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January/February 2015


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Community Forum: Healthy West Chicago

 Thursday, January 29, 2015 @ 7:00 p.m. - The ARC Center



Plan to Attend

Our New Year's Resolution:
A Healthier West Chicago


As we research and develop our Healthy West Chicago Action Plan, our community is discovering the power of working together. Healthy West Chicago takes direct aim at the obesity epidemic through the efforts of more than 15 partners, as well as people who work and live in West Chicago.


A survey of more than 580 West Chicagoans last summer showed that people believe healthy eating and an increase in exercise is extremely important (93% of respondents), but only 28% of respondents said that West Chicago is a "healthy" or "very healthy" place to live. We've got lots of work to do.


Last fall and winter, 10 community forums invited parents, faith-based communities, members of our School Districts, seniors, and Park District staff to share their ideas. Ideas generated so far include enhancing and growing our Farmer's Market and Community Garden Program. Others have suggested new ideas for adult recreational sports, including a new softball tournament between faith communities. Our community has an extensive bike trail network, but West Chicagoans say they want to integrate biking into everyday life by making biking safer and easier to get to places around town including downtown, schools, stores and more. Another big idea: encourage restaurants to showcase Mexican culture through delicious, healthy menu choices.


Our final open forum will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at the ARC Center. Everyone in the community is invited. RSVPs are helpful, but not necessary. Contact Jennifer Nelson at for more information.


West Chicago Park District Executive Director, Gary Major,  is pleased with the progress being made. "Our role with the Healthy West Chicago initiative is to identify the needs of our community and to meet those needs," he said.


Next steps: Expect to hear about a brand new Healthy West Chicago Community Action Plan and Report Card being rolled out in 2015.




Jan 1 - City Hall Closed

Jan  9 -  Artist Reception
Jan 9 - Late Night at the Museum

Jan 17 - Art Share Saturday

Jan 22 - Local Music Night/Soup

              and Bread

Jan 29 - Healthy West Chicago

              Community Forum

Jan 31 - Coffee with the Mayor

Feb 6 - Artist Reception
Feb 6 - Late Night at the Museum

Feb 26 -  Local Music Night/Soup

               and Bread

Feb 28 - Coffee with the Mayor









A committee is forming to begin plans for downtown West Chicago's annual celebration of spring, Blooming Fest, scheduled for May 16, 2015. The event is a perennial favorite among gardeners, crafters and downtown enthusiasts.  Vendors, hand-crafters and volunteers are needed and are encouraged to contact Krista Coltrin at Vendor registration forms are now available at 




Jan 3 - Reading to Rover

Jan 6 - Three King's Day

Jan 10 - Winter Reading Program Kick-Off

Jan 13 - Whooo's Ready for Kindergarten?

Jan 15 - It's a Mammoth!

Jan 16 - Puzzle Day

Jan 18 - LEGO Block Party

Jan 19 - Frozen Sing-Along

Jan 20 - Whooo's Ready for Kindergarten?

Jan 24 - Books for Breakfast

Jan 27 - Whooo's Ready for Kindergarten?

Jan 28 - Walk Like an Egyptian

Feb 3 - Whooo's Ready for Kindergarten?

Feb 6 - Friday Movie Matinee

Feb 8 - Tea Time Knitting

Feb 10 - Whooo's Ready for Kindergarten?

Feb 14 - Vikings!  Lords of the Sea

Feb 16 - Monster Mania!

Feb 18 - LEGO Robotics

Feb 19 - Chinese New Year Celebration

Feb 28 - Books for Breakfast


For details visit

or call (630) 231-1552.



Jan 16 - Family Night Open Gym

Jan 25 & 26 - Variety Show Auditions

Feb 12 - Craftin' with Cupid

Feb 20 - Family Night Open Gym

Feb 21 - Variety Show

Feb 28 - Daddy/Daughter Date Night


For details visit or call (630) 231-9474.



Tree Removal City Services
Free Christmas Tree Pickup: Collection for Christmas trees will take place during the weeks of January 5 and January 12, 2015, on regularly-scheduled garbage pickup days. Trees must be free of all tinsel, garland and ornaments.  No stickers are required during this period. 
Holiday lights must be removed by March 25, 2015 to avoid a citation.
Snow Removal: West Chicago's winter forecast will likely include snow. Refer to the snow removal policy at for any questions you may have. Please remember, It is illegal to plow or shovel snow from driveways or sidewalks into the street.  Also, if possible, make well-being checks on elderly or special-needs neighbors.
Follow us on TwitterCommunication with residents and businesses is a priority for the City. If you haven't done so already, please sign up to receive City E-News on a variety of topics, and also become a City Twitter follower. Both forms of communication can help you stay in touch with what is happening in the community.
Make a difference in your community and meet like-minded people. Consider public service as a volunteer on the Environmental, Historical Preservation, Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals or Cultural Arts Commissions. There is currently one vacancy on each Commission. All Commissions meet at City Hall, 475 Main Street. Those interested will find an application at under Residents/Forms & Applications, which should be returned to the Office of the Mayor, 475 Main Street, West Chicago, IL 60185.
Public Safety Matters
The Federal Trade Commission provides valuable information to consumers regarding current scams that aim to defraud the unsuspecting public.

These scams often combine sophisticated technology with age-old tricks to get people to send money or provide personal information. They add new twists to old schemes and pressure people to make important decisions on the spot. One thing that never changes: they follow the headlines - and the money.

Stay a step ahead with the latest information and practical tips from the nation's consumer protection agency. Browse FTC scam alerts by topic or by most recent.





Message from the Mayor 



Happy New Year, we're off to a great start. There is nothing better than the satisfaction that comes from living within our means, maintaining a high level of service to our customers, and starting the year with a balanced budget.


At its December 15th meeting, the City Council approved the 2015 Annual Budget, which totals $41,029,100 and is a decrease of 6.60% as compared to the 2014 Budget, as amended; specifically, the General Fund, which is the all-purpose governmental fund that includes the operations of the municipality not accounted for in a separate fund, reflects an increase of ­­­­­­­3.42% as compared to the 2014 Budget, as amended. The change in the General Fund is primarily due to the large increase in the price of road salt ($148,000) and contributions to the Police Pension Fund which increased by $420,000.


We have followed a five-point strategy as outlined in the City Council's Budget Policy that aims to reduce operating expenses, meet our reserve requirements, identify and implement new revenue sources, increase our economic development focus and maintain and improve City services. All components of this strategy have been achieved.


There are no tax, fee or rate increases and also no service reductions proposed in the Budget; and the property tax levy is proposed to remain the same for the fourth year in a row - great outcomes for you, the customer.


Looking ahead, the City is in the preliminary stage of searching for a consultant to assist with the creation of a City-wide strategic plan to guide decision-making over the next three to five years.


I would like to thank the City Council, Finance Committee, senior management and their staff for their continued hard work, dedication and stewardship of the public dollar.  





Mayor Ruben Pineda




Great Memories

The dedication of a new downtown mural, In this - together, brought the community out to witness its unveiling at 103 West Washington Street on December 6, 2014. Following the unveiling, the community was invited inside the building for a reception with the artist, Anni Holm. Also present were those groups responsible for making the mural possible: the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, City Museum, WeGo Together for 
Kids and District 33, the United Way Metropolitan Chicago, the DuPage Children's Museum.  For more information about the mural, including a list of the hands that went into its making, visit under Residents/History and Arts.  




The City of West Chicago wishes to thank the Frosty Fest committee, all the groups that performed, volunteered or donated to the event. They include the following:    

West Chicago Park District * West Chicago Public Library * Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce * West Chicago Fire Protection District * Fox Community Center * Community High School Chamber Choir * Wheaton Academy Kantorei * Friends of the Museum * American Legion Post 300 * VFW Post 6791 * West Chicago Sister Cities * West Chicago Rotary Club * West Chicago Lions Club * St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store * State Bank of Illinois - West Chicago * Parra's Bakery * ESDA * Kramer Tree Specialists *  Boy Scout Troop #33 * School District #33 * School District #33 Support Staff Association * First United Methodist Church * Community Volunteers who served on the committee  


Because of everyone's efforts, children and their families delighted in horse-drawn wagon rides, live music, free refreshments and so much more. The City has posted a musical slideshow to its YouTube site for the enjoyment of those who couldn't make it as well as for those who may wish to re-live all the magic.  



transom City Museum 

132 Main Street - (630) 231-3376   

Late Night at the Museum

Date: Friday, January 9, 2015

Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.


Late Night at the Museum

Date: Friday, February 6, 2015

Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.


A new installment of A Sense of Place features the story of a West Chicago family who, for the last 100 years, has owned a property on Main Street and has supported the growth of the downtown. Read about the Lellios family at
25 Years of Telling Tales celebrates the 25th anniversary of Tales Tombstones Tell.
The exhibit will focus on those families important to the story of Oakwood Cemetery, including the McConnells, who donated the land for the cemetery, and those families who served on the various Oakwood Cemetery Committees such as the Haywards and Hills, among many more. The exhibit will include histories of all three West Chicago cemeteries and runs through March 2015.
Gallery 200 logo Gallery 200
200 Main Street - (630) 231-9550  
Gallery 200/STUDIO
203 Turner Court - (630) 231-9550
Cruisin' by Judith Horsley

Gallery 200 opens its new year with guest artist Judith Horsley as the January Featured Artist. An Opening Reception will be held from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. on January 9, 2015. During the opening reception, string musician Dejan Kralj, will treat guests to a variety of sounds. Refreshments will be served. Judi's work will be on display for the entire month of January. Judith is well known locally. Credits include Bloomingdale Park District juried shows, Cantigny InFocus, Chicago Flower and Garden Show, DuPage Forest Preserve District Staff and Volunteer Art Exhibit, Arts Fiesta (now Blooming Fest), awards at DuPage County Fair exhibit, and has been selected for the Public Art Banner Project several years in a row. 




Also in January, if you've missed the freedom of drawing with crayons, come to Gallery 200 ArtShare Saturday to experience the magic of water-soluble crayons.  These wax sticks of pigment are creamy and glorious!  After you've drawn your picture with the dry crayon, you'll add some water and watch stunning colors appear! Magic and art, all on one glorious piece! Kathy Steere will demonstrate Neocolor II, water-soluble color wax pastels, by Caran d'Ache on Saturday, January 19, 2015 from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.  Release your inner child - you'll have the opportunity to try this exciting medium yourself.



Fiber, from wall hangings and sculptural objects, to photos gloriously enhanced with papers, to art as clothing, Gallery 200 is pleased to present The Many Faces of Fiber as the February Featured Artist of the month. An opening reception will be held on February 6, 2015 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Meet the area's most talented and diverse makers of fiber art. Veronica Van and yarn artists from West Chicago's own Dream in Color will proudly display their works and their glorious yarns; local guest artist Jim Leonard will present his amazing, brilliant, organic wall pieces. Kathy Steere and Sandy McLain will showcase wall pieces quilted and woven. Fabulous Fibers - Art in Textures will be on display at Gallery 200 for the entire month of February. 






The Thorium Action Group/Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation Scholarships, administered by the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, are available to graduating high school seniors who reside within School District 94 of West Chicago, Illinois. 


Scholarships are awarded to students who will be furthering their education at an accredited college, university, vocational, or trade school during the 2014-2015 academic year on a full-time basis.

All students with a grade point average of "C" or better are encouraged to apply as the awarding of these scholarships is not solely contingent upon grades or grade point averages.  Financial need is not a requirement.


Scholarship Application Forms are available through February 3, 2014 and may be obtained online at:


Important Numbers


City Council: 



Fire Administration

(630) 231-2123


Fire Emergency



Police Administration

(630) 293-2222


Police Response



City Administration

City Hall

(630) 293-2200


Ruben Pineda


Nancy Smith
City Clerk


Michael Guttman
City Administrator 

Ward 1 

Lori Chassee     (630) 231-8709 

James Beifuss   (630) 231-0584


Ward 2

James Smith     (630) 231-1524 

Don Earley        (630) 231-3060


Ward 3

Laura Grodoski  (312) 925-9241 

Alton Hallett     (630) 254-7112


 City Seal

Ward 4 

Melissa Birch     (630) 621-0128  

Sandy Dimas      (630) 293-5170


Ward 5 

Kurt Meissner      (630) 231-9302 

John C. Smith, Jr. (630) 293-3802


Ward 6 

Rebecca Stout    (630) 293-7335 

Mark Edwalds     (630) 632-6670


Ward 7 

Matt Fuesting     (630) 762-1996 

John Banas         (630) 762-9762