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Letter: Elmhurst Needs A Long-term Vision for Our Future

We need to look farther than a year ahead to provide a solid framework for decision-making.

I believe that as a city and a council we need to do a better job keeping track of our plans for the next several years. Taxpayers rely on the council to plan for a future beyond simply the next fiscal year. That’s why at the Jan. 22 city council meeting I introduced a strategic planning initiative onto the consent agenda.

Good strategic plans guide organizations and provide a framework for decision-making that connects directly to budgets and budget projections over time. The council and city manager will need to work together to lay out a more comprehensive plan for Elmhurst so we can better plan for the future.

As it stands now, the council evaluates budgets on a year-to-year basis, and although we have a long-term capital projects plan, it is limited in its scope.

The formal request I sent to City Manager James Grabowski suggests the city enter into a long-term strategic planning process. The request passed along with the consent agenda at the council meeting and was referred to the Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Services Committee. The committee may vote to move the idea forward as soon as their next meeting.

I’ve been an alderman representing the First Ward since 2007, and in December I officially launched my candidacy for mayor. If you’d like to learn more about my plan for the city please visit http://www.Diane2013.com.

Diane Gutenkauf, Elmhurst 1st Ward alderman and candidate for mayor

MJ Rogers January 24, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Gutenkaul cannot be a voice of reason. She’s not a good person to lead for a future plan. Go see the city council. She is a voice of division. A good example is the hearing about stormwater management. All night Gutenkauf and Alderman Bram argued against a contract, but then they both voted for it. The vote was 13-0 in favor of the contract she’d spent lots of time opposing very loudly. Then the vote to pass the resolution was 12-0 because Gutenkauf had stormed out of the meeting in a fit. See the video of the meeting. It still is on the city website. She hasn’t got the ability to bring differing ideas together and Gutenkaukf certainly is no leader.
Doremus Jessup January 24, 2013 at 11:09 PM
On the few occasions I have spoken with Mayoral Candidate Dianne Gutenkauf about concerns I have had in Elmhurst I found her to be very receptive and willing to take the time to explain some intricacies I had not considered. I believe she would make an excellent choice for Mayor.
JLT January 24, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Is she the one that told someone to shut up during a meeting in front of a student acting as mayor for the day?
Vincent Russell January 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM
Webster's Dictionary: Adversarial: ad·ver·sar·i·al Adjective Involving or characterized by conflict or opposition. Opposed; hostile; angry. See also Diane Gutenkauf.
For the good of Elmhurst January 25, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Alderman Gutenkauf represents an opportunity for city government to reflect on its past and chart for the future. Any candidate who represents change to the status quo will be criticized as being adversarial. Elmhurst has great candidates running for Mayor. Let's stop labeling candidates as "this or that" and start to examine their ability to meet the responsibilities as Mayor of our great town. I deeply appreciate the willingness of Alderman Gutenkauf and the other candidates to go through the political campaign process and present their viewpoints and visions for Elmhurst.
Voice of Reason January 25, 2013 at 03:31 PM
there's nothing wrong with promoting your own candidate, or candidacy. but objectively speaking, if you are going to offer your "vision" for elmhurst about the "issues", your campaign site should contain more than 6 generic sentences. and also, there's a huge difference between engaging in open debate on actual issues, and being an obstructionist. And isn't "strategic planning" as just another way for a consultant to pocket a five figure check paid for by my tax bill - i thought our city manager was supposed to do that.
Shareabit January 25, 2013 at 03:50 PM
well said Voice Alderman Gutenkauf is an obstructionist. She can't plan. She can't bring people together. Her track record is If things get tense or people disagree with her, she just gets up and storms out. Or she tells them to shut up. These are not the qualities of a leader.
Girl_Power_2005 January 26, 2013 at 04:31 AM
A woman finally stands up to the bullies in the city council and she is labeled a witch with a capital B. Take a step back and look at the entirety of the Diane Gutenkauf Shut-up incident and you will see that Alderman Gutenkauf was continually badgered by a number of the adolescent council boys as she tried to make her point. After being interrupted several times, in frustration, she finally let off with: "If you would shut up for a minute, I will answer the question". The holier than thou crowd led by fedora wearing Dee Longfellow went ballistic. Now they are all pretending to be offended in a very poor political passion play. What a bunch of hypocrites. We need a strong woman to be Mayor. Vote for Diane Gutenkauf. Girl Power!
Girl_Power_2005 January 26, 2013 at 04:31 AM
Please stop beating that dead horse.
Steve January 30, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Any thoughts or perspective on the other two Mayoral candidates?
fittnessfanatic February 14, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I will vote for a woman mayor when a qualified woman runs. The woman who is running this time is not qualified to be mayor, let alone alderman There many qualified women elected officials, and they mind their manners and respect all who serve. Ms Gutenkauf has again shown her true colors with the robocall issue from last week. If you did it admit it. Share the results.
John February 14, 2013 at 10:45 PM
This candidate knocked on my door. I had met her numerous times and welcomed her by name...she proceeded with her canned speech which completely ignored our numerous shared expereinces. I stopped her, and re-introduced myself...I wasn't insulted that she didn't remember my name (I've been involved indirectly in politics for many years) but figured I could get her to at least acknowledge that we had, in fact, met and maybe we could dispense the formulaic speech and maybe even talk about an important issue. She actually spoke over me with her pre-prepared speech..it was like I wasn't there. What a strange experience! One that convinced me that she had no interest whatsoever in me but rather her agenda for the day (which as she stated three times was to introduce herself and put the "name to the face"). Oh well, at least it confirmed what I had heard about her and made me feel better about wanting her out of any office.

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