Des Plaines Mayor Bogusz gives one final State of the City address
Des Plaines Mayor Matthew Bogusz touted the city's financial stability and private economic growth in a State of the City video released Friday.
The presentation may well be Bogusz's last significant public address, as he's set to leave office in early May after eight years as mayor and four as a city council member.
The 18-minute video was filmed entirely within the Des Plaines Theatre, the once-decrepit landmark the city bought in 2018 and spent millions to refurbish. It's set to reopen to the public this year.
Bogusz started his remarks by talking about the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the city and its residents since it began a little more than a year ago. He urged viewers to observe a moment of silence to honor those killed by the disease.
The rest of the video was much more upbeat.
"We're here one year later with a little glimmer of hope," Bogusz said before talking about the new businesses that have opened during his tenure, the public construction projects that have occurred and the events he's celebrated with the city.
Bogusz was particularly excited about the city's improved fiscal picture, especially how its debt from loans has decreased from $76 million in 2009 to $12 million as of this year.
Using cash from city reserves for projects rather than borrowing money saves millions of dollars in interest payments, he said. Bogusz called that a "behavior shift" for the city.
Bogusz also crowed about how 6.5 million square feet of vacant real estate space has been filled in the city since 2006, resulting in $593 million in private investment and the creation of more than 8,200 jobs.
"Those are jobs that are putting food on the tables of families across Des Plaines and creating new opportunity that didn't exist before," he said.
Additionally, Bogusz noted how the revenue stream from Rivers Casino has created $79 million used to reduce the city's debt and pay for infrastructure projects.
Bogusz shared the credit for the Des Plaines' successes, praising the other elected officials and city employees for their work.
Bogusz had given live State of the City addresses starting in 2014 but didn't last year because of the pandemic.
Bogusz was unable to run for reelection this year because Des Plaines enforces term limits. He ended his presentation by wishing Mayor-elect Andrew Goczkowski good luck.
"You have your work cut out for you, but I know you're up to the challenge," Bogusz said.
Goczkowski, now the alderman for the 8th Ward, will be sworn in as mayor May 3.
Bogusz's video can be found at desplaines.org and at youtube.com/cityofdesplaines. It also can be viewed on Channel 17 on the local Comcast and WOW cable systems and on Channel 99 for local AT&T subscribers.