Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tinley Park Mayor, trustees and wives celebrate Obama's inauguration in Washington DC

Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki, one of my all-time favorite politicians, called from Washington D.C. during my radio show Tuesday morning, inauguration day, to share with us the experience that he and his wife Emily had at the historic inauguration of Barack Obama as this nation's 44th President.

Zabrocki shared his experience and also talked about the challenges Obama faces over the next four years, the optimism he and his wife saw in the faces of the more than 2 million people int he nation's capitol, and also plans for the improvement of the 80th Avenue Metra Station and the village's budget problems.

Delegation included Tinley Park trustees Pat Rea, outgoing SBA Director for the MidWest, Greg Hannon, Tom Staunton Jr., Mike Bettenhausen and their wives.

"We came down at our own expense, no village dollars involved... part of the reason we came here for was to button hole some of our representatives and make sure we get our oar in the water about the stimulus package and some of the issues we want for Tinley Park. We held a breakfast yesterday morning we some of our representatives. We talked with them last night. We went to the Illinois Ball which was almost borderline chaos. It was really great. We had a chance to talk to (US Senator Dick) Durbin and other and put a bug in their ear about our issues," Zabrocki said during the telephone interview.

"While we were out in the Mall yesterday and just kind of generally around, the young people and the families. It is amazing the number of families that were here. This is our 5th inauguration that we were involved in and we have never seen so many young people and families at these things."

Zabrocki said he could see that "people are looking to him to getting us out of whatever we are in whether it is a military standpoint, or an economic standpoint and whatever it might be. The optimism about him is unbelievable. We sensed this in the Metro system. Last night we were coming home from the Illinois Ball probably at about 1, 1:30 in the morning and people again, with families, were talking positively that this is change and we are looking forward to it. Everyone was friendly. It was amazing. People were opening doors for other people. I hope that the concept that idea that opened this whatever you want to call it continues because this country needs it badly.

"The ball was fantastic. There was well of 8,000 people there. It was at the Renaissance Hotel. It was on 3 or 4 different floors."

"One of the things we are down here for is that they have a Metra system that is second to noneas far as I amc oncerned. We traveled all over this city on the Metra without one probnlem. Very clearly marked signs the metro employees. All kinds of things."

Very secure. High presence of security.

Zabrocki said he had a tour of the Pentagon, also.

The delegation is looking towards improving the 80th Avenue train station. Zabrocki said construction there will start this summer. The biggest problem si the 18 inch jumpf romt he platform to the rail cars.

You can hear the complete interview at http://www.radiochicagoland.com/ or directly by logging in to iTunes and dowloading the podcast to your iPod.

Zabrocki was very optimistic, acknowledging that Obama will need time.

The mayor said that like many communities, Tinley Park has a deficit of about $4 million mainly because of reduced retails sales tax collections from the car industry and also the many businesses moving our of Cook County into Will County.

The web page of the Village of Tinley Park is http://www.tinleypark.org/. It has won several major awards.


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