Alderman Steve Morley Makes it Official: He's Running for Mayor
Morley cited TIF, electricity aggregation and a flat tax levy as recent city accomplishments in which he takes pride.
Flanked by his family and "Morley for Mayor" signs, 6th Ward Alderman Steve Morley announced to a room of more than 60 people at Wilder Mansion Monday that he is running for mayor.
Morley, who has served the 6th Ward since 2007, was introduced by 4th Ward Alderman Kevin York. Nine city aldermen showed up to support Morley, along with elected county and state officials.
Elmhurst aldermen not in attendance included Diane Gutenkauf and Paula Pezza (1st Ward), 3rd Ward Alderman Michael Bram, and 7th Ward Alderman Mark Mulliner, who announced his own run for mayor in August.
Morley pointed to his deep roots in Elmhurst.
"I was born and raised in Elmhurst, attended Elmhurst schools, I'm a graduate of York High School," he said, adding that his two daughters, Jeanette and Anna, attend Bryan Middle School, and his son, Reed, is a freshman at York.
His Elmhurst marketing firm employs more than 30 people, he said. His mother attended Elmhurst College and taught in Elmhurst District 205; his father was a teacher at Elmhurst College. Morley called out multiple audience members by name, including parents of his best friends, his kindergarten teacher and others.
"I'm heavily invested in this town and deeply interested in its future," he said. "There is nothing more important to me than making sure this community provides a safe and secure atmosphere where children, families and businesses can grow and prosper."
York said Morley treats people with respect, "regardless of any difference of opinion or philosophy." He also referred to Morley as an "advocate of smaller local government" and "sensible economic development."
"I believe Elmhurst residents pay enough in taxes," Morley said. "We need to work hard to grow our tax base. The city recently approved a (tax increment financing) district in the north area of town, on North York. This is a great example of growth that is needed."
He said property values in the North York area only have grown .18 percent in the last 10 years.
"Something needs to be done, and if it's done properly, it can relieve the tax burden on the Elmhurst resident," he said.
The park, library and school districts are reliant on the city to expand the tax base, he said.
"We can promote growth, where our fellow taxing bodies are limited in that capacity. If we do that in a responsible manner, we can lower taxes for everybody."
He referred to some of the accomplishments of the current City Council, including bringing Mariano's Fresh Market to town, zero increase in city taxes last year, electricity aggregation and new budgeting procedures.
He said officials should "examine how things are done … add services where necessary and reduce spending in areas that are no longer relevant."
His vision, he said, is to make Elmhurst the place people want to return to and raise their own children.
"I love this town," he said. "There is nothing more important to me than making sure this community provides a safe and secure atmosphere where children, families and businesses can grow and prosper.”