Flossmoor's First Couple, Roger and Marcia Molski, are back from an extended "vacation." This being a month before the next election, Flossmoor can expect to see more of the two. They did this last time the mayor was on the ballot as well, Marcia spending time in the village to give the appearance that they still live here.
Voters in Flossmoor can be expected to vote on whether it is "good enough" to have an absentee mayor. No one can blame Roger for wanting to sleep in his own bed or return home to his wife each night. The problem is that they are in Chicago, not Flossmoor. So the question remains, should the mayor live here?
The issue with having an absentee mayor has been made crystal clear this winter. Flossmoor's mayor was absent from the village during the recent ice storm. He didn't endure local power outages because he was at home, in Chicago. Nor did he visit local businesses concerned about having power to open their doors. He simply wasn't here.
Molski was absent during our recent "blizzard," as well. Pictures were provided in a prior post of the Mayor's absence. Of course, the blizzard only made Molski's practice of going home (to Chicago) each night more obvious.
Because the mayor doesn't live here anymore, he's fairly disengaged from the community. So it is no surprise that the mayor has expressed little interest in helping Flossmoor benefit from federal stimulus dollars. While the city manager has done yeoman's work in trying to recover from the mayor's managerial weaknesses, the fact remains that Flossmoor would have greatly benefited from a mayor who was engaged in his community, who could have had an immediate response when the concept of stimulus dollars was becoming public.
The question of whether our mayor should live here really is a question about how invested the mayor should be in the community that he leads. Overnight power outages have no effect on the mayor because he doesn't sleep here. He can't look out his windows and see a community that is blacked-out. One suspects his condo in Chicago has its own backup generator, so he may very well be immune to local power outages there, as well. Must be nice.
The mayor's lack of investment in Flossmoor shows in the kinds of things he is doing to our community, as well. He brought blight to Flossmoor, helping an over-extended developer raze five active businesses on the tax rolls here and leaving a half-block long hole on Flossmoor's main street. What is he doing about it? When I asked, not a thing.
Instead, we come to find that the mayor is helping to bring in a store that will sell liquor and tobacco across the street from Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Once again, Molski was instrumental in having our community standards waved in order to get one of his pet projects passed.
Would Roger Molski really have worked so hard to wave our community zoning requirements if he actually lived in Flossmoor? Probably not. If Molski was fully invested in our community, he would have been more likely to understand why residents would want to retain the look and feel of Flossmoor, why it is important to encourage businesses to adapt to our community standards, why selling liquor across the street from one of our community's main assets (its high school) isn't a good idea. No, our absentee mayor has discovered Chicago values and seeks to import them here, to Flossmoor. He's not fully invested in our community, and it shows.
So the question is, should the mayor live here? If you care about Flossmoor's community values, about its inherent charm and small town flavor, then the answer must be yes. If you want to turn Flossmoor into Chicago, then obviously the mayor is a great promoter for undermining Flossmoor's charm and standards. He's done it before and you can expect for him to do it again. Home is where the heart is, and it's clear that Roger Molski's heart is no longer in Flossmoor.