Wilmette will celebrate its Sesquicentennial in 2022 marking 150 years as a Village. While we commemorate this milestone, we will think strategically about the things that will be critical to the Village’s success in the years ahead through the process of writing a new Comprehensive Plan.
Compared to the current Comprehensive Plan which was updated over 20 years ago, I believe that our new Comprehensive Plan should be broadened to include sustainability, active transportation, economic development, infrastructure and housing. This planning effort will require significant input from members of our boards and commissions, as well as the community at large.
While writing a new Comprehensive Plan is important for the Village, we must continue to focus on areas that enable us to provide critical services to our residents and ensure that Wilmette continues to be a desirable place to live, work and play. Such areas include:
ENSURE THE VITALITY OF OUR BUSINESS DISTRICTS
Challenges lie ahead as our current businesses struggle with lost sales tax revenue, and we look for new businesses to fill vacant storefronts. As President, I will work with fellow board members and our Village staff to find creative solutions that continue to make Wilmette a desirable place for businesses to operate. One such effort already underway is the Central Avenue Reconstruction and Downtown Streetscape Project, which will make the downtown area more vibrant and should be completed this year.
INVESTING IN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE
A community of our age requires significant ongoing investment in its infrastructure, including roads, sewers, the Water Plant, our system of water mains and our facilities. As a Trustee I have supported many long-term infrastructure projects and as President I will continue to make sure that we are making prudent decisions about investing in Wilmette.
MAINTAINING VILLAGE’S STRONG FINANCIAL POSITION
It is imperative that we thoughtfully and continually review and manage our budget, expenditures, reserve levels and pension obligations to maintain our financial strength.
BROADENING HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
It is vital that our community incorporates housing for residents of varying incomes and stages of life. As President I would advocate for the Housing Commission to take a greater role in the Village’s review of Planned Unit Developments. (PUDs).
COMMITTING TO A SUSTAINABLE WILMETTE
I am committed to a sustainable future for Wilmette and will continue to lead efforts and collaborate with staff and the community to work toward this goal.