Several dozen people, including west suburban mayors, three Triton board members and senior college staff and other Illinois elected officials braved near single digit cold to celebrate a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new offices of the West Suburban Municipal Conference (WCMC) in Triton’s J Building last Wednesday.

“We’re proud to have you on our campus, and look forward to a good, strong partnership,” said Triton President Patricia Granados as WCMC officials, including Riverside Village President Harold J. Wiaduck Jr. and Brookfield Village President Michael Garvey cut the ribbon.

Founded in 1980, the WCMC now serves 36 local municipalities in a 200-square-mile area, as well as Brookfield Zoo, Lyons Township and Triton College.

“We try to bring economies of scale and increase purchasing power,” said WCMC Executive Director Donald Storino. “We’ll get together and buy 40 police cars for 10 municipalities.”

Storino said the new offices were a win-win for everyone involved, calling it “a wonderful opportunity.” The move to Triton from previous offices on Mannheim Road in Westchester, he added, has gone well. The move to the Triton campus, said Storino, was the brainchild of Triton Chairman Mark Stephens, along with Mayors Dan Pritchett of Franklin Park and River Grove Mayor Marilynn May.

“So far we’ve only been here a month, but it’s been great,” he said.

Storino said his agency has had a relationship with Triton for many years.

“The relationship’s always been there. This is just a way to formalize it.” he said.

State Senator Don Harmon (D-39th, Oak Park), who attended a reception for attendees afterward, agreed with Storino, saying, “There’s a real synergy between the members of (the WCMC) and the members of District 504,” he said. “It makes eminent sense to locate their offices there.”

Harmon praised the WCMC both for providing economies of scale in purchasing for its 36 members, as well as providing a unified voice for those municipalities. He called the WCMC “a very effective voice in Springfield.”

“What we try to do is bring every body together and speak with one voice on issues that are [important] to all of us, both in Springfield, and at the local level,” said Harmon.

Having the group’s operations on the Triton campus also brings in people who might not have occasion to visit the campus, Storino noted, saying, “It opens up the college to the [members of] the conference.”