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What Would You Do To Improve Elmhurst in 2013?

If you could make a New Year's resolution for Elmhurst, what would it be?

More than 45 percent of Americans make a resolution every year, according to statisticbrain.com. Some people vow to live a healthier lifestyle, others promise to spend more time with family, and many say they will try to save money.

As millions of Americans make resolutions to improve their lives, what could we do right here in Elmhurst to make it an even better place to live?

That's not to say Elmhurst isn't a great town. People who grew up here tend to come back and raise their kids. We have the Prairie Path running right through town, lots of great bars and restaurants, a first-class hospital, college and museums, and a St. Patrick's Day Parade that draws tens of thousands of people. But there's always room for improvement.

In addition to the common call for lower taxes, we've heard suggestions for more shelters in parks and a police officer in every school. Would you like to see more parking in town? How about bringing back Elmfest? And what should be done with Hahn Street?

Tell us in the comment section below or blog in Local Voices about what you'd like to see in 2013. Or, just share why you love living in Elmhurst.

Jim Court December 28, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I really wonder. A question was asked about the financial cliff. A huge number of Naperville residents responded. No one from Elmhurst did. Very few Elmhurst residents responded to the question about what would you do to improve Elmhurst. I often wonder why we as a community seems so disengaged compared to other communities. Does anybody have a thought on this? Probably not.
Dan December 29, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Require scrapers that pick up metal items throughout the city to register with city similar to contractor registration program that is already in place. Require proof of insurance, bonding and limit hours of operation to the same hours that contractors are limited to. Determine what the city tax increase would be to eliminate the city sticker fee and move it over to the property taxes. This would save the enforcement expense and administrative expense of running a city sticker program. It would also eliminate the aggravation of purchasing stickers every year while increasing the transparency on the level of taxes and fees in Elmhurst compared to other cities that don't have sticker fees. Create a "dog park"..
Jim Court December 29, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Dan Great ideas. Where are the rest of the folks in Elmhurst ?
Darlene Heslop December 29, 2012 at 02:17 AM
the rest of elmhurst is in florida or aspen for the holidays...check back after the kids go back to school... .
Jim Court December 29, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Did you see the response from Naperville concerning the impact of the financial cliff.
an Elmhurst mom December 29, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Make all door to door soliciting illegal in Elmhurst.
bill trudeau December 29, 2012 at 03:39 PM
There is already a scavenger ordinance, and it requires scavengers in both residential and commercial districts to be licensed. Do you know how many licenses are available for residential scavenging? One. It goes to whoever our waste hauler is. All of the others are doing it illegally. It seems that would be a pretty easy thing to enforce, but my guess is there's never been a citation issued. .
Dan December 29, 2012 at 04:33 PM
End the use of the city's reverse 911 emergency messages for everything but extreme emergencies and than have it made by an unelected official like the city manager and not the mayor.
Dan December 29, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Bill, I appreciate being able to place something metal at the curb and having it disappear knowing it will be recycled. I just don't like having to chase down metal items taken out of my yard like I have had to do in the past. There is also the issue of city sewer caps and stormwater grates ending up at the scrape dealer down Lake Street. Why not create a metal scavengers licenses and allow one small entrepreneur the opportunity to mine the scrape metal put out every week?
bill trudeau December 30, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I agree. I think the materials being recycled is fantastic, but just pointing out that our city has yet another ordinance that no one enforces. I often wonder why the city council wastes their time writing ordinances that are so blatantly ignored.
Jim Court December 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Bill, Isn't about being proactive verses a reactive approach. One approach initiates, the other approaches responds. This makes enforcement inconsistent and thus hypocritical. Fairness does not then exist. We could use a more entrepreneurial approach and less of a bureaucratic approach. I am starting to wonder if this approach the passivity of our citizens. The Elmhurst Patch has so few people commenting compared to a town like Naperville. The recent fiscal cliff article received no response from Elmhurst and perhaps two hundred from Naperville. What does this say about us as a city? You get the Government you deserve. I have spent too much of my life fighting upstream, feeling like I am in the wrong place. Perhaps I am.
Julie Travers January 01, 2013 at 05:07 PM
We need a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's in town.
Jim Court January 01, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Patch, Please guide me. I just wrote a long response to Julie Travers and then logged in. It never showed up. Maybe it is me but this seems to occur randomly. I am getting to the point where I no longer wish to participate.
Alan Brinkmeier January 02, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Jim, As regards your comment for Elmhurst College to get the message out about Elmhurst being a world class locale, I wanted to talk briefly about the Niebuhr Medal that our Board of Trustees put in place back in the mid 1990s. It is always a special occasion when the Niebuhr Medal is awarded. The Niebuhr Medal was first awarded in 1995, to Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. I remember that night so well. And, since then Niebuhr Medals have gone to Joseph Bernardin, cardinal archbishop of Chicago, Lech Walesa, the first democratically elected president of Poland; Millard and Linda Fuller, co-founders of Habitat for Humanity International, author Arthur Schlesinger who is a world recognized historian, and many others. Jim, your idea about having Elmhurst College promote Elmhurst on a world stage is an excellent one. Also, Elmhurst College has a vibrant Speaker Series so that many times each month local, regional, national and international speakers take stage to educate and inform students and the Elmhurst and surrounding area public. We welcome all to visit and take part in these world class events on campus. Thanks JIm. And, Happy New Year to all for 2013! Alan Brinkmeier
JJ January 02, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Does anyone know what they are building by the old TCBY on York and South?
Alan Brinkmeier January 02, 2013 at 02:15 PM
JJ I believe Mr. McKenna Is constructing that as a professional office building. I believe Mr. McKenna has a tenant or tenants already lined up, too. It will be great to have that parcel back on the roster for Elmhurst regarding our schools and business use. It has been a non performing lot for far too long in a nice location just across from the fountain park at the Prairie Path. Alan Brinkmeier
Jim Court January 02, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Alan, I sincerely have much respect for your logical and rational approach coupled with a deep commitment to Elmhurst. You have the heart of a statesman and a strong ethical foundation. That is a very nice building that utilizes modern methods of construction. Steel framing has so many positive benefits. I applaud the city and Mr. McKenna for acceptance of such building methods. Any chance that it will be a real estate office for Koenig-Strey?
Jim Court January 02, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Julie, As much as I am sure that the community would have welcomed your choices, it is my opinion that when you have so many dollars available for groceries and the pie is divided in so many ways, that corporations look at this in determining a location. Adjoining communities have sufficient grocery stores available so it is doubtful that they would travel here. Average household incomes of these communities probably would prevent this type of shopping. As it is, local stores are operating on thin margins. Did you ever see how many fliers for groceries you receive. You can also shop at Target, WalMart,K-Mart Sams Club, and Costco. Add Walgreens, CVS, the various dollar stores, and well as convenience stores, Gas Stations, and even Menards. Although I welcome Marianos as a potential anchor development for North Elmhurst, it will further squeeze margins for the other grocery sellers. Based on these factors I do not believe we will see your hopes take place. I would monitor K-Mart and work with Lowes to redevelop this into a home center. This would keep tax dollars in Elmhurst and even attract tax dollars from outside the community. It also would save our residents time and gas money and would bring people to this mall. Traffic from RT 83 would even shop there. We have little compelling shopping along Route 83 and miss many opportunities to gain potential tax dollars from those outside the community. Does anybody have any thoughts on this?
Karen Chadra (Editor) January 02, 2013 at 07:07 PM
City Manager Jim Grabowski told me it is going to be an orthodontist office.
Denise Langosch January 03, 2013 at 02:24 AM
I would like to see an indoor ice rink complex that included two sized rinks and also an in-line skating rink, and how about an indoor swimming pool (similar to Bensenville). There never seems to be enough ice time for teams or open skate time. Maybe with another rink in the area the prices for ice time would be more competitive. I'd like to have a pool that didn't require a full membership fee for members only wanting to swim. This could create jobs, give teens and families a place to go, and promote health and fitness.
Jim Court January 03, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Karen, I just wrote another response and then logged in. It did not show up, It shows me as logged in. Why can't you address this? You are shooting yourself in the foot. The lack of willingness to challenge anything has resulted in a very bland, occasionally sensationalist online paper with very little following on any significant subject. Look at the limited number of people. Maybe it has to do with the ultra conservative Elmhurst populace. I am not sure. The recent column about the economic cliff brought a massive response from people in Naperville and nothing from people in Elmhurst. This surely suggests something is very different. I am about ready to give up offering ideas for improvement at any level. No one responds and no one seems to care.
Jim Court January 03, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Someone stated to me that it is based on a personality style that does not embrace change and tends towards both conservatism and passivity.
Karen Chadra (Editor) January 03, 2013 at 07:42 PM
First of all, you and I have never met, so I would caution you when assuming anything about my personality. Second, Elmhurst Patch is among the top, most-read Patch sites in the region. It receives literally thousands of comments per month and hundreds of thousands of page views. I see the data. That said, not everyone wants to put their comments out there and be subject to harsh responses. Just because some people aren't willing to comment, doesn't mean they are not reading and engaged. Third, it is not my place to put my own opinions out there. To "challenge" decisions made or methods employed by officials in this town would require me to become immediately biased in my reporting. The fastest way to destroy my credibility, my integrity and my career is to slant my reporting to certain points of view—or away from them. My job is to report on facts as they are presented to me and to get all sides of a story as much as possible; oftentimes, people don't want to give their side. It is in the comment section where most opinions are brought forth—by the community, the taxpayers, the shareholders—not by me.
Karen Chadra (Editor) January 03, 2013 at 07:47 PM
The economic cliff article ran through a number of Patch sites, including Elmhurst: http://elmhurst.patch.com/articles/how-much-will-falling-off-the-fiscal-cliff-cost-you. Those nearly 300 comments included Elmhurst residents, Naperville residents and many others from dozens of communities.
Darlene Heslop January 03, 2013 at 08:03 PM
koenig strey is now located across from city hall in downtown...
Darlene Heslop January 03, 2013 at 08:07 PM
very nicely stated, karen...people read...they just don't comment here...
Jim Court January 03, 2013 at 08:46 PM
proactive people respond. Yes, people respond to lite journalism. Reality TV has a huge following. The financial cliff articlevwas absolutely dominated by Naperville residents. I stand by all that I said.
Karen Chadra (Editor) January 03, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Jim, if you have concerns about the site or the way it's run, please feel free to email me at Karenc@Patch.com and I'd be happy to speak with you about our approach and how we make editorial decisions. I stand by the site and the news and information we make available here. That said, we always welcome and appreciate feedback from our users.
Jim Court January 03, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Karen I like you. I do not think journalism has to be politically correct and never offer an opinion. What are editorials for?
Jim Court January 04, 2013 at 01:04 AM
I once again wrote a long response and it did not show up. You win, I am done writing on a page that does not work consistently. How would you like to write a long column and then have whatever you write disappear. If this was a service oriented business and they did not show up repeatedly, would you embrace their company. It is obviously a software or programming problem that no one is willing to look into. Look at my ideas. Everyone of them. Would not the community be a better place if they were implemented? Maybe I should do a food review, talk about exercise, or discuss the Kardashians. I would get a much better response. Oh darn, Jersey Shore is over. Why don't you critique my ideas? Why doesn't a city official comment and explore them? I was never addressing you directly. Popular does equal substance. Maybe it is all that AOL seeks. The National Enquirer is not what I read. This is not a "put-down" of anybody. I have a history of swimming upstream. It is very frustrating. Perhaps you should read Please Understand Me by David Keirsey. I am an ENF/TP/J. A rare personality style. DuPage seems to be ESTJ territory. They just love the War on Drugs. I see it as a complete failure. Stupid me.

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