ELMWOOD PARK – Elmwood Park Village President Pete Silvestri has announced that he will not run for re-election in 2013. Silvestri, who is also a Cook County Commissioner, will leave after 24 years in office. His last day as Village President will be May 6, 2013.
“After much soul-searching and reflection, this seemed like a good time for me to step aside and allow others to assume leadership,” Silvestri said. “I also felt that holding more than one public office has become more of an issue. Because of my expanding role at the County Board, I’ve decided to retire from the village and continue to serve as a commissioner.”
Silvestri has been a resident of Elmwood Park since 1971, graduated from Elmwood Park High School and DePaul University and went on to get his law degree from DePaul. Silvestri was the youngest person in Illinois elected to a local school board in 1977 at the age of 20. He then served as a plan commissioner and trustee, until being elected Village President in 1989. He was re-elected five times.
“This is a wonderful community,” Silvestri said. “To have served this long in this office has been the opportunity of a lifetime and a true privilege and honor. I can’t say enough about the hardworking village employees, police officers and firefighters and the dedicated community leaders I have had the pleasure to work with and who have always put Elmwood Park first.”
Elmwood Park has battled through the changing social and economic landscape of the past quarter century, but with Silvestri’s steady hand of leadership, has never wavered from its commitment to being a small, vibrant community ideally suited for raising a family and starting a business. The new redevelopment of the Grand and Harlem shopping district, the Village’s “Clean, Safe and Beautiful” campaign and the new flood mitigation project are the latest examples of Silvestri’s dedication to positioning the Village for the future.
“I wish all the best to the village board and the new leaders voters elect in the spring,” Silvestri said. “I leave with a sense of pride over what we have been able to accomplish over these many years, and I look forward to remaining an active and caring resident of our community.”
Among the many accomplishments for which Silvestri is most proud are the new Library, expanded recreation center, the creation of Mills, Torpe and Central Parks and an expanded Bambi Park. In addition, the aquatic center and the new Centennial Park to be dedicated this spring are highlights.
Silvestri is also proud of the many village beautification projects, modernized police, fire and public works departments, the public safety building and an array of special events, including farmers markets, Taste of Elmwood Park and summer concerts in the park. The village’s financial position with a high bond rating, minimal debt and a reduced tax levy in the upcoming year are also significant accomplishments.
In addition to Silvestri, Village Clerk Elsie Sutter has announced that she is retiring after her term expires in May. Sutter was first elected in 1991, after years of service at the Mont Clare-Elmwood Park Chamber of Commerce, local PTA and other community organizations.
“I can’t believe the time has gone by so quickly,” Sutter said. “I’ve made so many great friendships over the years. I really can’t imagine life without these rich experiences and relationships. It’s been amazing.”
Sutter also worked in the Village Manager’s office, so her departure is a double loss. “She has been a pleasure to work with,” Silvestri said. “We will have a very tough time replacing Elsie, not only for her commitment to the Village and her vast knowledge, but also for that extra spark that she brings to every day on the job.”
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