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updated: 12/31/2011 9:09 AM

Cook mayors optimistic about what's coming in 2012

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  • The new year will ring in a new home for Palatine police, who expect to move to this new building later this month.

       The new year will ring in a new home for Palatine police, who expect to move to this new building later this month.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Grocery shopping options will expand early this year in Palatine. The Mariano's Fresh Market will be the third in the Northwest suburbs. The chain opened one in 2010 in Arlington Heights and one in 2011 in Vernon Hills.

       Grocery shopping options will expand early this year in Palatine. The Mariano's Fresh Market will be the third in the Northwest suburbs. The chain opened one in 2010 in Arlington Heights and one in 2011 in Vernon Hills.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

 

Arlene Mulder, Arlington Heights: Looking forward to 2012, my biggest hope for Arlington Heights is that our local economy moves in a positive direction. I want to see empty storefronts and vacant businesses fill with vibrant businesses that will bring jobs and a boost to our local economy.

I hope that we continue to work together to build a stronger future for our community, our families, and ourselves. I want everyone to feel they are an important part of Arlington Heights, and to be proud of the great community they live in.

I invite everyone to join in celebrating the village's 125th anniversary of our incorporation, which will be commemorated throughout 2012. As we recognize our anniversary, or quasquicentennial, I hope our residents feel a strong sense of community, and are proud to be a resident of this great village.

Karen Darch, Barrington: We were excited to have Heinen's announce that it will open a new store in the village -- its first in our region -- in 2012, and we were pleased to have selected a developer for our key commercial corner at Hough and Main streets.

We hope in 2012 to further move those projects along and look forward to the new jobs and increased vitality in our village that those projects will bring.

Michael Airdo, Bartlett: My biggest hope is that Bartlett can continue to make progress in overcoming the economic challenges that the entire country is still facing. We need to continue improving the climate for both new and existing businesses in the village. We need to find ways to increase revenue, decrease expenses, and maintain our services, without placing any undue tax burden on our residents. I think there are many areas in the village for growth and opportunity, and if we work together, we can certainly "progress with pride."

Jeffrey Braiman, Buffalo Grove: For 2012, we are optimistic that our economy will continue to rebound, providing opportunities for our residents and businesses. The village will be seeking creative ways to develop the local economy while maintaining efficient and high quality services.

Bob Kellerman, Deer Park: In 2011, the village implemented the largest ever infrastructure program in the history of the village. To honor our commitment to the residents, the village will continue our infrastructure program in 2012. The program will include significant road, drainage, and park improvements to have our village be an even better and more desirable place to live.

Marty Moylan, Des Plaines: We look forward to 2012 with great anticipation and hope for a recovering economy that will help lighten the financial burden of our many of our residents.

Always looking to maintain a healthy, well-balanced community, we will strive in 2012 to continue to maintain our existing businesses and work toward attracting new developments.

This past year has bestowed many blessing on Des Plaines and I am personally grateful for having the opportunity to experience this time in our city's history.

Craig Johnson, Elk Grove Village: In 2012, Elk Grove Village is enhancing its image as a business-friendly community.

Through focus groups and conversations with business owners, Elk Grove Village is learning from business leaders.

We are implementing a new online permitting system, streamlining building processes, and refining plans to remain The Exceptional Business Community.

We are excited about the opportunity to grow new jobs for the region, revitalize vacant facilities, and otherwise enhance the area economy in 2012.

Finally, with the scheduled opening of several new retailers and several new restaurants currently under construction, 2012 will be an exciting year for us.

Best wishes to everyone on a wonderful new year!

Rodney Craig, Hanover Park: As 2011 comes to a close, the village is engaging TIF dollars to purchase a tired shopping center where we are assisting Dino's to double their shopping space, refresh the building for existing tenants, embrace a collaboration with Elgin Community College and Harper College with Worknet, and bring a revitalized Hanover Park Center to wow our residents, building our hometown pride. New modern signage will embrace the Barrington Road corridor, as events will be displayed for all residents to see in the coming year. Finally, we are opening our new police station in February. Given the exceptional planning and workflow designs, a police facility has been constructed that will meet the needs of the municipality for many years. Residents will be amazed with the value as the project comes in under budget.

William McCleod, Hoffman Estates: For 2012, Hoffman Estates anticipates continued economic growth, which will foster additional private enterprise, employment creation and enhanced public services.

Jack Tatooles, Inverness: My hope for next year is more of the same. We, like all communities, will be challenged financially, but Inverness has the service delivery models in place to face those issues. The village has seen some improvements in the housing market, resulting in new construction and an uptick in residents reinvesting in their homes. Community stability is what Inverness residents enjoy and appreciate. Quiet is good in these uncertain times and can go a long way to ensuring a community's quality of life. All things considered, the wholesome character of living in our community is what is most important to me as mayor.

Kevin Richardson, Lake Barrington: Continued development in the village's Pepper Road Business Park is my biggest hope for 2012. Planning and incentivizing retail and commercial development is setting the village on the path of continued, long-term prosperity. In 2012, the village will complete a market analysis of the business park that will provide direction in the terms of achieving our three commercial development goals: 1) enhancing the village's revenue base; 2) adding desired services and conveniences for residents; and 3) improving the overall appearance of the business park. The analysis will help the village achieve these goals while also improving the business climate for existing and future owners and tenants.

Maria Rodriguez, Long Grove: In 2012, we will be working with Lake County to improve the intersection at Old McHenry and Robert Parker Coffin roads. We will continue to monitor and maintain a balanced budget while looking forward to unprecedented opportunities for growth for our village and enrichment for our residents.

Irvana K. Wilks, Mount Prospect: I am looking forward to the continuing revitalization of Randhurst. Our residents and others are being drawn to a landmark shopping mall that was groundbreaking when it was first built decades ago. It now has an entirely new life, keeping some stores open, then bringing in new retailers, a hotel, restaurants, a movie theater and great office space. The developer, Casto, is doing a phenomenal job of finding the right mix of tenants.

Albert R. Pino, North Barrington: We intend to repave Biltmore Drive using our allotted Motor Fuel Tax funds and continue to regularly examine and schedule repairs of our village infrastructure to avoid costly and emergency repairs in the future.

We continue to work on the restoration of Flint Creek throughout the village, while seeking additional grant funds to fund these restoration efforts.

We are also thrilled to be partnered in our environment efforts with the Flint Creek Watershed Partnership and the Barrington Area Conservation Trust, in our joint plans to preserve wetlands and guard precious groundwater for decades in the future.

We are also pleased to be working with the Barrington Area Council of Governments for their leadership in groundwater testing and coordinating aggregate projects (with our villages and townships partners) for possible sharing of utilities and other joint expenses (a new area of leadership for BACOG).

The future looks bright for the village of North Barrington.

Jim Schwantz, Palatine: As we transition into 2012, I am truly excited about the opening of the new police headquarters on Hicks Road. The police department's new facility will better allow our police officers to utilize modern technology in their daily duties, ultimately benefiting all of Palatine's residents and businesses. Palatine has also held the line on taxes and fees as we move to the new year. For the first time in 25 years, the village will collect less in property taxes from our residents and businesses. Likewise, there have been no new taxes or fees as we try to reallocate existing resources to provide welcome relief to our taxpayers.

Nick Helmer, Prospect Heights: Our most important plans for 2012 are twofold. Both issues are critical to our continued success. The first, commercial development, has gotten a good jump start in 2011 from the new west side 25,000-square-foot restaurant and entertainment center, which will be a destination venue. Also, on the east side, the same kind of center was completely remodeled and is up and running. More sales tax producing venues are critical to our future survival. We will complete and continue this effort.

The second is home rule. The March primary election ballot will ask the question "Are you in favor of placing the home rule issue on the ballot in November." The answer must be a resounding "Yes." Our goal is not taxation but to use home rule powers to access existing funds and programs.

Tom Rooney, Rolling Meadows: For 2012, the biggest goal is to turn the small ray of hope on the old Dominick's property into some form of meaningful progress.

Bradley Stephens, Rosemont: In 2012, we are looking forward to the expansion of the Rosemont softball stadium and adjacent youth athletic complex.

But the fun doesn't stop there.

The Park at Rosemont will be fully opened with new comedy, dining and music venues. And, continued construction of the Fashion Outlets at Chicago in Rosemont means high-end retail will be just steps away.

Al Larson, Schaumburg: For next year, I see additional positive developments. More new restaurants -- as many as six -- will be debuting in Schaumburg, a result of the positive impact of our hotel/convention center.

Pleasant Square, the proposed project at the corner of Schaumburg and Roselle roads, is scheduled to break ground.

I foresee a surplus in our general fund that will allow us to do additional needed street resurfacing and repair.

Boomer baseball is beginning in May. Moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas (that includes me), and kids of all ages will join other families to enjoy a summer of good old American baseball.

Judy Abruscato, Wheeling: From the grand opening of the redeveloped Fresh Farms center, to exciting new additions to our Restaurant Row, to innovative high-tech partnerships with our schools and thriving manufacturers, to continued progress toward the reshaping of our town center, we fully expect this year's steady supply of good news to continue into 2012!

• Barrington Hills, South Barrington, Streamwood and Tower Lakes did not participate.

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