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Everyday Heroes: Westmont trustee makes community better through public service

Westmont trustee Steve Nero is one of the recipients of Suburban Life Media's Everyday Heroes awards.
Westmont trustee Steve Nero is one of the recipients of Suburban Life Media's Everyday Heroes awards.

WESTMONT – Steve Nero may be only 32, but the Westmont resident already has a long list of public service titles under his belt.

As director of business development for SAFEbuilt, a firm that provides community development services to local governments across the United States, Nero recently opened a new regional office in Oak Brook. On any given day, however, when not working at his day job, Nero can be found on a board or committee, helping to make policy and solve problems that enhance the quality of life and safety of Westmont residents.

Nero is one of the recipients of Suburban Life Media's Everyday Heroes awards.

A Villa Park native, Nero moved to Westmont in 2007, where he now lives with his wife, Corinne, a Hines VA blind rehabilitation specialist, and their dog, Shadow.

Initiation into public service took place when Nero was just 24.

After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in business administration and political science from Elmhurst College in 2007, he studied public administration at Illinois Institute of Technology, where he earned his master’s degree in public administration in 2010.

“In grad school I decided to get involved,” Nero said.

He ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Westmont Village Board in 2009, but he was then asked by the mayor to chair a citizens’ finance committee.

“I ran in 2011 and won, and here we are again,” said Nero, who is in his second term as trustee and is currently a candidate for DuPage County Board District 2.

One of Nero’s ongoing goals is emphasizing law enforcement presence in the village.

“We’re ensuring the public that we employ great officers, and they’re doing their job," he said. "They’re extremely visible now."

Under his leadership as the chairman of the village’s Public Safety Committee, the Westmont Fire Department earned an ISO 1 rating, making it one of only 186 fire departments out of 50,000 nationwide to do so.

“Under the good leadership of the chief and deputy chief, we provided the resources the department needed," Nero said. "Not only is the accreditation a prestigious one, but more importantly it has a direct effect on residents and reduces homeowners' insurance premiums."

It was during his tenure on the Stormwater Committee that Nero faced one of the village’s biggest challenges – stormwater.

“We created a stormwater program plan to tackle the problem,” Nero said. “We got a lot of suggestions and came up with a plan of attack. We got a dedicated revenue stream set up to handle it and dedicated resources to it. Since 2012, we’ve put a lot of effort toward that to improve the situation for a lot of families.”

Nero’s volunteer experience includes Walk for Water, DuPage River Sweep, Westmont Special Events, the Westmont Park District, Visionwalk and Knights of Columbus. He also is a VFW supporter and past Westmont Rotarian.

“I’ve always had the desire to give back and make a positive impact and be a part of positive change," Nero said.

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