Burr Ridge hits back against Durkin’s “misleading” claims about the village’s fiscal health
Burr Ridge has taken the first step in defending its fiscal reputation in the face of accusations from House Republican Leader Jim Durkin’s re-election campaign that the village finances are nothing short of a disaster.
A “Burr Ridge Briefs” newsletter sent out to residents earlier this week, without mentioning Durkin, said that at the Village Hall they have been getting lots of complaints about “false and misleading information” being distributed about their finances.
“The Village of Burr Ridge has always maintained a fiscally sound budget and a balanced budget,” the newsletter said. “Our ongoing operating expenses are paid for through current revenues. Funds are set aside for capital and equipment expenses. Our fiscally responsible approach is reflected in our current Aa1 credit rating with Moody s Investor Service; the second highest possible credit rating (and the highest rating possible for a government entity of its size).”
Burr Ridge Mayor Mickey Straub is challenging Durkin in the Republican primary.
On January 9, the village sent a letter to Durkin’s campaign “Citizens for Durkin,” and the Illinois Republican Party demanding a stop to campaign fliers that portrayed Burr Ridge as deficit-ridden and incompetently managed. The letter also asked for a retraction and an apology. It received neither from the Durkin campaign, but the attacks against the village have stopped for now, according to Straub.
At its January 22 board meeting, the village trustees stopped short of taking legal action against Durkin, his campaign and the GOP.
Village Trustee Zachary Mottl said that even though the board decided against filling legal action at this time it will continue to pursue all options in defending the village’s record and the character of its trustees.
“We are redoubling our efforts to educate everyone about what a great a community Burr Ridge is, what a well-run and fiscally sound village we are,” Mottl said. “The newsletter should do a lot to set the record straight and if it becomes necessary, the village can also do a mailer to everyone in the 82nd district to get the truth out.”
Mottl added that Springfield could learn plenty from Burr Ridge.
“Our village will be debt free in the next few years; our pensions are so well-funded that we are in the top third of municipalities,” he said.
Mottl is the director of development at Atlas Tool & Die Works Inc. in Lyons, and the fourth generation in his family to own and operate the plant.
On a January 11 broadcast of the Illinois Rising radio show Mottl told host Dan Proft that Durkin had enriched himself through bond deals and helped out strip clubs, but had done nothing for businesses or constituents in his district. Proft is a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
“He visited my plant and said he would help out with some workers' comp and regulatory problems I was having,” Mottl said. “I never heard back from him.”