Talk Is Cheap, Commitment Is Priceless

This mayor has made tough decisions that have paid off and put Morton Grove on the right track. A Letter to the Editor from John Thill.


The following Letter to the Editor expresses the view of the author alone. Patch is merely serving as a platform for readers to state their opinions.

Morton Grove is going to have its first primary election in the Village's 128 year history on Feburary 26. What is the cost to the taxpayer? I have worked alongside Mayor Staackmann for the past six years and I have a few observations that I would like to share.

The Mayor has always put the welfare of the people and the village first above any other consideration.  

There have been many tough decisions over the past four years. Some of these decisions were not popular at the time. But I doubt that anyone can argue with the results.

Some are: a more vibrant senior center, expanded and improved social services, balanced budget without property tax increases, electric bills lowered by 40% and more businesses coming to town than ever before.

Let's keep our village on the right track. Why would we even consider changing the leadership of Morton Grove when we are already headed in the right direction. Personality can only go so far. Hard work, integrity and proven leadership should be the hallmark by which you should use to guide your vote.

On February 26, please come out to vote and retain Mayor Staackmann. 

By John Thill,

Morton Grove Trustee

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Brad January 25, 2013 at 11:02 PM
More business coming to town coming to town? Have you driven up and down Dempster street lately Mr. Thill? Vacant store fronts a plenty. As for tuff decisions. at least Trustee Di Maria shows up for the unpopular and necessary votes. Where was Stacckmann during the vote for the tax increase a few years ago that brought him his temporary balanced budget for 2013? Look at the budget online for 2013 and tell me again how we are moving in the right direction. Can we also get a straight answer out of Staackmann on the garbage transfer station? Or will that be done after the primary election?
Old Time Grover January 26, 2013 at 02:51 PM
I have driven up and down Dempster and Waukegn seeing a lot more stores filled than empty lately. Did you see the big sign for a new restaurant on Waukegan next to a very busy car dealership. People should take a good look for themselves and actually count how many filled stores are out there now and stop spreading rumors. As for making tough decisions I would point to cutting the village deficit without raising property taxes that I watched from the meetings aired on cable. About the transfer station which none of us want or has been applied for, how much more up front can anybody be? Trustee Dimaria like anybody can talk to the owners of the company, has he bothered? The organized group working to keep the transfer station did, even thanking the Mayor (read NOT Dimaria) for his efforts at a board meeting. So is the real question that Staackmann didn't vote one time years ago or is it that Dimaria joined his Caucus supporters and actually DID vote for a huge 28% tax increase? Now that he's publically changed his spots from Action to Caucus, would Dimaria now be voting against the revenue producting OTB like his buddies did back then and deny us all that revenue? I wonder.
Pat Craig January 26, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Never let facts get in the way of a good negative rant Brad. Look at the numbers of new businesses that have actually come to Morton Grove in the past four years, (during a severe economic downturn).Compare the commercial vacancies in Morton Grove to those in surrounding communities. Regarding Mayor Staackmanns' absence for a particular vote, how many vote has Trustee DiMaria missed by being in Florida? Financially, our credit rating is stronger than under the previous administration, (whose minions are the main supporters of Mr. DiMaria). The call for change simply for changes' sake is ill-concieved and short sighted. Regarding the made-up issue of Lakeshores' use of their land, it's a non-starter Brad, (I know that the Caucus made hay over the Groot contract in 2005, but this ain't the Groot contract). Bottom line, the current administration, while not perfect in any sense, has us moving in a positive direction. Why change leadership for some nebulous "pie-in-the-sky" change fanatsy?
Brad January 26, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Once again Grover you need to be corrected on the tax increase. It was an increase of 28% in the levy not the actual tax amount. As for your guy Staackmann, it must be nice to not vote on the tax issue and then use the results to try and balance the budget. If your so concerned about how DiMaria voted why didn't your guy Staackmann show up and vote no? All this talk of integrity and the village moving forward is nothing more than a mirage. If the police fines don't increase dramatically then the 2013 budget will not even be close to being balanced. As for you Pat, name some of the great new businesses that have come to town that don't serve french fries and burgers. You call my bringing out the facts a negative rant? Things aren't as rosy as you and the other Staackmann supporters claim and I will not let your false innuendos go unchecked. All this vague talk of how great things are in Morton Grove rings hollow. DiMaria is right on when he says if you bring attractive stores and businesses to the village then people will shop, buy gas, and spend money on other necessities. If need be, I can provide a list of vacant stores in the village but get ready for a long list!
Pat Craig January 26, 2013 at 10:06 PM
O.K. Brad, I'll call your bluff. Publish your list. While you're at it why don;t you enumerate all of the "positive" things your boy DiMaria has done during his years in office. While you're making lists, give us a run-down on what legislation he has championed, what programs he has spearheaded and how many times he has abstained from voting on important issues since he decided to run in a primary election. Give us a positive example of what DiMarias' agenda is regarding growth in Morton Grove, (aside from vague "woolgathering") regarding bringing attractive businesses to Morton Grove. Are we talking about facilitating financing of more facilities outside of our village? If your boy has some grand plan why not share it with all of us? Good governance is seldom flashy. Pretty words and grand promises seldom translate into reality. We have already experienced the result of Caucus smooth talk and flim-flam politicians promises. A steady hand not easily distracted by the latest political "shiny-thing" is what Morton Grove needs to continue to grow.
Old Time Grover January 26, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Whether 28% up in a levy or an increase, it still went up and cost people money and for what? Was it to buy that piece of land that's still empty on Ferris that the Caucus board purchased? They had a great party on the taxpayer's dime at village hall every year they were in office and now the bill has came due. What was done when Dimaria's buddies were in office but increase the deficit. What did they do with all the increased tax money? Have a list of open stores? Please print it but be sure to print the list of all the stores that are filled too. Is more getting done now in the village then four years ago? Don't think so. Bottom line, did your boy vote for the big tax increase or not? Check the votes, didn't your boy vote for the budget every time in the last years too? So what would he do that's not being done? As for all the new businesses, where is Dimaria the big Wall Street Gordon Gekko type guy going to put all these fancy new places?
Lizzy T January 27, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Mr. Di Maria maybe correct in his statement saying if you bring attractive stores and businesses to the village then people will shop, buy gas and spend money on other necessities. But my question is how is he going to do this any different than what is going on? I remember his being part of economic developoment and he has been on the village board for years so if he has all these plans then he should have proposed them already. Where are statements arguing points on what is not being done properly if any? Are all these proposed, undefined new ideas just pandering for attention while running for Mayor? If so, that's just not right. If anyone can share with me something that has not been tried or something new to stimulate business that has been proposed, I would appreciate hearing about it. I would really like stop all of this my guy is better than your guy comments without some facts to back them up. Mr. Thill's letter is right that talk Is cheap.
Brad January 27, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Red Rover Red Rover let Grover come over. C'mon Grover. Your "boy" Staackmann bought a large parcel on Lehigh to put a new police department this village cannot afford with the current trickle of revenue coming in. Promise the cops a new shop but more then half the force will be retired before the plans are even drawn. I guess the party continues with the new land grab. Hey Pat. Ever heart of a TIF district? Niles and other towns hit pay dirt with them and they attract new business like fly's to a rib roast. But this is all very complex stuff that this administration finds too murky. Just propose another tax increase on the residents then blow off the vote for or against it and reap the benefits. That's the Staackmann way. I'm now going to Old Navy for a shirt and then Shoe Carnival for some new boots. Then over to Marshall's for some current bargains. All this shopping will be done in Niles so they can add to their $25 million dollar general fund. For those reading our fund in MG now stands at $3.5 million so do the comparison. In fact, I will now buy all my produce at Jerry's to save up for the next inevitable tax increase in MG under Staackmann.
Old Time Grover January 28, 2013 at 02:09 PM
While Brad is driving over to Niles with Gordon Gekko Dimaria in his Range Rover to give another town sales money our hard-working Morton Grove businesses need, I'll be stoppping by an expanded Produce World for groceries and maybe jump over to Culver's for a hamburger afterwards. Let's see, need some new clothes and boots so there's K&G and TJ Maxx to visit. Have to get some treats for the dog, so Pet Supplies is on the list. Thinking of a getting a nice going away present for a soon to be ex-trustee, so Homegoods has a nice selection. TIF districts, think we have a few of those already don't we? What we don't have is big plots of open land to put Dimaria's pie in the sky fantasy businesses. What we do have is Brad and his buddy avoiding answering any tough questions. Tax increases (sorry Brad baby, "levy") are the hallmark of Dimaria's Caucus friends. Thanks Brad, you really energize me to get out and vote for Staackmann and bring along as many friends and neighbors as I can muster to avoid another disaster like we had when the Caucus gang that adopted your boy was running the village into the ground. Off to do some things around the house now, so will be shopping at our huge Menard's on Oakton later.
Pat Craig January 28, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Nice misdirections and non-answers Brad. Where's your promised list of empty stores? Where' is the list of DiMarias' accomplishments? (he does have cute kids, so I guess that would count). Where is the list of legislation he has authored and/or passed? Again I will ask, what are the specifics of his mysterious plan to attract all these "attractive" businesses of which you speak? Speaking od land grabs, Brad, would you have your boy DiMaria explain his vote to play ball with the Caucus majority to pay well over market price for the still-vacant Domicile property? (And this vote from a financial business professional... shade of Bernie Madoff). But don't worry Brad, maybe if you keep continuing to fling enough poop against the wall, something "might" stick.
Lizzy T January 28, 2013 at 02:57 PM
I am little confused about something. Didn't Trustee DiMaria vote for the new police station too? If we need it for our protection then is Brad saying he should not have voted for it? I watch cable television to see meetings and never noticed no votes on budgets but wonder about why Trustee DiMaria abstains from so many when approving the expenses?
Mr. Tom January 28, 2013 at 06:26 PM
I see the point of Brad's post. All those volume stores left Morton Grove and were not enticed to stay. The land for the new police station was bought but where will the money come to pay for it? Brad, Dempster/Waukegan Prarie View is already a TIF. There were meetings held on the project and the developer was excited and on board. But, proper procedure was not followed in applying for the TIF and now we are back to square one. Someone dropped the ball on this one and is costing MG revenue.
Mr .Tom January 28, 2013 at 06:40 PM
I see Brads point about those businesses leaving MG. That should not have happened. As for TIF districts. Isn't the Waukegan/Dempster Prairie View plaza a TIF? It was going along smoothly until proper procedure for application was not followed and we are now back to square one. Who dropped the ball on that one? MG is losing revenue everyday that there are not new stores in that mall. Lizzy, me thinks Brad is saying the land is there but he funds are not for the new station. Maybe someday but not now.
Pat Craig January 28, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Leadership is not about glamour and glitz. It's not exciting like riverboat gambling or big-time Wall street futures trading. It's about attention to detail; crossing your "t's" and dotting your "I's". Trustee DiMaria is reminicent of Professor Harold Hill in the Music Man. Maybe, if we buy that flashy band uniform and brass cornet with pearl valve buttons, we can attract all these great new businesses by the "Think System" Maybe so, but I believe we will see swine piloting 747's before that happens.
Mohammed Hussain February 06, 2013 at 05:34 AM
The empty storefronts in the strip mall at Lehigh/Dempster filled up nicely and none of the new businesses and stores there sell burgers or fries.


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