The Public Side of Life

In a previous post I gave everyone a little history about my past private life and work experience.  I think it is important to some people that they know that side of a candidate’s life.  I think this says a little about how a person’s character is developed.  In this post, I would like to share a little about my history as it involves the Village and public service.

About Mike…

  • Lifelong resident of Crete
  • Married 27 years, no children
  • Associate’s Degree in Fire Science
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Mgmt. Purdue Univ.
  • Retired Postmaster with 35 years of service
  • Currently a P/T Project Manager, CET Inc. Engineers

My Experience

  • Village President from 1985 to present
  • Volunteer, Crete Fire Dept. 44 years, Assistant Chief 14 years
  • Chairman, Plan Commission from 1977 to 1985
  • Chairman, Eastcom Dispatch Center Board of Directors
  • Chairman, Eastern Will County Council of Mayors
  • Member, Will County Governmental League
  • Member, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus
  • South Council Rep. to CMAP Executive Council of Mayors
  • Member, South Suburban Mayor’s & Manager’s Assoc. Executive Committee & Transportation Committee Chairman
  • Board Member, Laraway Communications Center

Being involved with these organizations means that there are numerous meetings that I attend on a regular basis.  To get the most out of what these groups have to offer, attendance and participation is a must.  I make every effort to be as involved as possible, not just by attendance but by being an active and vocal participant.  That is the only way to have a positive influence on the outcome of important issues that can affect Crete and the region.  Several of these positions come as a result of my knowledge, expertise and ability in dealing with difficult issues and the interaction with other elected officials.


Through My Leadership We Have Accomplished Much

As an incumbent Mayor, I have a record to defend against my challengers that claim I have not done enough to move the Village forward.  The following is a partial list of my accomplishments during my terms as Village President.  While some use the “we need a change” slogan to try and capture votes and create confusion and doubt in voters, I assert we have constantly changed and it is called “progress“.  Through my leadership we have accomplished much! 

* indicates personal responsibility

  • Downtown Street lights – $220,000.00 grant *
  • Land plan layout for Fairway Sub-division *
  • Reed Ekal property acquisition *
  • Woodlands of Merioneth Subdivision deal w/park *
  • Bike trail over the trunk sewer line *
  • Richton Road project – Approx $7,100,000.00 grant *
  • Station #2 water tower grant $273,000.00 *
  • METRA Southeast Service –my original proposal in 1986 *
  • Water main extension to Walt’s
  • CDGB in Enterprise Sub. – $2,000,000.00 in grants
  • Main Street & Milburn intersection improvements *
  • Well 8 & 9 Grant -$200,000.00*
  • Three major trunk sewer lines installed
  • New hydrant flushing program
  • Land plan for Village property*
  • Drainage improvements – old Lincolnshire
  • Commuter rail parking lot land purchase $25,000.00*
  • Downtown TIF plan
  • Two Motor Fuel Tax major road programs – $2,000,000.00*
  • 500-acre industrial park  along Burville Road*
  • Walt’s Food Store and Ace Hardware projects*
  • Comprehensive plan with and without airport $40,000.00 grant
  • Holland Co. TIF project *
  • Techn-O-Tape TIF project *
  • North American Stone TIF project
  • DTE Crete Energy TIF project
  • Many downtown TIF projects leveraging private investment
  • South Holland Bakery Supply Project
  • $1.2M Road Grand for the C-M School District
  • CenterPoint 1,100 acre annexation and plan
  • Retail on IL 394, Kohl’s*, Culver’s*, GoLo*
  • Silliker Labs project
  • M&M Roofing
  • McDonald’s on Steger Road
  • Strip stores on Steger Road at Cottage Grove
  • Universal Steel America project
  • Well Built Equipment project
  • $368,000 paving project grant for Burville Road
  • Sewers to the properties on North Main
  • Al-Amin Brothers Transportation Project ($5.0M)
  • Holland Company office expansion project ($5.0M)
  • St James Senior Estates
  • New water tower by the high school*
  • Leveraged the power plant project to build Hartmann Dive*
  • Veteran’s Plaza project grant for $175,000
  • $160,000 grant to improve the village hall
  • Dutch American Foods development*
  • Al-Amin Transportation development*
  • Drinking water iron removal grant*
  • Road construction grants for Crete Road and Burville Road*

Goals: Near Term

Crete is a great place and it is on its way to becoming even better. We have lots of assets that are yet to be realized and fully developed. We have an abundance of open space, a large amount of Village owned property, the IL 394 corridor, heavily forested areas, the potential for an extensive trail system, a well defined downtown area, abundant land for industrial development, a wide variety of housing options, including senior housing, the possibility of a Metra station and excess sewer and water capacity. Not many towns can make these claims. My goal is to develop and utilize these assets in the best way possible for the long term benefit of our residents and in keeping with our planning objectives that have been defined with citizen input. This is a process not an event.

You will hear about what other candidates are dreaming about, what they claim they are going to do without regard to reality or costs involved, using comments intended to create suspicions that something is wrong or something has been mismanaged. They will also bring up items that have already been effectively handled and are really old news. The governance of the third airport, Illiana Expressway and the intermodal facility are prime examples. I will tell you what I want to accomplish, at a minimum, during the next couple of years, and I have a “wish list” of several other things that would be nice to accomplish if the funds are available.

  • Assist in the completion of the Holland Company’s major office expansion and the Al-Amin Brother’s refrigerated warehouse development totaling an $11M investment in Crete.
  • Implement a new parking plan on the west side of Main between Exchange and Cass.
  • Encourage more property owners to do façade changes in the downtown area, such as Aurelio’s and Cal’s.
  • Finish the downtown “Time Square” project so that area is completed.
  • Investigate the possibility of making major changes to the east side of Main between Cass and Exchange that will open up more Main Street retail opportunities.  We need new retail space in the downtown area if we expect to attract any additional new businesses.
  • Create a new street off of N. Main Street across from Speedway that would go east.  This would create an access point to a new mixed use area that could provide new retail opportunities.  The traffic count at this location is double that of properties south of Burville Road and the land is less expensive.
  • Build Old Monee Road east through to Hartmann Drive to open up more industrial property ready for immediate development and create marketing plans for the TIF #3 industrial area.
  • Build on our successes in the 394 corridor.  We did well even during a down economy, so as the market turns we should do even better.  There are users out there; we just need to identify them.  One retailer I have identified is currently reviewing the area for a possible project.
  • Encourage CenterPoint Properties to consider redefining their focus to include a wider variety of potential users.  This project needs to move forward.
  • Create an easy to use property inventory list on the Village web site featuring available residential, commercial, retail and industrial development sites.
  • I will again explore the creation of a train horn quiet zone, if we can secure a funding source.  It appears that I have just identified a possible condition change, which could reduce the overall cost to a point where it may be possible.
  • Work with the park district on finalizing the master trail plan for the entire village.  I drew one up several years ago and presented it to the Crete Park District.  Because they are under funded, it has never been finalized or been officially acted on by the district.  This will give everyone a vision for what needs to be accomplished as the village grows.

All of these items are realistic, attainable, and within the area of responsibility of village government operations. All of these items will move our economy ahead, provide growth opportunities and enhance our quality of life.

Mike Einhorn, Village President


In his latest letter to the editor Don Seehausen proposes to eliminate the “unnecessary vehicle sticker” road tax.  As so often in the past, Mr.Seehausen is promising something he knows little about.  He is again making misleading comments aimed at fooling the voter into thinking the present administration is doing something wrong, and he will singlehandedly make it right.  The following is the reality of vehicle stickers.  The devil is in the details, as they say.

While eliminating the vehicle sticker sounds like a great campaign pitch and something every vehicle owner would love, including me.  However, he does not explain how he expects to fill the $260,000.00 hole that action would leave in the Road and Bridge fund.  The sale of vehicle stickers accounts for about 45% of the total revenue for the Road and Bridge fund.  The remainder of the roughly $570,000.00 in total yearly revenue comes from the Road and Bridge real estate tax levy that is made by Crete Township.  This money is used to pave, patch and fix roads, curb repair and replacement, handle drainage issues, trim trees and bushes along road sides, road side mowing, salt, crack sealing, snow plowing, all storm sewer maintenance, street lighting maintenance, vehicle purchases, equipment purchases, vehicle maintenance, leaf pick-up and branch chipping.  Knowing that all of these functions are a necessity of operating and maintaining the Village and assisting the residents, it is easy to see that eliminating the vehicle stickers would be an irresponsible action without a way to replace the revenue.  While the majority of our roads are in “ok” condition, none are what I would call great, and that is because, if anything the Road and Bridge fund is underfunded.  We have a need for more revenue not less, to properly service the 50+ miles of roads in the Village of Crete.  So the $64,000.00 question still remains unanswered; how will Mr. Seehausen fund the elimination of the vehicle sticker?  Does he intend to raise our taxes to pay for his promise?  It has to come from somewhere. 

I believe we do a tremendous job of stretching every dollar of the limited funds we have.  Mr. Seehausen’s proposal is a perfect example of what many call “silly season”, where challengers say anything they can to get elected.  They throw anything at the wall and hope something sticks and hope they fool the voter into believing that the current administration is doing something wrong.  I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth, and I believe the voters are smarter than Mr. Seehausen thinks.

Mayor is a 24/7 Job

I spend a great deal of time at the Village Hall. I am there at all hours of the day and night as well as on the weekends. Most of the time I am working on something, going over financials, planning, or interacting with the staff to make sure we are functioning properly. Regardless of what I am doing, there is always time to interact with residents. So, if you see my white Impala sitting on the alley side of the building outside the door to the building department, feel free to stop by and tell me what’s on your mind or just chat. Doesn’t matter what time of the day it is either. I am there many times late at night. Just pound on the door or call my cell 473-2670 if it is after hours and I will let you in. Would love to find out what is on your mind. It helps me be a better Mayor. ME

NEW BUSINESS IN CRETE, easier PROMISED than produced

One of the most frequent questions I get as Mayor is, “why can’t we get an XYZ Store to come to Crete, I really like that store.” There appears to be the common misconception that all we (the Village or the Mayor) have to do is call them up or write a letter and boom, they start construction next week. I wish it was that easy, but it is not, and anyone running for office that tells you that, simply has no understanding of how things work. When it comes to attracting new business, converting a starry eyed dream into reality is easier said than done.

There usually is a huge disconnect between what the consumer wants and what businesses want. Consumers tend to run on emotions when determining their preferences for shopping and dining, while most companies make their location choices based on facts, figures and most importantly, whether they make money locating at a particular site. They look at population density, disposable income, competition, and demographics of the potential location, to name just a few. They use specific criteria, and if you don’t meet the criteria, there will not be a XYZ Company in Crete, no matter how much we plead or how much they like the Mayor. They will walk away from free land and incentives if the long term prospect for profit is not there. In many cases with national chains, they make this decision months or even years in advance of actual construction. They also may use developers or brokers that will not disclose their clients. They will insist that everything remain confidential to avoid competitive stores in the same market area from learning their plans.

These same principles for success apply to the small privately owned business as well. The profit motive must be first and foremost in mind when locating a business. If there is no market for your product or service in town “A”, why would you consider starting a business there? This singular fact illustrates why it is difficult to draw new businesses to Crete. Demand and the size of the market are keys to success for any business, along with knowing how to run a successful operation.

The Village of Crete is always looking for additional businesses to come to our Village. However, care must be taken to make sure that the businesses provide a positive impact to the Village and the atmosphere we are trying to develop. As residents, you are perfect ambassadors for the Village to the outside business world, by speaking positively about our area and the values of locating here.


Snow Plowing 101

I just heard the weather forecast and it looks like we may finally get some snow that we can measure.  With that thought in mind, I decided that it was a good time to remind everyone that parks on the street, you need to have your vehicle off the street anytime the snow fall exceeds 2”, until the street has been plowed.  Kind of a common sense rule in my book.  It allows us to get things cleaned up in a timely fashion, which in turn saves money.

As long as we are on the subject of plowing, it may be a good time to explain just how we plow snow.  Basically, the Department of Public Works (DPW) has different routes set up around the entire town.  Each driver has his area of responsibility.  In any given area, we go after the main roads first, followed by the secondary roads and then the dead ends, cul-de-sacs and alleys last.  If possible, the guys try to wait until the snow is over before they start to plow, but every event is different.  We also like to start plowing very early in the morning, so we have less traffic to contend with.  You will hear the plow go by from the warmth of your bed.  Once everything is plowed, the last thing we do is apply salt.  At $50-$60 per ton, we use good judgment as to how much and where we apply salt.  Certain intersections and dangerous areas will get more than other areas.  Please keep in mind that salt only works until the temperature gets down in the low teens.

Depending on the amount of snow we get, the very last thing we do is push the corners back and then clean up the downtown area, so that parking is better along Main Street and the piles of snow along the curb are removed for better pedestrian access.  With narrow sidewalks along the back of the curb in the downtown area, heavy snows can be a problem for the downtown.  We monitor the situation and take appropriate action and the business owners generally do a very good job of keeping their walks clear, and if there is a specific problem area, a simple call to the Village office will usually get the situation handled in short order.  I have personally plowed snow many times over the years and its fun for about the first hour and then it gets old in a hurry.  They usually give me the small trucks to use or the payloader.  They also usually assign me to do cul-de-sacs, alleys or parking lots.  I think that’s because no one like to do those areas, because they are difficult and time consuming.  Sometimes I go out when everyone else from DPW has gone home for rest.  I just try to keep the main roads open until the manpower is rested and return to work.  And that’s it for Snow Plowing 101!