May 28, 2020
It has been a long and difficult two months since the issuance of Governor Pritzker’s initial Shelter-in-Place order. We have all experienced loss, both personally and financially, as we struggle to overcome the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our lives and our activities of daily living have been drastically altered as we struggle to find a new “norm”. We have been constantly bombarded by “breaking news”, ambiguous orders, and in some cases, fear mongering, all of which tend to distract us from our one and only goal … protecting the safety of our community.
To that end, I and the other leaders of our local taxing bodies have been virtually meeting three times a week to assess the Covid-19 impact on Addison, to distill and interpret the often confusing and misleading statistics that are released daily, to provide coordinated services such as the food pantry, senior outreach, lunch program support, and other assistance that may be required.
In response to questions that have been raised regarding the numbers of Addison Covid-19 cases being reported by the DuPage County Health Department, the following information may help to explain. There are nine communities included in the report that are in more than one county. Only the number of cases reported in DuPage are listed. As examples, on May 26, Aurora showed 267 cases when in fact they had a total of 2,980 cases. Naperville listed as 440, but the total number was 571. Hanover Park had 219 recorded, but their actual number was 654.
Another factor contributing to the confusion is that unincorporated areas are counted into the Addison numbers. We have several large unincorporated residential areas that are added to our Covid-19 count, but they aren’t counted into our census, so the cases per capita ratio is exaggerated.
As for the number of confirmed cases in Addison, statistics from the Health Department would suggest there is a correlation between the incidence of infection and the number of multiple family housing units in a community. In the early 1970’s there was a strong push by Village Officials to obtain “home rule” status which required growing the population to 25,000 residents. Their solution was multi-family housing. As a result, multi-family housing currently represents approximately 30 percent of all housing in Addison.
The Health Department also reported a correlation between the number of confirmed cases and ethnicity. The statistics are updated daily and can be found at https://www.dupagehealth.org/610/DuPage-County-COVID-19-Dashboard.
Our critical numbers would indicate that due to the efforts of our residents and businesses to comply with the Health Department guidelines, we are entering the downside of the “curve”. As of tomorrow, May 29, we will move to Phase 3 of the Governor’s reopening plan. We will once again, with restrictions, be able to enjoy outdoor dining at our local restaurants, visit our favorite salon or barber shop, shop at our local retail stores, or enjoy golf or tennis at our park facilities.
For those who still prefer to avoid social interaction, you can participate in our Wednesday evening promotions as part of our “Get the Addison Appetite” campaign, or our Thursday night “Virtual Rock ‘n Wheels”. Additional information can be found on our event web site, ItHappensInAddison.com. There you will find information about our local restaurants, as well as how to enjoy entertainment from past years' "Rock 'n Wheels."
As we all celebrate the beginning of a return to normalcy, it is incumbent upon each of us to remember that it was only through conformance to the Health Department guidelines and our respect for the health and safety of our families and friends that we were able to reach Phase 3. Now, more than ever, each of us must be determined to protect and support our community, and to comply with all health and safety recommendations, for only with that determination and compliance will we be able to end the pandemic and return to the freedoms and quality of life that Covid-19 has taken from us.
Be safe. Be smart. Stay healthy.
May 1, 2020
It is my pleasure to share with our community some good news that is not related to COVID-19 or social distancing.
On Monday evening, I plan to submit to the Village Board the name of Joseph Maranowicz to fill the position of Village Manager.
Joe’s 20 years of experience in various leadership role within the Police Department, his energetic and positive approach in dealing with all aspects of his work assignments, his unique interpersonal skills, his ability to motivate and empower staff, and his deep commitment to the residents of our Village more than qualifies him to assume this new role.
As you may remember, upon the retirement of Manager Joe Block, I indicated that I wanted to take my time evaluating the duties of Village Manager itself, as well as candidates for the position. During that time, many of the duties of Manager were delegated to various staff members, including Joe.
In fact, in the past several weeks of this pandemic crisis, he has stepped up into a leadership role, ensuring our staff’s safety, as well as overseeing our community response.
It is unfortunate that the current situation doesn’t allow us to welcome him to this position with a public event, but I’m sure in the coming months, our community will see him in his new role and get to know him.
In the meantime, let me assure you, we have chosen the best man for the job.
March 30, 2020
Over the past two weeks, all of us have made drastic changes to our daily lives. Things we took for granted – going out for dinner and a movie, or spending time with extended family and friends – have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. These are sacrifices for all of us. But let me assure you, it’s worth it!
By now, you are probably well acquainted with the term “flatten the curve,” meaning working to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus by minimizing contact with others. This will allow overwhelmed health services to catch up, and allow those who need treatment to receive it.
I am so proud of our community and how it has responded to the closings of schools, workplaces and recreational facilities. Most everyone is taking the shelter in place order, and social distancing suggestions seriously.
For those who are frustrated by these inconveniences, I assure you, you are not alone. But please remember, these directives aren’t only for your protection – they are for the protection of others. This virus spreads very quickly, and you can infect others before you even realize you’ve been exposed to it. And while you might be healthy enough to fight it off, and recover quickly, others might not. Senior citizens are extremely susceptible to the virus. Those who have underlying medical conditions are as well.
Remember, these sacrifices are meant to save lives – the lives of your neighbors, friends and fellow community members.
To your good health,
March 21, 2020
As you have no doubt already heard, Governor Pritzker has issued a “Shelter in Place” doctrine, effective at 5 p.m. today. Although this is for the health and safety of Illinois residents, it has increased the level of uncertainty for many in the community.
For the past week, most of us have already made drastic changes to our routines – limiting the amount of time we spend outside our homes, practicing social distancing, being more diligent about quarantining ourselves when sick, and increasing good hygiene. So, for most people, this new doctrine will not change what you are already doing.
You can still leave your homes to go to work. You can still shop for groceries and medicine. You can still go outside and get exercise.
Businesses that provide essential services to the community may still operate. In my opinion, that includes the vast majority of businesses in our community. In our industrial area, for example, we have businesses that manufacture products that are necessary for many government agencies, which are essential services.
So I want to assure you, the Village and Police Department will not interfere with residents who are behaving responsibly, and are continuing to help us manage through this serious, but short-term, situation.
Village operations continue, and we are here to help.
March 9, 2020
The safety and wellbeing of our residents is the top priority for us at the Village of Addison. It is rooted in everything we do, from providing clean drinking water, safe streets, law enforcement, etc. Which is why I want to assure you that our staff is closely monitoring the Coronavirus news, and working with the DuPage County Health Department to ensure that we are prepared if things should change.
February 1, 2019
The new year is proving to be a time of transition here at the Village of Addison. This is because after an unheard-of period of leadership stability, the Village Manager’s office is in transition. At the end of 2018, we said goodbye to Joe Block, who retired after 32 years at the helm.
We saw many changes and improvements during his tenure, but I believe Joe’s biggest legacy is the management team he built. He ensured that the community would be left in very good hands. The Village staff is well trained and experienced, and has continued to provide services at the level at which all of our residents have grown used to receiving.
Filling this position, after it had been held for so long by someone who did the job so well, is not something that can, or should, be done immediately. I know questions and rumors have begun to surface, so I want to assure the community that village operations are continuing as normal, despite the vacancy in the manager’s office.
As Mayor, one of my responsibilities is the appointment of the manager. But first, I think this is the perfect opportunity to evaluate the role the manager should take. Much has changed since the last time this position has had to be filled, and this is something that needs to be well planned and thought out before an appointment is made.
In the event of a vacancy, the duties of the Manager fall to Chief Executive Office – or Mayor – to fulfill or delegate. On an interim basis, I am assuming some of these responsibilities. Others have been delegated to various departments, to the Assistant Village Manager, to the Deputy Police Chief, and to the Executive Assistant.
In the coming months, the Village Board will evaluate the progress, and decide exactly what the new Village Manager’s tasks will be, and then appoint the best person for the job. We hope that person leads the Village into another long period of improvement and growth.
Please be assured that the Village will continue to be here for our residents, and to look toward our future success.
January 2, 2019
It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. It’s even harder to believe some of the changes in our community that can happen so quickly, while we anxiously await others. But the accomplishments that continue to happen in Addison make me proud of the work we all do for the betterment of our community.
|Construction continues at the Enclave at Mill Creek; Phase Two begins soon.|
We saw a definite up-tick in development over the past year. After seeing ground broken in 2017 for the Enclave at Mill Creek, at Army Trail and Mill Road, Phase One is nearly complete. Of the 44 single family units, 21 have been sold and 13 are occupied. Phase Two, which will see another 43 units, will begin this Spring. The average sale price of $450,000 will enhance property values throughout the area.
Clarendale Senior Housing, near Marcus Cinema, is nearing completion, and will give new options to those who are ready to downsize, but want to stay in the community. The $43 million, two hundred unit complex will offer independent living, as well as assisted living and memory care, and will fill a need that has long been discussed in our strategic planning.
Another residential development is Woodland Townhomes, along Route 53. Once again, this helps meet our goal of having many different options for housing, to draw residents and keep residents in our community. This project will offer 19 units with an average price of $350,000.
Meanwhile, we saw enhancements to our businesses as well. Caputo’s Fresh Market underwent a $3.5 million addition and façade renovation for the plaza. It will now include prepared foods and a dining area.
Woodspring Suite Hotel, offering 122 rooms designed for extended stays, augments the need for our local businesses who bring people in for conferences and training, as well those who visit the area for sports tournaments like those held at Stardust Bowl. The hotel will open this summer, and is a welcomed addition to the east side of our the community.
Centennial Plaza is finally seeing a lot of activity. X Sport Fitness plans to open their 50,000 square foot location this month, and as a visible anchor to the plaza, will hopefully draw new business to area. Meanwhile, the owners of Meat & Potatoes Eatery, and Brunch Café, have leased the former Applebee’s Restaurant, with plans to open a new full service restaurant and bar called Local 20 Urban Kitchen Restaurant early in the year.
Unfortunately, other developments are not progressing as quickly as we would like. For example, a buyer is still being sought for the 16.5 acre former Lutherbrook property. This is a large parcel, centrally located in a prime area of Addison. We have a vision for the type of use we are looking for, so potential projects must meet those standards.
Several new businesses were welcomed into Addison in 2018: Addison Bank & Trust; Lorena’s Banquets; Gordilla’s; Lou Malnati’s Pizza and Scelebrations all joined our business community, and I encourage our residents to patronize them.
|The replacement of the Army Trail watermain was one of the largest road projects of 2018.|
Maintaining the infrastructure of our community is critical, and one of the most important responsibilities of the Village. Some of the larger projects this past year included the watermain replacement along Army Trail Blvd. This $3.8 million project also included sidewalk extension, culvert replacement and total resurfacing from Mill to Lombard Road. A Federal grant was obtained to cover $1.2 million of the costs.
Watermains along Byron Avenue, and extending out to Oak Meadows, were also completed, again with help of federal grants. These projects are sometimes only noticed by those who live in the vicinity and are directly impacted by them, but again, they are critical to our community.
Five years ago we set a goal of having a place to celebrate our community, and the Village Green has become that place. With the completion of Phase 3 of the Village Green Project this year, we saw installation of an underground irrigation system, planting of news trees, and construction of a vendor plaza. It has become a point of pride for all of us that can be utilized year round.
Community events have become more and more visible for the past few years, and I have to admit, it is gratifying to see so many of our residents taking advantage of them.
Our weekly “Rock ‘n Wheels” saw an average of 1,500 attendees this summer. Other events, such as the Tree Lighting, were enhanced with additional amenities.
This year was also the first in decade in which Addison hosted a community parade. With the help of the
|Addison native Alexa Scimeca-Knerim and her husband Christopher Knerim show off their Olympic bronze medals as part of the Addison-Medinah Shriners Parade in August.|
Medinah Shriners, the Village brought community businesses and organizations together to celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial in August. The parade proved to be so successful, that we are planning to bring it back next year.
As 2019 begins, we look forward to another successful year with continued growth and development, but I have to acknowledge that for those of us at the Village Hall, it is a somewhat bittersweet time. For the past 30 year, a consistent factor in every major project the Village has undertaken has been our Village Manager, Joe Block. From raising the intersection of Lake Street and Villa Avenue, to a multitude of other flood mitigation projects, to the construction of public building like the Village Hall, Public Works and Addison Consolidated Dispatch Center … Joe has led each project with skill and expertise.
He has more than earned a long and happy retirement for the remarkable job he has done for Addison. We all join in offering him our sincere thanks and best wishes in his retirement!
With hopes for continued blessings on our community, we look forward to everything that 2019 will bring. On behalf of the elected officials and staff at the Village, I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.
Dec. 18, 2018
May 21, 2018
It’s been awhile since my last Mayor’s Message to the Community. It’s been an exceedingly busy year with many great developments in town that underscore what we refer to as the Addison Advantage. In subsequent letters we will discuss the various programs, infrastructure improvements, and new businesses that have marked one of the most successful years in recent Addison history.
But today’s correspondence is not one of optimism or excitement, rather it’s one of grave concern for the continued growth and success of our community. Many of you are aware of the dysfunction that has become the rule of order in Springfield. Several weeks ago, I, and fellow mayors representing DuPage County were in Springfield in an effort to gain assurance from legislators that monies (your local portion of the State income tax) collected by the State on behalf of cities and villages are returned to the municipalities.
Last year, State officials elected to keep 10% of those collections, as well as other taxes and fees, in an effort to balance their budget. For Addison, that resulted in decreased revenue of nearly $1/2 million. That’s a $500,000 reduction in funds that go to pay for road repairs, snow removal, police, and other critical services provided by local government. The Springfield promise was that this would be only a one time hit. But, true to form, the budget being proposed for the coming fiscal year includes another 10% reduction of the funds that are due to municipalities. Instead of finding ways to cut the waste in state government, the Springfield solution is to shift the financial burden to local government. The ultimate result? Decreased local services and/or increased local taxes.
I need your help urgently. The DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference has created a web site, “protectmytown.us”. It is a direct link to the state legislators that represent our community and allows you to state your opposition to taking municipal dollars to pay State obligations. It is imperative that your voice is heard today, before action is taken on the budget proposal.
For your convenience, the link is attached. I invite you to watch a video with a panel of area mayors discussing this important issue here: https://youtu.be/PpOR76ickhw
Let’s work together to Protect Our Town!