Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Braun Keeps Promise of Change

Newly-elected Mayor Paul Braun promised that change was going to come to Flossmoor. Anyone who has driven down its main roads knew that change was needed. Our former mayor brought in a "good friend" who was in serious financial difficulty to tear down five tax-paying businesses on speculation that he could develop the property.

That property (and the other property on Volmer) has sat vacant for four years -- a monument to a failed vision.

That was predictable. I attended the village board meeting where the zoning changes (extremely favorable to the former mayor's friend) were approved. And I predicted there that this developer would have trouble -- despite the fact that it was the height of the building boom! Had the former mayor -- or village board -- done its due diligence, they would have known that, too.

Newly-elected Mayor Paul Braun, though, has risen to the occasion! He told me, "I think you're going to like your new view," (my property overlooks the blighted area that our former mayor brought to Flossmoor) and the Southtown Star tells us:

The village of Flossmoor has hatched an agreement with a Frankfort developer to maintain a highly visible piece of vacant land that has become an eyesore on Flossmoor Road near downtown.
As you can see from the picture to the right, village employees removed the sign that the former owner (my understanding is that this property is a part of bankruptcy procedings) had up -- and which had not changed for several years.

But this is definitely a work in progress. While the plan seems to be to clean up the property from the original destruction of those five tax-paying businesses (as well as the damage done to the property since), it's not done yet. There remains several mounds of gravel, tree limbs and dirt. We can only hope those are removed soon.

Still, you got to give props to the new mayor. Our former mayor had a very lazy approach to business and government. His friend was never pushed to clean up the property and the former mayor certainly never considered thinking of how to use the village government to take action.

Mayor Braun is much more active in protecting Flossmoor. We are told:

All of the costs for the work will be placed as a lien against the property and will be paid by the developer when the property is sold or a permit to develop it is issued, whichever comes first, village officials said.
This could have happened sooner. Regardless, Mayor Braun has done it. And that's the important thing. The change we were promised has clearly arrived...

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