The following Letter to the Editor gives the opinions of the author. Patch.com provides a platform for writers to express their views.
One of the most critical challenges facing communities like Morton Grove is attracting and retaining successful retail businesses that can generate sales tax revenue to reduce the burden of property taxes on its residents.
During my service on the Morton Grove Village Board more than 10 years ago, Dan Staackmann, who then served on the Park District Board, approached me about an economic development lead for Menards for a then-vacant industrial property on Oakton near Lehigh.
At the time, Menards was located in Skokie near Niles West so it hadn't been on the Village of Morton Grove's radar. Though many of us were skeptical at the time that Menards would actually consider relocating to Morton Grove, I took the contact information that Dan had personally obtained from Menards and passed it along to Village staff.
With continued prodding from Dan, I pressed our staff to work with Menards about coming to Morton Grove and, at virtually no cost to taxpayers, we were eventually able to persuade them to build what is now the largest sales tax generator in the village.
Without Dan Staackmann's insight and persuasion, I'm not sure that would have happened. Ten years later, now-Mayor Staackmann continues to be a strong leader for economic development for Morton Grove and that's why I urge residents to support his re-election.
Morton Grove Village Trustee 1999-2003