I hope everyone is doing well during these difficult times. Needless to say, 2020 has not been an easy year for anyone. However, I do believe that it is important to reflect on the good, and remember some of the things that we have achieved as a Village. This is a team effort, and we are lucky to have residents that are involved, as they always say, “It takes a Village”. Below is a summary of the items we have accomplished over the past few years.
- Our auditor commented that we are in the top ½% of all communities in the state with accuracy and transparency in our financial reporting. This means your tax dollars are being spent with their correct intended purpose.
- We have an established “rainy day” fund of 4 months cash reserves. (At one time, we had concerns about meeting our bi-weekly payroll.)
- We went from AA- to AA+ in our bond rating. A two-step increase, which is almost unheard of for a non-home rule municipality in Illinois.
- We have received for four straight years, the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Award.
- Legal and payroll expenses combined have decreased from $1.7 million for the 2013-2014 fiscal year to $1.57 million for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. A savings of $157,000 while increasing levels of service to the community. (It should be noted that a close Village around us, spends in a month what we spend in a year on legal fees.)
- 911-Dispatching fees have decreased by over $120,000 per year while service levels have increased. This was a result of switching to Cook County’s 911 dispatching services.
- Our website was completely redone and users may be automatically notified of meetings and special events. Residents are also capable of paying water bills and buying vehicle stickers online.
- A written, formal capital plan for improvements in the Village has been set and is being followed.
- Last but not least. Obtained about $10,000,000.00 (YES TEN MILLION!!!) in grant (either committed or in hand) or loan forgiveness for capital projects. (This includes Wolf Road Complete Street Study, Joliet Road Sidewalks, and other infrastructure improvements, ballistics for the police, and broadcast equipment for our Channel 6 cable television station).
Please let me know about any questions, comments, or concerns that you may have. You may also use the Concern or Compliment Portal features within the website under the “Residents” tab. I am also available to address your community group, condo association, club, or neighborhood coffee groups to address all and anything Indian Head Park. Happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 708-497-9745. I am very proud to serve as your Mayor.
Mayor Tom Hinshaw