith, Gina Steinbrecher, Gladys Proa Santana, Amy Guerra, Merle Burleigh, Drew Cali, Hank Betts, and the late Bob Kosman. The Plan was approved at the City Council meeting immediately following the State of the City Address, and is available at www.westchicago.org.

Also included in Mayor Pineda’s Address were some noteworthy accomplishments of the past year. One in particular, stood out among the many noted, and received a strong round of applause from the more than 80 people gathered.

“After more than 40 years of living under the shadow of thorium contamination in our City, we reached a watershed moment last year. On November 10, 2015, a rail car carrying the last remnants of thorium waste from the former Kerr-McGee factory site, pulled out of West Chicago,” reported Mayor Pineda. For that, he thanked the relentless efforts of local, state, county, and federal representatives who never gave up the fight on the City’s behalf, also commending the group of individuals who formed TAG, the Thorium Action Group, who kept the issue in the forefront.

A number of other successful efforts were also outlined including:

  • City Council directed staff to do what it could to relieve the financial burden on customers, and following such, there are no new tax, fee or rate increases included in the 2016 Budget.
  • The appointment of Acting Police Chief Michael Uplegger to the position of Chief of Police last year has brought great efficiencies and a new operating structure to the Department.
  • The first ever City Facebook account debuted earlier this year for the Police Department. The page aims to increase resident engagement with the Department, provide crime prevention safety tips, and assist in building positive relationships between residents and police through yet another communication tool.
  • Forestry Program objectives focused on the management of the Emerald Ash Borer. The fifth year of a City-wide seven-year Ash tree Emerald Ash Borer insecticidal treatment program was completed in July. Removal of dead or dying Ash trees was also completed.
  • Engineering consultants and City staff were responsible for construction oversight and facilitating completion of the Alta Vista Roadway Rehabilitation Project and the Wood Street Reconstruction Project
  • Earlier this year Healthy West Chicago hit a milestone with the hiring of a Director who will take the Action Plan created last year and begin implementing its strategies.
  • Seventeen fantastic banners will be included in the 2016 Community Art Banner Project, a project of the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, and are now hanging along Main Street. Also, the Commission is sponsoring the second annual Artéculture, an exciting multi-media pop-up art exhibit which will be held at 103 West Washington Street on Saturday, May 21, 2016 during Blooming Fest.
  • Significant and positive media coverage from the Daily Herald, WCIU TV, WGN TV, 99.5 The River Radio, and bon appétit Magazine has elevated the image of West Chicago. Links to this coverage will be included below.

Mayor Pineda also shared his gratitude and respect for members of the West Chicago City Council. “The Aldermen have served West Chicago well with their thoughtful assessment of every item that comes before them, their confidence to question why, and their integrity to always keep the best interests of this City at the forefront of every vote they cast on an issue. I am very privileged and grateful to be working with such a fine group of individuals,” he stated

Media Files:

West Chicago Welcome Video (Produced by City)

Why We Love West Chicago (Resident Viewpoint - Produced by City)

Mayor Resumes Weekend Walks with Residents - Daily Herald

Around the Block: West Chicago - WCIU-TV

First Ever Frosty Fest 5k - WGN-TV

 Photo courtesy of Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce.

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