Mayor Joe Broda, the longest continuously serving public official in Lisle's history, reflected on the village's major accomplishments and outlined his goals for the coming year during his recent State of the Village address.
Broda, who is running unopposed for re-election, has served as Lisle's mayor since 2001 and previously served four consecutive terms as a village trustee.
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Speaking to about 100 members of the Lisle Area Chamber of Commerce, Broda was introduced by chamber President and CEO Tom Althoff as "the biggest cheerleader we have."
Among the highlights of the past year, Broda pointed to the opening of the DuPage Medical Group's new 100,000-square-foot building on Warrenville Road. Affiliated with Rush University Medical Center, the facility will attract 350 people to the village every day.
The center also leases 55,000 square feet of office space on Ogden Avenue where it employs an additional 260 employees.
Broda also talked about the addition of the two-story, 185,000-square-foot Midwest Campus of the Universal Technical Institute, an accredited technician educational institution. Still under construction, the facility will stand on 20 acres bordering Corporate West Drive.
Broda described the 88-acre Navistar complex on Warrenville Road as a "tremendous asset to the village." He said the company invested $188.5 million to improve the former unoccupied Lucent site and now draws more than 3,000 employees to the community each day.
He described businesses as "the backbone of our community." The village welcomed 39 new businesses last year, he said, including 11 in communication/technology, nine in the service industry and seven in health care.
"The village makes it a point to visit businesses throughout the community," Broda said. "We tell them how much we appreciate them in the Village of Lisle."
New residential facilities in the village include Arboretum Landmark, a four-story, 310-unit apartment complex on 8.1 acres facing Warrenville Road that will begin leasing operations in the fourth quarter of 2013.
One of the largest new residential developments in the area will break ground in 2013 on the former Meijer property on Maple Avenue at Benedictine Parkway. Arbor Trails, as the development will be called, will include 163 houses woven into 60 acres of open trails, wetlands, a pond and a park.
In managing village finances, Broda said the policy is simple: "if we don't have it, we do not spend it."
The mayor highlighted the efficiency of hiring two part-time community service officers in the police department to handle nonemergency calls, complaints and parking issues, allowing the department to allocate sworn police officers for enforcement calls.
In 2013, the village will expand its communication efforts, he said. In addition to Coffee With the Mayor on the first Tuesday morning of every month, each quarter will offer another option of Coffee with the Village Board from 9 to 10 a.m. on the second Saturday.
Recycling events and weekly curbside pickup service continues to flourish in the Arboretum Village, he said. A sustainable restaurant seminar reached out to help businesses practice better recycling efforts.
The public overwhelmingly voted in favor of consolidating electrical service, which Broda estimates could save homeowners $30 to $35 every month.
Each year, Broda concludes his State of the Village address by awarding his Community Spirit Award. This year's recipient was the Lisle Teens with Character group.
"We are so very proud of these kids and what they do," Broda said. "These are our future leaders."
LTWC began as a grass-roots effort within the days following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to pay respect to those who lost their lives in that tragedy. The group formalized under the wings of the Lisle Community Character Alliance to become the LTWC that today has roughly 90 members.
Within the past year, the teens donated 3,000 service hours in the community. Among their activities, the teens raised $44,000 for the Relay For Life for cancer research; participated in the DuPage River Sweep; helped the local Lions Club fill hundreds of plastic Easter eggs; and raised $16,000 by participating in Sleep Out Saturday to draw attention to the homeless.
The group meets at the Lisle Park District community center and welcomes all teens from grades six to 12. Information is available at lisletwc.org and in the park district's catalog.