Breaking News Bar
updated: 4/11/2013 4:26 PM

Emotional Mulder gives final State of the Village address

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Deb Whisler, left, gives Mayor Arlene Mulder all the gardening tools she'll need to get busy in the backyard after May 6.

       Deb Whisler, left, gives Mayor Arlene Mulder all the gardening tools she'll need to get busy in the backyard after May 6.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • An emotional Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder gives a thumbs-up during her last State of the Village speech.

       An emotional Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder gives a thumbs-up during her last State of the Village speech.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder, center, has a laugh with Linda Borton, Arlington Heights Rotary vice president, left, and Harry Vaswani of Arlington Heights.

       Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder, center, has a laugh with Linda Borton, Arlington Heights Rotary vice president, left, and Harry Vaswani of Arlington Heights.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Mayor Arlene Mulder gets a hug from Trustee John Scaletta before beginning her speech.

       Mayor Arlene Mulder gets a hug from Trustee John Scaletta before beginning her speech.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Mayor Arlene Mulder leads a cheer at the Rotary luncheon.

       Mayor Arlene Mulder leads a cheer at the Rotary luncheon.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Arlington Heights Rotary Club President Mark Tauber "pins" the mayor.

       Arlington Heights Rotary Club President Mark Tauber "pins" the mayor.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder hugs Linda Borton, Arlington Heights Rotary vice president, after her last State of the Village speech.

       Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder hugs Linda Borton, Arlington Heights Rotary vice president, after her last State of the Village speech.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Video: ahstateofvillage

 
 

For the next few weeks nearly everything Arlene Mulder does will be a "last."

As she prepares to retire after two decades as Arlington Heights mayor and 34 years in public service, Mulder gave her last State of the Village speech to the Arlington Heights Rotary Thursday afternoon and said that the village is in good shape, and in good hands for the future.

Before her speech Mulder was busy hugging and thanking nearly everyone in the room. During lunch the group played a game of Mulder trivia, answering questions about her time in public life and her details about Arlington Heights. (Question: "What year did she move to Arlington Heights?" Answer: 1969.)

As part of her annual address, Mulder updated the community volunteers and business leaders on the financial state of the village and major projects, like the start of construction at Arlington Downs and ongoing efforts to deal with emerald ash borer.

She also addressed the village's plans for a new police station sometime in the next five years -- to be paid for with bonds when old debt expires -- and how the village will alleviate flooding issues after looking at several studies that are now under way.

"Disregard all the campaign rhetoric because we're in good shape," Mulder said. "I look forward to the next chapter for the village with Mayor Tom Hayes."

Toward the end of her speech, discussing how quickly 20 years have gone and her appreciation for the residents, Mulder became too overcome with emotion to continue.

"It's the citizens of this town, not the staff, not the elected officials," she said before breaking off. She was rescued from having to continue by a standing ovation.

"Thank you for your faith and trust in me for the last 20 years," she finished.

In retirement, Mulder has said, she will spend more time with her family, primarily her husband, Al, who she said has been "on hold" for the past 34 years. Two new grandchildren are due in the next few weeks.

Since she will be handing her gavel over to Hayes on May 6, members of the Rotary gave Mulder a few new tools she can use instead.

Longtime friend Deb Whisler presented her with a bird feeder, watering can and other gardening items.

She was given the Paul Harris award, a Rotary recognition she also received in 2003, based on her contributions to the community.

"She's opened so many doors for me in this town and she's just been so accessible to all of us," said Whisler who is also the director of communications and marketing at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

"She's just such a ball of energy. She's very focused and she gets a lot done, but at the end of the day she asks us not to call her mayor, and she's just my friend."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.