Your Hometown-WGN-Mayor Phil Suess
10 Jun

Mayor Phil Suess Interview on Our Hometown—WGN

Recently, Mayor Phil Suess appeared on WGN’s Our Hometown with Jon Hansen. They discussed businesses in Wheaton, local banking—with Bob Hutchinson CEO of Wheaton Bank & Trust—and what the Mayor likes best about Wheaton. Listen to the interview below.

“One of the things we talked about is this French Market we have on Saturdays. And what’s interesting there is people who started out as vendors at the French Market moved on, built their own business in Downtown Wheaton. They have storefronts in Wheaton. So you kind of just see the progression of the growth. Something that just started as a weekend hobby, has grown into a full-time business. We have one restaurant in particular that started out selling crêpes at the French Market and now has two storefronts in the City. There’s another shop that started out selling soap and now has a storefront. Those are the nice things to watch and is how the community grows.” —Mayor Phil Suess

Jon: Having a local bank with local people that have lived in the community, work in the community—that makes a difference too.

Mayor Suess: It makes a lot [of difference]. The important thing is, yes, they’re there…they’re involved in the community. You know, they’re involved in the Lions Club, they’re involved with the Park District. Their community involvement is a big plus, and you don’t always see that with the more national banks.

Jon: Mayor Suess, what do you love most about being the Mayor of Wheaton?

Mayor Suess: It is the people interaction. It’s getting to know people in the community. This past week, we’ve been involved with Congresswoman Rameriz. She had an art contest for display in the walkway in the Cannon Building in Washington, and a senior from Wheaton North High School won that competition. And it was a fascinating painting addressing AI. So, those type of things that come up in the community are always fun.

Jon: Local politics and local government is where people just kind of roll up their sleeves and get things done. That must be something you love about doing it.

Mayor Suess: Yes. And there’s a big distinction between local government and things that aren’t local government. So, if you look at the Park District, the School District, the City, that’s non-partisan. That’s basically seven people on a board getting things done, and you’re able to get things done….I’m very happy working in local government. The things that are done locally touch the most people. It’s the local people that are in contact with the residents and on whom the residents rely.

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LGDF-Mayor Phil Suess-Meeting at Elmhurst College
24 May

Working for Positive Results on LGDF

Wheaton Mayor Phil Suess recently met with leaders of the regional COGs to discuss shared advocacy efforts for the final weeks of the spring legislative session. With unanimous consensus, the group drafted a letter urging legislators to support municipalities by increasing the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF). It also encourages giving permission for local governments to reinstate the grocery tax if it is eliminated. The letter was signed by the presidents of 10 COGs, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and Illinois State Association of Counties.

Since 1969, the LGDF has been there as a stable, consistent means by which essential services could be provided to the community. From 1993 through 2011, 10% of the total income tax collected was dedicated to the LGDF, but by 2017 the rate had been cut to 6.06%. This is funding that is critical to local municipalities. The Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) was increased to 6.47% in the FY2024 budget, however more needs to be done to support the needs of local governments.

At a meeting at Elmhurst University on Monday, May 20, more than four dozen mayors, village presidents, and a variety of local leaders advocated for change. The group, which represents more than 4 million suburbanites, called on the Illinois General Assembly to raise the Local Government Distributive Fund and roll back multiple unfunded mandates passed in the last decade.

“Each one of us here, and every other citizen in the State of Illinois, relies on the critical services provided by local governments,” Phil Suess, Wheaton Mayor, and President of The DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference, said during Monday’s meeting. “We are here this morning to reach out to our partners in the General Assembly and urge them to work with us to prioritize continued investment in our communities.”

See meeting video, below.

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06 May

Mayor Phil Suess Talks with WGN’s Bob Sirott—Summer Activities; Rebuilding Downtown Wheaton

Phil Suess, Mayor of Wheaton, joins Bob Sirott to discuss how he ended up in Wheaton and the rebuilding of the downtown area. He also talks about fun summer activities for families and his love for the Cubs.

Listen to the interview here:

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Your-Hometown-Wheaton-WGN-Mayor Phil Suess
30 Apr

Wheaton Day on Your Hometown—WGN

Jon Hansen visits Wheaton where he talks with Mayor Phil Suess. Thursday, April 25, WGN Radio broadcasted a full day of special features about Wheaton.

Watch the video here:

“Welcome to Wheaton!”—Mayor Phil Suess

From the video interview:

Q. “I know you guys have really done a lot to build up this area.”—Jon Hansen

A. “Yes! Two years ago we completed a complete rebuild of the downtown, and it’s worked exceptionally well. The City did it’s part, and now we’re having private businesses come in and renovate their properties and run their businesses out of Downtown Wheaton. We have a number of businesses in town that are over 100 years old. More recently, we’ve had great growth as far as restaurants.

We have in excess of 15 restaurants in the downtown area, and we’re seeing retail space come back into the downtown. So, we have a good mix of activities, services, and restaurants.”—Mayor Phil Suess

Q. “Okay, so what do you love about being the Mayor of Wheaton? I mean, it’s such a great western suburb!”—Jon

A. “I mean, we’re a residential community, but we have a very vibrant downtown. We have very vibrant businesses, both downtown and City wide. We have Wheaton College—a big plus. We’re very proud of our schools.…We’re proud of the fact that Wheaton has more parkland per capita than any other community in DuPage County.”—Mayor Suess

For the rest of this video showcasing Wheaton, see this link.

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Wheaton Mayor Phil Suess-The Local-Podcast-2024
06 Mar

Mayor Phil Suess on The Local Podcast, Episode 52

He’s back! Join us for our annual talk with the Honorable Mayor of Wheaton, Phil Suess. Discover more behind-the-scenes of Wheaton’s community development and financial strategies. Mayor Phil Suess spills the tea on city projects and how refinancing moves saved millions. Plus find out why folks visiting Wheaton say, “they had no idea Wheaton was so cool”!

Listen on The Local: Podcast Episode #52

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Wheaton Snapshot-2023 Recap
02 Feb

Wheaton Snapshot | 2023 Recap

Welcome to “Wheaton Snapshot”—a quick take on the latest in Wheaton.

This series covers a variety of topics, such as events, operations of the city, new business openings, financial updates, and more. Stay tuned for additional updates in the months to follow.

Wheaton Snapshot | 2023 Recap

As we wrap up 2023 and look forward to 2024, it is important to take a pause to look back at the wonderful achievements and programs Wheaton brought to life this past year.

  • As a result of strict expenditure management and a strong fiscal policy, Wheaton is one of only 22 municipalities in Illinois to earn the top AAA credit rating by Standard & Poors Global Ratings.
  • The City invested $676,000 to help residents prevent sewer back-ups through three key programs.
  • Wheaton completed the Dorset Flood Improvement Project, the first capital improvement project identified in a comprehensive study of flood-prone areas.
  • To promote pedestrian safety and walkability, the City continued its new sidewalk program, adding 5.2 miles of new sidewalks.
  • 2023 marked the conclusion of a multi-year, $35 million investment in the heart of our City. Part of that project, the Downtown Pavilion, serves as a new event and gathering space, and it hosted this year’s Christmas Tree lighting.
  • Much of the cityscape project focused on replacing decades-old infrastructure, such as sewer pipes, roads, street lights, and sidewalks.
  • New amenities helped make Downtown Wheaton a destination, drawing both residents and visitors.
  • This landmark project incorporated sustainability through native plants, permeable pavers, solar panels on the pavilion, LED street lights, and features to encourage biking and walking.
  • The lead service line replacement project continued on both City and private property (with owners’ permission).
  • In 2023, Wheaton completed the construction of the Creekside Drive bridge.
  • As part of the City’s goal to promote Wheaton as a safe city, the Wheaton Police and Fire Departments continued developing opportunities to build relationships within our community.
  • Wheaton added two additional firemen, and Robert Brill became Wheaton’s new Fire Chief.
  • In 2023, businesses thrived in Wheaton. Numerous restaurants were opened, including Babam, Chipotle, Proof No. 5, Nautical Bowls, Q-Currys, and more. In addition, Wheaton welcomed new residential developments, barber shops/salons, financial groups, a bank, a fitness center, retail shops, and more. The partial list includes Ann Taylor, J. Crew Factory Outlet, Pickled, The Main Antiquarian, Liberty Square Flats, and, coming soon, Nordstrom Rack.
  • Looking forward to 2024, Wheaton will not raise the tax levy for the 5th consecutive year.
    • The 2024 financial plan includes no new taxes and an anticipated $5.9 million 2023 budget surplus.
    • The budget of $120 million for 2024 will include $30 million in capital improvements.

“Each resident, business, and organization in our community makes Wheaton the remarkable place that it is—we are fortunate to call Wheaton home. Thank you for your support of our community and your involvement.”
—Wheaton Mayor Phil Suess

Enjoy more 2023 photos from Wheaton >

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