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Wishing you good times, good cheer, and

a memorable new year. 

 All of us at the City of West Chicago look forward to serving you in 2016. 
Patterns - Patterns - Patterns
The Call for Art has been announced for the 2016 Community Banner Art Project and members of the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission hope the chosen theme, Patterns - Patterns - Patterns will capture the imagination and inspire a desire to participate. The exhibit is open to all area artists interested in contributing to West Chicago's public art efforts.
                                                                                                   Patterns exist literally, in found and functional objects everywhere; as well as more abstractly, in actions and behaviors. This theme should provide a compelling display of art for downtown West Chicago from May through September 2016. 
The deadline for art to be considered is February 1, 2016, with details found in the links below.

Link for online submissions may be found at under Residents/Forms & Applications.

Picture at right: The intricate pattern of a woven textile by Gallery 200 artist Sandy McLain shown on the call for art flier for the 2016 Community Art Project.
Jan 1 - City Hall Closed
Jan 8 - Gallery 200 Artist Reception
Jan 30 - Coffee with the Mayor
Feb 5 - Gallery 200 Artist Reception
Feb 15 - City Hall Closed (President's Day)
Feb 27 - Coffee with the Mayor

2015 Frosty Fest...a downtown tradition
2015 Frosty Fest...a downtown tradition

The City would like to thank the many people and organizations who helped bring a long-standing downtown tradition to new heights. It took many people behind the scenes to produce another memorable event. Please enjoy a short musical slideshow with highlights, linked above.

City Seal

January 12 - Performing Company Auditions
January 15 - Days Off School Club
January 18 - Days Off School Club
February 12 - Days Off School Club
February 12 - Parent's Night Out
February 15 - Days Off School Club
February 20 - Variety Show

For details, visit:
(630) 231-9474. 

January 5 - Chess Club
January 6 - Dia de los Reyes
January 11 - Stories to Grow On
January 12 - Wiggle Worms
January 15 - Rumble in the Jungle
January 17 - LEGO Brick Party
January 18 - Stories to Grow On
January 18 - Movie Mania
January 19 - Wiggle Worms
January 21 - Marvelous Makers: Marble Fun Run
January 26 - Wiggle Worms
January 30 - Fact Finders
February 1 - Stories to Grow On
February 2 - Wiggle Worms
February 2 - Chess Club
February 8 - Stories to Grow On
February 9 - Wiggle Worms
February 11 - Amor y la Amistad
February 12 - Monstrously Enchanted Tea and Fashion Show
February 15 - Stories to Grow On
February 15 - Movie Mania
February 16 - Wiggle Worms
February 21 - LEGO Brick Party
February 25 - Marvelous Makers: Aliens Invade
February 29 - Stories to Grow On

For details, visit:
or call (630) 231-1552.

Mayor's Message

It's a new year, and maybe the right time in your life to become inspired. I'd like to share a resource that could help you make a difference in West Chicago or one of our surrounding communities,  and one which may prove transformative in your own life.

Giving DuPage is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote giving and volunteering in DuPage County. Back in October, I attended its Volapalooza, an event established to recognize the many people and volunteer organizations doing important work on so many levels.

Betty Stallings, internationally recognized expert on the power of volunteering, was the keynote speaker and moved the audience to tears.Rather than use statistics, graphs or a PowerPoint presentation, Betty told story after story of the impact that simple acts of kindness through volunteerism made in the lives of those they touched. 

She spoke of the volunteer who brought a therapy dog, on a moment's notice, to the bedside of a Hospice patient whose agitated state foretold her imminent passing. With family members gathered, the volunteer stepped up and placed the dog on a chair beside the woman, and her nurse gently placed her hand on the dog. The woman immediately relaxed and became calm. She opened her eyes for the first time in days and looked serenely at each person present, before closing her eyes peacefully for the last time. The family received this priceless gift through the actions of a volunteer who answered a phone call and said "yes, I'll be there".

Another life-affirming story involved a literacy volunteer who didn't know she was making a difference with a difficult, non-communicative learner - at least not until almost 30-years later when to her shock, the student contacted her as a result of her attendance at a church retreat in which she was asked to thank someone who had made a positive impact in her life. The student fluently expressed to the astounded volunteer how that earlier encounter had changed her life.

These two stories illustrate the rewards associated with volunteering. There is no better feeling in the world than that of knowing you are a force for good in this universe. The volunteer spirit is already strong in West Chicago and I know that many in our community have already discovered its rewards, however many others would like get involved but don't know where to begin.

Giving DuPage's main function is to connect volunteers and donors with local volunteer opportunities and ways in which to give back. It serves as a clearinghouse in this way, through a user-friendly online tool known as its Volunteer Opportunity Portal. The portal connects users to over 265 local non-profit organizations and 500+ active volunteer/service opportunities and in-kind donation needs. It can filter by cause, keywords, geography or specific non-profits to find the causes and organizations that are most important to you. Whatever your calling or ability, there is a rewarding volunteer opportunity that is right for you.
I encourage you to check it out. For more information, contact Giving DuPage at or call (630) 407-6458. Make this the year to pay it forward through volunteer service.


Ruben Pineda

Editor's note: If you are already involved with a non-profit that needs more volunteers, you may upload your organization's volunteer opportunities to the Portal as well.
City Services
Tree Removal
Christmas Tree Pickup
- Garbage collection for Christmas trees will take place during the weeks of January 4 and January 11, 2016, on regularly scheduled garbage pickup days. Trees must be free of all tinsel, garland and ornaments. No stickers are required during this period.

Holiday Light Recycling - Free holiday light recycling continues for local residents and businesses through January 22, 2016. Strands of incandescent and LED holiday lights, and household extension cords in any condition may be dropped off at various locations throughout town. For the complete list, visit

Holiday Light Removal - Holiday lights must be removed by March 25, 2016 to avoid a fine.

Snow Removal - Residents should be aware of the following City policies:
  • City ordinance imposes a parking ban on all streets after a two-inch snowfall until such time as the street has been completely plowed curb-to-curb.
  • It is illegal to plow or shovel snow from driveways or sidewalks into the street.
  • The City does not provide for snow removal from sidewalks other than in front of municipal properties and from the A. Eugene Rennels Bridge.
  • The City will not be responsible for damage to improperly installed mailboxes or to boxes damaged by thrown snow. Properly installed mailboxes require the box to be securely attached to a strong post with the face of the box a minimum distance of six inches behind the back of the curb (preferably 12 inches).
  • The placing of ornamental rocks or other objects along the curb line is illegal as they present serious safety hazard to snow removal equipment and other traffic.
If you can, wait until your street is completely plowed before cleaning off your driveway.

Police News

The West Chicago Police Department  wants to share some important information and resources on the following topics:

STALKING AWARENESS - Resources are now available on the National Center for Victims of Crime website, which has designated January as its Stalking Awareness Month. The theme -"Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It." - challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it. Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary, or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts, or visits. It is a crime that is pervasive, dangerous and potentially lethal. Learn the realities of this crime by visiting the organization's website at
TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS - February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Knowing your son or daughter is in an unhealthy relationship can be both frustrating and frightening. But, as a parent, you're critical in helping your child develop healthy relationships and can provide life-saving support if they're in an abusive relationship. Remember, dating violence occurs in both same-sex and opposite-sex couples and either gender can be abusive. You can look for some early warning signs of abuse that can help you identify if your child is in an abusive relationship before it's too late. Some signs include:
  • Your child's partner is extremely jealous or possessive.
  • You notice unexplained marks or bruises.
  • Your child's partner emails or texts excessively.
  • You notice that your son or daughter is depressed or anxious.
  • Your son or daughter stops participating in extracurricular activities or other interests.
  • Your child stops spending time with other friends and family.
  • Your child's partner abuses other people or animals.
  • Your child begins to dress differently.
Visit for a list of actions you can take if you suspect your child is in an unhealthy relationship, or if you wish to be proactive before your child is involved in dating and learn how to start a conversation with them about this important topic.

Space heaters can be a dangerous appliance if not used properly. Per the 2015 International Fire Code as adopted by the City of West Chicago, all space heaters must be listed and labeled by an approved agency such as Underwriter Laboratories. Heaters must only be plugged into approved outlets, and extension cords must not be used under any circumstances. Heaters should be place no closer than three feet from combustible materials and only in locations indicated in its operating manual.


It's now against the law to leave pets outside in extreme temperatures that could cause them injury or death in Illinois. If a pet is hurt or dies as result of being left in extreme weather, a pet owner can now be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2,500 fine or up to one year in jail if they are found guilty. The law is a response to the high number of dog deaths last winter after they were left outside in subzero temperatures. It is hoped that the law will lead to fewer pets dying and becoming injured and help raise awareness about the animal welfare issue.

Get smart and save 25% on your energy costs

SCARCE, a non-profit agency located in Glen Ellyn, is now working with Elevate Energy, another non-profit that has worked with Illinois residents since 2000 to create and promote programs that provide smarter energy use for all. They can help you save money and become more comfortable in your home right away.
Take the first easy step by enrolling in an alternative electricity rate. Customers have saved over $24 million thanks to a recent Illinois law that gives you more electricity supply options. Since 2008 ComEd's Hourly Pricing has saved participants on average over $100 per year, and signing up just takes a few minutes.
Go further by making practical and lasting improvements to your home. Most houses waste too much energy, resulting in discomfort and high bills. Schedule a $99 assessment to learn how to fix your home, or host an energy house party and get your assessment for free. Our qualified contractors will find the most cost-effective approaches, and SCARCE will ensure the work gets done right. Join the 4000+ homeowners who have made improvements and are reducing their energy bills by 15% or more. For these and other opportunities, contact your local energy advisor Jeff Gahris, at (630) 853-5505, or

If Frosty were Mayor...
Thank you to all the students who participated in this year's Frosty Fest Essay Contest. Also, thank you to all the teachers, parents and District 33 administrators who encouraged participation.

The resulting essays, which were judged by staff at the West Chicago Public Library, were thoughtful, creative and well-written. Responses included the creation of a citywide donation center, recruiting more stores and a movie theater, increasing stop signs in residential areas and adding sidewalks to neighborhoods that are currently without them.

The winning essays, were written by the following students:

Grade 1 -2 Category 
The winning students enjoyed a classroom visit from Mayor Pineda and carriage ride with
the Mayor during the Frosty Fest procession, and special acknowledgement on the Frosty Fest stage where they read their essay and helped light the official community tree.

Photos courtesy of District 33.
Community Development News


Code Enforcement 

  • As of August 1, 2015, the City of West Chicago adopted the 2015 International Code Council building code set, which includes the 2015 International Building Code, 2015 International Residential Code, 2015 International Mechanical Code, 2015 International Fuel Gas Code and the 2014 National Electric Code.
  • New to the City Code is the 2015 Existing Building Code, which is specifically written to address modifications and remodeling in existing buildings. In addition, the 2015 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code now consolidates all requirements from the building and residential codes into one book providing for easier understanding of the requirements.
  • Finally, the following codes are also in effect as mandated by State Statute: 2000 Life Safety Code, 1997 Illinois Accessibility Code, 2012 International Energy Conservation Code and the 2014 Illinois Plumbing Code. 
Economic Development

The City is finalizing a plan for proactively engaging property owners of the sites previously occupied by Hobby Lobby, General Mills, and Fox Valley Volkswagen in a constructive effort for their re-use/re-occupancy, or even for potential redevelopment. 
Discussions have already begun between City staff and the parties representing all three sites. 

Cultural Arts
City Museum 
132 Main Street - (630) 231-3376 

The City Museum will change its hours on January 1, 2016 in order to better serve the public. It will now be open for morning hours and at least one evening a month. Saturday hours begin again in March and will be 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Thursdays - 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Fridays - 10:00 a.m. -  2:00 p.m.
*Closed Saturdays from December - February
*Tours and research times are available by request. For more information call (630) 231-3376 or visit the website www.

Late Night at the City Museum returns in March and continues throughout the year on the first Friday of the month from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.  


Be Well: Dialogues of Health and Wellness Through History
Building Community: The History of West Chicago

A new program called Time Travelers Suitcase offers a unique way to explore West Chicago history. The suitcases are filled with hands-on activities that are bursting with history. Participants receive a passport for their time travels. Travelers who get stamped in all six eras can turn their completed passport in for a prize. At this time, two suitcases are ready and four more are being developed. For information, call the Museum at (630) 231-3376.

Read the latest in the series of Museum blogs titled A Sense of Place, which features Walter McAuley.  Born in 1826 in New York to George and Mary McAuley, George McAuley may be a familiar name to many of you, as he donated the land for the McAuley one-room schoolhouse that still stands on Route 38, one of two National Landmark Buildings in West Chicago. Read more about the important contributions of George McAuley by visiting the blog which is posted on the City's website,
Gallery 200
200 Main Street - (630) 293-9550  
Gallery 200/STUDIO
203 Turner Court - (630) 293-9550
Open Thursdays & Fridays 12:00-8:00 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Featured Artists
Andy Kozlowski will feature his metal works with sculpted wall pieces, table decorations and jewelry. His newer works are mandelas created through a computer and hand colored.
The show runs through January.
Opening reception: Friday, January 8, 2016 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm.

The Nature Artist Guild of the Morton Arboretum will be featured at Gallery 200 for a first-time exhibit in February 2016. This group of 120 artists explore and share the field of Natural History Art through a wide variety of media. Meet some of the artists and enjoy their display of nature through painting, drawing, fiber and more. February can be bleak, so come and see what the beauty of nature has to offer for us to admire. The show runs through March 3, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, February 5, 2016 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.



City Staff Member Receives State Award
Vicki Hynes: Geographic Information Systems Coordinator
City of West Chicago GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Coordinator Vicki Hynes, was recognized earlier this fall by the Illinois GIS Association (ILGISA) for her contributions to its Membership Committee in setting guidelines for submission and judging the first ILGISA Map Competition. As a result of her active participation and readiness to volunteer, Vicki succeeded in creating standards for participation and judging process of a new annual event which showcases the work of other GIS professionals and promotes mapping technology throughout the state.

She continues to share the value of her craft for the benefit of the municipality by continually exploring new and innovative ways to use the technology for streamlining efficiencies in every department, as she continues to put West Chicago "on the map".


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

City Council
Wards 1 - 3 

Ward 1 
Lori Chassee (630) 231-8709 
James Beifuss (630) 231-0584
Ward 2 
Don Earley (630) 231-3060
Jayme Sheahan (630) 330-7972
Ward 3
Laura Grodoski  (312) 925-9241 
Alton Hallett (630) 254-7112



City Council
Wards 4 - 7 

Ward 4 
Sandy Dimas (630) 293-5170
Melissa Birch Ferguson   
(630) 621-0128
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 
John Banas (630) 762-9762
Noreen Ligino-Kubinski 
(630) 762-9929

City of West Chicago
475 Main Street
(630) 293-2200