Message from the Village President
Greetings to all of our residents and businesses in the Village of Matteson. Summer time is here and the weather is great; so I hope you and your families are enjoying Summer 2016!
We are very busy here in the Village working on multiple projects that will improve our community and our quality of life. Economic development continues to be our major focus and as we find ourselves on the other side of the great recession, we are excited and optimistic about the significant increase in interest within the Village of Matteson we are seeing from outside developers.
We are currently engaged in negotiations with a major developer that will yield us a grocery store and have begun serious talks with another major developer that will hopefully result in the demolition and subsequent repurposing of Lincoln Mall. While we have had more than our share of closings [mostly due to corporate decisions], we remain encouraged as we are approached weekly by a wide variety of developers showing sincere interest in locating to Matteson.
Our staff went to the International Conference of Shopping Centers [ICSC] Convention in Las Vegas in May and had several high level meetings with interested developers. Our presence at the ICSC convention is very important towards our efforts in securing new development for our town. It's also important to note that 65% of all retail deals done in the U.S. each year are done at this convention. I want to personally thank you for your patience during these difficult economic times that we as a Village and a region have experienced over the past few years, but the good news is we are starting to see the silver lining to this cloud and I know Matteson's best days are still ahead of her.
While economic development is very vital to our continued success as a Village and a region, so is public safety and public works. We are very happy to announce that the Board of Trustees approved the hiring of 6 new police officers earlier this year and we recently conducted an exam for firefighter/paramedic so that we can develop a current hiring list for vacancies in the Matteson Fire Department. On the Public Works front, the Board of Trustees recently approved the purchase of some new snow plow related equipment as the department gears up for the upcoming winter storms later this year. Additionally, Public Works is overseeing a series of street resurfacing projects such as Central Avenue and Matteson Avenue and several streets in various subdivisions. As our local economy improves we expect to be in a position to resurface even more streets next year.
Our Community Affairs and Recreational Services departments are busy planning numerous activities and programs for our residents and visitors. We are very pleased to be partnering with Victory Apostolic Church and their Annual "Taste of Victory" festivities in late July. We truly appreciate the strong partnerships we have with all of our Churches here in Matteson.
Our Matteson Community Center is very busy every day and I encourage you to look through the next leisure guide for programs and activities that interest you, your family members and friends. Come and enjoy your center where we have something for all ages!
Speaking of the Recreation Center, there has been much said in recent days and months regarding the financing tools used to build it. Our Village Administrator and Financial Investment Consulting Team are involved in developing an enduring, deliberate economic plan to address our current obligations while providing sound financial long term investment strategies. Municipalities as well as large cities all over the country are conducting this same type of assessment in order to meet their annual and long term fiscal goals.
For historical purposes, let me say that I was sworn in as Acting Village President on September 2, 2008. On September 3rd, my staff informed me that we were at a crossroad with the Community Center project. At that point the Village had spent about $3.5 million on architectural design and some infrastructure had been installed. My first major decision as your Village President during my first 24 hours in office was whether to continue, or leave the project in its unfinished state to only serve as a constant symbol of decline; needless to say I opted to continue the project. I stand by my decision, take full ownership of it and given the same circumstances, I'd make the same decision. The Recreation Center is a gem in our community that helps make Matteson a destination point in this region and provides a safe and healthy place to offer many programs and services to our residents and visitors.
We have two important elections coming up; one in November and one next April. In the Village of Matteson next April, the offices of Village President, Village Clerk and 3 Village Trustee seats are up for election. I am formally announcing here in this space that I intend to seek another term as your Village President. I take my job as your Village President very seriously and work very hard at it day and night, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. I know you will likely have choices in this election, but I would just ask you to consider vast experience as a manager and a leader, knowledge of local government operations and steadiness of governing and how important those characteristics are to the future of our Village. I hope I can count on your support. We are much stronger and better when we all work together and stick together. While sometimes change is a good thing, all change is not always good.
I thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you and I trust that you and your family will have a happy, safe and blessed summer. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a voice mail at 708.283.4911 should you have questions about anything or need assistance from me or my staff.
On behalf of the Ashmore Family, I wish you all GODSPEED, until we meet again!
Andrè B. Ashmore, Village President
Village of Matteson