Photo by Sharon L. Filkins
Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton (right) shakes hands with resident John Dahlke following his “State of the Village” address that was sponsored by the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce.
State of the Village
Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton said the village is “alive and well” during his opening remarks of the “State of the Village” address on April 18.
Sexton told the 70 business leaders and residents at Barraco’s Pizza that the prospects for Evergreen Park are promising.
Sponsored by the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce, the audience welcomed Sexton with a round of applause as he was introduced by Laura Shallow, a board member.
In her introductory remarks, Shallow reminded the audience that Sexton has served as mayor of the village since 2001 after holding the positions of village clerk, trustee and chair of the United Homeowners organization. He was also recently named “Citizen of the Year” by the chamber.
Sexton said the continued growth and success of the business community, including the progress of the new Evergreen Park Plaza at 95th and Western. (At the time of his speech, the closing of all Carson’s stores had not yet been announced. That news came later in the evening).
He related that 14 of the 30 stores planned for the new Plaza are open.
“Whole Foods and Bath and Body Works are expected to open in January and Burlington is planning to open in the site originally planned for Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dick’s was not a believer. They didn’t believe in our community and went elsewhere,” he said.
Other businesses he mentioned that are currently or will be part of the new Plaza development are DSW, TJ-Maxx, Starbucks, Ross and Planet Fitness.
“We also have Menard’s and Meijer’s in our village,” Sexton added. “But we can’t just tout the big businesses. An important part of our village is our smaller businesses and we need to continue to support them. We need to ‘Keep the Green in Evergreen’ because one percent of everything sold in Evergreen Park comes back to the village.”
Sexton also serves unofficially as the economic director of the village.
As he encouraged everyone to shop locally, he said “If our smaller businesses go out of business, it is going to be my fault and I don’t want that to happen.”
He cited a recent high ranking of Evergreen Park in a published report.
“Twelve of our businesses, along with our 4th of July Parade and Fireworks were listed as the best,” Sexton said. “Success breeds success, so we need to support our businesses, both large and small. We need to shop brick-and-mortar stores instead of ordering online.”
Sexton is a life-long resident of the village and graduate of Loyola University. Sexton and his wife, Karen, have been married for 43 years, raised three children and now have six grandchildren, all of whom reside in Evergreen Park.