Welcome to the Friday Wrap for May 11th, 2018…just two days away from my 5th Anniversary of being sworn in as Mayor.
District 86 Referendum Worries BR Residents:
This was a busy week in the village while we all fielded phone calls from worried residents who received a notice that District 86 (Hinsdale Central & Hinsdale South High Schools), is preparing to move forward on a massive referendum for November’s ballot in the amount of $185 Million! The mailer estimates that, if approved by voters, the increase in property taxes for homes in the district would be approximately + $500 for every $500,000 of home value. A million dollar home in Burr Ridge will pay about $20,000 in increased taxes over the 20 year bond period. If passed, this will be the largest single property tax increase, ever, for this area.
Burr Ridge residents are concerned. Many believe District 86 is being fiscally irresponsible by expanding Central when there is available space and capacity for students at South. Residents also believe that the money, educational opportunities, and curriculum are not fair and equal between the schools with South taxpayers and South students getting the short end of the stick. Furthermore, recent bond referendums for facility expansions at area schools have a history of being inadequate, with schools finding the are short on money and unable to complete their proposed projects, potentially leaving taxpayers on the hook for even more money or failing to get the benefits they were promised when they voted on the tax hike. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/hinsdale/news/ct-dhd-hms-budget-shortfall-tl-0125-20180118-story.html.
When the District 86 Bond Referendum was first proposed last year, it was clear that most of the money was going for expanding Hinsdale Central as well as the installation of an elaborate and expensive swimming pool facility exclusively for Central students. Unfortunately, THERE ARE NO BURR RIDGE RESIDENTS on the District 86 School Board to help ensure fiscal responsibility, fairness, and balance in expenditures as well as equal educational opportunities that are benefiting all residents of District 86.
OTHER VILLAGE NEWS:
The Plan Commission Meeting held on Monday was probably the longest in recent years in order to address two major developments proposed in the village. First up was a proposed PUD of 8-9 homes on an R3 property at the corner of 79th and Drew. Though it is zoned for ¾ acre lots, the fact that it is mostly covered with wetlands and it borders larger R2 lots, make it a challenging project; the topic was tabled for a future meeting. Up for another round of discussion and input by residents, the McDonald’s Corporation came back to the commission with an updated traffic report and addressed fears about potential future crime if/when the restaurant moves to the east side of Rt. 83/Kingery Hwy at 91st Street on the outlot of Burr Ridge Senior Living. The meeting ended at close to midnight and the Plan Commission voted in favor of it by a 4-1 vote; their recommendation will now go to the Village Board this Monday.
Shirley Ryan Ability Lab Grand Opening:
Village staff took a private tour of the new Shirley Ryan Ability Lab last Saturday just prior to their public Grand Opening on May 5th from 10-12 AM. Coincidentally, my first job in the private sector was with Patrick G. Ryan, Shirley Ryan’s husband, founder of Ryan Insurance Group, the company that merged with Combined International to become AON.
TOPAZ Re-models & Re-opens!
If you haven’t checked out the NEW TOPAZ, I highly recommend it!! Their new, darker and more contemporary décor along with different music make it feel like you’re downtown Chicago (without the travel). To top it off…they have a new menu with a wider selection of less expensive (but even more delicious) dishes!
On a Personal Note . . .
My wife and I vacationed in Sedona, Arizona the previous week and it was incredible! I didn’t realize all the cool things we saw until reflecting on them. The Chapel of the Holy Cross (Est in 1956...same as Burr Ridge) was my favorite (and the reason we chose Sedona), but we also visited the Arizona Copper Museum (Clarkdale), Haunted Hamburger (Jerome), Shopping at Tlaquepaque next to Los Abrigados(where we stayed), Bell Canyon Trail, L’Auberge Resort, Airport Road Vortex plateau, Slide Rock State Park and The Enchantment Resort. Temperatures ranged from 44 - 104 degrees as we ended our trip at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs in Phoenix. Enjoy the pics/views!!!
ELVIS . . . at County Wine Merchant Tonight!
If you're looking for something to do tonight, the best local ELVIS impersonator is performing tonight at the County Wine Merchant. High energy and extremely entertaining...he puts on a great show!
God bless you all,
Mayor Mickey Straub