I am running for River Forest Village President. I am the most qualified and experienced candidate to lead a $30M government.
Lake and Lathrop, once a contaminated site, has now been remediated and is ready for construction. The board consciously decided that the village had to set aside money to make this site free of contaminants and vapor from the dry cleaner who dumped toxins into the ground. The long-term vision of the village was always to clean the site. We learned that the contaminants were beginning to leach toward St. Luke Church across the street and the nearby Ashland Condos.
A developer agreed to buy the property in 2017/18 and demolished the buildings in 2019 so remediation could be done. If anyone tells you that after 11 years, we are still looking at an empty lot, that is simply not true. You cannot demolish buildings or build on a property you do not own. Since that time, the developer has relocated tenants, demolished the buildings, and remediated and cleaned the site. Today, we accomplished our goal of ensuring the health and safety of our community, our school children and residents who live by the contaminated land.
The board voted favorably on an Affordable Housing Planning and Appeals Act (AHPAA) that was recommended for passage by the Village Plan Commission. The Affordable Housing Plan (AHP) will help River Forest exceed the required target of 10%. We are proud of the fact that we have a diverse housing stock. Since I took office in 2013, our affordable housing stock for the middle class grew from 4.4 percent to just over 9 percent by 2018.
Together with Dominican University, the village addressed the growing need to openly discuss diversity, equity and inclusion issues in our community. Due to my initiative and leadership, those discussions with Dr. Carroll and Dr. Radford-Hill from Dominican happened in earnest, and we quickly acted by forming a partnership agreement to work together.
I have used the phrase, “building on the progress,” because that is exactly what we will be doing. I have led the board on three guiding principles and values:
1. Ensure our community is safe and welcoming. Together our community is managing to get through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. We created a communication plan, a senior response team to care for our older adults, and we worked with other taxing bodies to ensure the health and safety of our community.
2. Strengthen our quality of life. The village is committed to our older adults and our planet, to building a better infrastructure to mitigate flooding in our community, and working with our surrounding communities to be a better and more efficient government.
3. Stabilize our property taxes. River Forest has balanced its budget for the last 10 years. Recently, the village took the historic action of reducing our property taxes. We must spend within our means, find cost savings, and enhance revenue opportunities. I will utilize my involvement in the Illinois Municipal League to advocate for grants and other sources of funding to help reduce reliance on property taxes.
I ask for your vote on April 6! For more information, please visit my website at www.cathyforRiverForest.com.