Last November, I completed my 15th year working for the city of West Chicago, and as many do after a benchmark anniversary, I find myself reflecting on how city operations have evolved and how the community has grown since 1998.
I have had the good fortune of working for many progressive and supportive mayors and aldermen, as well as the privilege of leading a top notch management staff. Much has been accomplished to enhance the reputation of West Chicago as a city that is admired and a municipal organization that is respected. Our working relationships with our intergovernmental partners, including our school districts, park district, library district and fire protection district, among others, have been strengthened over the years and continue to grow, allowing us to accomplish so much more for all of our customers.
As a city team, we streamlined operations, elevated our image through creative and unique marketing initiatives and communications, upgraded city infrastructure and improved resident satisfaction. The City Council and staff have worked tirelessly over the last decade, striving to provide the highest quality of services while maximizing resources. I am proud to be a part of this success.
There have been some significant accomplishments, which may especially resonate with those who live and work in our community. The crime rate has reduced drastically, and in 2013, West Chicago was named the 74th Safest City in the United States. The quality of our drinking water is first rate as a result of the city-built water treatment plant and the diligent oversight of our public works personnel, who maintain all of our infrastructure to the highest standards. I believe that the streets in West Chicago are plowed better than any other towns. Innovative solutions by our finance heads have reaped considerable savings for our customers, and the personal service provided by those working the counters at City Hall is outstanding. I am blessed to be surrounded by coworkers throughout our organization who are passionate about and dedicated to their job and this community.
I express my appreciation to Mayor Pineda, Clerk Smith and the aldermen, as well as to the residents and business owners in West Chicago, for the opportunity to work with and for you. It has been a rewarding tenure so far and I look ahead to the bright prospects that lie ahead for our community, and to continuing to serve West Chicago in the future.
Michael Guttman is the city administrator for the city of West Chicago