Shorewood Trustee Fitzgerald Not Seeking Re-election
Trustee Gary Fitzgerald said he is passing on a re-election bid due to his belief in term limits.
I am announcing that I will not be seeking re-election to the Shorewood Village Board in the April 2013 election. Quite simply, I believe in and support term limits for public officials. Periodic turnover in government leadership is a good thing because it brings new energies and fresh perspectives, and helps assure that officials do not treat the office they hold as a career instead of public service. If they were to do so, the decisions they make could be more geared to their self-interest instead of for the good of the taxpayer. No elected official is indispensable.
I am very proud of my 12 years (3-terms) service on the Shorewood Village Board, and my role during that time as Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission. (I had also served the preceding 7 years as a citizen member of the Commission.) We have twice updated our Comprehensive Plan, and overhauled our ordinances regulating lighting, signage, architectural guidelines, and landscaping. All of these achievements continually raised our standards as to the quality of residential and commercial developments. Some of these issues were and remain contentious, and I was proud to help navigate us to the best decisions on behalf of our residents.
During my 3 terms on the Board, I was fortunate to be part of a team that grew our business sector by three-fold, brought jobs to the community, reduced our village property tax rate by half, always balanced our budget, always paid our bills on time, and raised our bond rating by 4 levels. I am also proud of the decision to not build our own waste water treatment plant, which saved our residents millions of dollars. Instead, our residents agreed to approve a small sales tax increase to pay for Joliet treatment of our waste, and which would also allow both a 25 percent property tax rebate and, if funds remain, for additional infrastructure improvements.
I am proud to have led the passage of a dangerous dog ordinance, as well as an ordinance restricting adult businesses. I am also proud to have played a role in the establishment of our Town Center and the Veteran’s Memorial. Finally, I am proud to have helped maintain our village administrator form of government.
I am grateful to those residents who voted for me for their confidence in me and for the opportunity to serve this outstanding community. By announcing my intentions now, it is my hope that residents who are interested in continuing the direction and values we have set out for Shorewood, and who have the time and ability to become involved, and who are independent-minded with a focus on public service and only doing what is in the village’s best interests, will decide to seek election for this open seat. (For information, contact Shorewood Village Hall at 725-2150, extension 14.) If good men and women do not become involved in their government, then people with other motives will, and we cannot afford that. Thank you.