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By Mike Sandrolini
BROADVIEW | Sherman Jones planned to run for a third term as mayor of Broadview. And had he done so, it’s likely he would have been reelected, taking into account the following that occurred under his watch: Broadview went from a $4 million deficit to a projected $5 million surplus over eight years; The village upgraded its bond rating from Triple B-minus to A-plus; At one time, the village had laid off one-quarter of its police department and fire department personnel, but it was able to bring them back while Jones was mayor without extending the budget; Approximately 120 new businesses have been brought into the village over the past eight years; Opening a state-of-the art computerized pump station that receives Lake Michigan water from the city of Chicago, and then goes through the pump station, where it is treated and pumped to Broadview and Westchester residents, as well as to the Hines Veterans Administration Hospital, Loyola Hospital and the Madden Mental Health Center.
“There were some things that were left undone that I wanted to complete,” he said. “My comprehensive plan for what I wanted to do was actually going to take three terms so there were some things left undone. My plan was to run for this one term and in mid-term tell everybody I’m not planning on running again and go on because I would have accomplished everything that I originally committed to in 2009. In my campaign in 2009, I committed to doing certain things—the last thing was economic development which is where we’re at right now.”
However, Jones was not allowed to run for that third term after residents voted for a ballot measure to put in mayoral term limits. Katrina Thompson, a former Broadview library trustee, succeeded Jones after winning handily in the April election. But Jones remains involved in Broadview village government as a trustee.
He was the top vote-getter out of the nine candidates that ran for trustee (three were elected). Jones says the biggest adjustment he’s had to make since becoming a trustee is no longer dealing with the day-to-day operations of the village. “I’m more involved with the legislation and trying to support the mayor’s agenda,” he said. “I recognize the role of a trustee. My role is to try to promote the mayor’s agenda and give my opinion either way, and try to make sure that we’re moving the village forward.”
Jones supports Thompson and believes “she is going to do well.” “I like the new mayor,” he said.
“I’m a big supporter and I think she’s doing to do a great job. It’s an adjustment for her; she hasn’t been in this political of an arena before. But the good thing is she’s got a lot of contacts with a lot of our local elected officials.”
Jones hopes Thompson will continue “to provide services for our senior citizens, continue with the infrastructure rebuild, continue the maintaining of the budget and being financially sound and then go on with the last leg of what I was trying to do: economic development.
“We’ve got some properties that we would like to get developed and other things. (And) re-doing the Roosevelt Road corridor, so there were some things already in the hopper that we started and hopefully she’ll complete those and go on with whatever her agenda is going to be.”
In an interview with the West Suburban Journal shortly after she was sworn in a mayor, Thompson said she plans to continue policies that Jones set into motion during his tenure, such as, “How our streets are clean, how we do snow removal, how we take care of our seniors, how we take care of our residents. Some things we will keep in place; some things we’ll make some minor changes—nothing too drastic or anything like that. He’s done some great things for Broadview the past eight years.”
Thompson, the former executive director of the West Humboldt Park Development Council, said she will utilize that experience with regard to developing the Roosevelt Road corridor.
“It’s given me the opportunity to bring in developers and some investors that may want to come in and do business in Broadview,” she said.
“I understand how a TIF district works, and initiating different programs that we can utilize that can be effective for Broadview as it relates to the Roosevelt corridor. I think by me having that experience and having some relationships, I can bring that to the table so we can move that forward.”
Jones and Thompson both ran as part of the Broadview People’s Party, and have pledged to work together for the good of the village despite any differences they may have going forward.
“I’m an independent woman; I’m a self-thinker,” Thompson said. “I make my own decisions. I’m a leader so I know how to lead and take initiatives to drive the village forward. “I don’t agree with everything he (Jones) says or how he’s handled things. But we’re here to work together. It’s not about us; it’s about the village of Broadview and the people that live here. We want to make sure that we exhibit professionalism as we go through this process.
“We’ve got some basic differences,” Jones said, “but the good thing—and the common denominator between the two of us—is that we both want the village of Broadview to do well. While we don’t always agree, or we may disagree, we’re not disagreeable. She’s not going to agree on some of the things I’ve done and I’m not going to agree with some of the things she’s proposing. But that doesn’t make her bad or me be bad for that. I think she’s going to do well and whatever her agenda is ultimately going to be, it’s going to be good for the village.”
Even though he said he would like to have served another term as mayor, Jones said he’s very content with being a trustee.
“It feels great,” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot of gray hair over eight years; I’ve probably aged some, but like I said, it’s bittersweet. It’s good that I can sit back and relax and I’ve been blessed to be retired from another job over 30 years.”