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.