Mount Prospect stays silent, for now, on Pritzker's reopening plan

  • Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek

    Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek

 
Updated 5/20/2020 2:13 PM

While neighboring towns have weighed in on the pace of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan, Mount Prospect is waiting until the next stage of the process.

Mayor Arlene Juracek said Tuesday that a resolution asking for changes to the governor's reopening plan was left off the night's village board agenda because of concerns over the workload at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Village leaders said they instead want to monitor key data tracking the COVID-19 virus and wait until the area moves into Phase 3 of Pritzker's plan, which could occur May 29.

Trustee Michael Zadel noted that "things change every single day."

"At this stage, I really think we need to wait until the end of (Phase 2)," he added. "What's going to happen should there be a spike? That really concerns me."

"I think that we do need to open to a point, but I'm just nervous that it just may get out of hand a little bit, so maybe proceed with caution," Trustee Eleni Hatzis said.

Other trustees, however, voiced frustration with the slow pace of fully reopening.

"I do feel that people are climbing the walls," Trustee Paul Hoefert said. "We need to get people back to work responsibly. We need to get people spending money. And there is a huge pent-up demand. Nobody has been spending anything."

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Trustee Richard Rogers noted some inequities in the way some businesses are allowed to operate while others remain shuttered.

"I'm kind of frustrated," he said. "I can go into Costco with 500 people (but) I can't go to my local shoe store, where I'd be the only one in the store getting a pair of shoes. So there's many small businesses that could easily operate with social distancing and wearing of a mask, and yet they're shut down."

Trustee William Grossi said keeping tight restrictions in place much longer could backfire.

"People are now out and about and they're violating the stay-at-home rules," he said.

Juracek said the village board could consider the resolution, suggested by the Northwest Municipal Conference and already adopted by Arlington Heights, Palatine and Hoffman Estates, at its next meeting, scheduled for June 2.

In the meantime, the village continues to explore the possibility of closing areas downtown to vehicle traffic to allow for outdoor dining with social distancing, similar to what's being proposed in Arlington Heights.

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