Mayor Getty tells residents 'We have listened' at State of the Village address
LYONS — Village Hall was packed March 20 as Mayor Christopher Getty took the podium to deliver a rousing State of the Village address to residents.
Complete with coat check, catering and a jazz orchestra, the evening address had the air of a party, and residents of Lyons were celebrating.
"We have listened," Getty told the crowd, which appeared largely supportive.
Getty laid out a list of ways the illage listened and responded to concerns from residents during his four years at the head of the Village Board. These included 18 streets resurfaced and 1,000 sidewalk squares replaced in four years with a pledge to continue to improve the condition of the village's streets and sidewalks. Additionally, 95 percent of the village's parkway trees have been trimmed, he said, and the village has fought for residents by holding utility companies who dig up roads and parkways accountable for their damage and repair.
Getty complimented the work of the village's public works department for clearing roadways of snow, and the police and fire department's 1,200 and 1,300 calls for service respectively.
Getty pointed to improving the look of the village with the addition of new businesses and the demolition of five blighted homes in the community.
Getty told residents the village is controlling spending, and pointed to the creation of the Department of Parks and Recreation as something residents could be proud of. Getty told residents he was looking forward to an increase in summer program and event offerings that would bring neighbors together.
Getty closed the address by stating that his administration has focused on both the "black top and the big top" in Lyons. He was referring to both the village's efforts to improve streets and bringing a circus to town last summer for residents.
"The black top comes first," Getty said to illustrate the village priorities.
In 28 years, Getty said, no mayor has been elected to a second term. He could overcome that hurdle.
Not all in attendance agreed with the rosy picture of Lyons that Getty presented.
Trustee Patti Wisneski, who is running against Getty for village president in the April 9 election, said he was claiming credit for more than he could.
Wisneski pointed to the village not filing their 2012 budget until December 2012, over six months after it was due. She said the village has still not approved the 2013 budget.
Getty, in response, said Lyons had operated under the 2011 budget in 2012, while the past administration's financial practices were being reviewed. He said he plans to pass the 2013 budget sometime in April.
Wisneski also pointed to non-union employees and department heads getting a raise before the budget was passed in 2012 and called Getty out on his claim of stopping a town home development at Smith Park. The developer had simply pulled out when the housing market went bad, she said.
Ultimately, village residents will have their say as to whether the village is headed in a better direction under Getty's leadership April 9.