Local village officials gather for Metro West barbecue

By on July 11, 2014

ELBURN—The Metro West Council of Government held its annual barbecue meet-and-greet on June 26 at the Elburn Lion’s Club. The event served as a time for lead members of Metro West to get together and learn about the outcomes of the Illinois legislative session from Metro West lobbyists.

The Metro West Council of Government is an association of municipalities in the western suburbs of Chicago. The council serves Kane, Kendall and Dekalb counties, and acts as a voice for each small, or large, municipality within those counties. Some of those small municipalities include Elburn, Maple Park, Kaneville and Sugar Grove.

After an hour of networking, the event kicked off with an introduction by Elburn Village President Dave Anderson.

“Since I’ve been president, we’ve had good weather, good food, and good company in Elburn,” said Anderson, jokingly referring to the village as “the heart of Kane County.”

Standing in the room were mayors, alderman, village trustees, village presidents, city managers, county board members, administrators and a couple of lobbyists. The group included Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis, Kaneville Village Board President Pat Hill, Elburn village trustees Ken Anderson, William Grabarek and Patricia Schuberg, Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels and Sugar Grove village trustee Mari Johnson.

After dinner, Steve Morrill and Curt Fiedler of Morrill and Associates, a government relations firm, spoke to the group and gave a summary of the Illinois legislative session. Fiedler hit on the major policies that graced Springfield this year. Fiedler said that there is strength in numbers and that Metro West has gained legislative strength over the years.

So why do little municipalities like Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville need to pay dues and be a member of a non-profit association like Metro West? Elburn Village Administrator Erin Willrett sees it as a very useful tool.

“Metro West represents us downstate when we can’t afford to send our own lobbyist to advocate for us,” she said. “It’s a way for municipalities to share the cost and be represented as one voice.”

Willrett’s sentiment is mirrored in other local municipalities, as well. Because Metro West represents many municipalities in Springfield, it’s important for the public to understand exactly what Metro West does and how it represents the citizens of its covered municipalities.

“I think it’s very important for elected officials to understand what Metro West does. Therefore, it’s very important for citizens to know and to stay in contact with their local representatives,” Curtis said.

For more information about Metro West Council of Government, visit www.metrowestcog.org.