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Russ embodied spirit of progress in Brookfield

Through all the tumultuous, political wrangling in Brookfield over the past few years, one thing remains clear, Brookfield is a better place thanks to Mr. Bill Russ.

I've been a resident for over 16 years, and I remember all too well the stagnation under Tom Sequens.The roads were terrible, basements flooded on a regular basis, and, yes, homes were a bargain.

There was a Christmas when no money was provided for even meager decorations for the village. I bought most of my gifts at the True Value that year because they donated decorations for Eight Corners. That's the spirit that brings people to Brookfield. I believe Mr. Russ embodies that spirit.

I don't personally know him, and to simply canonize him would be presumptuous. What I do know is that great leaders are doers and risk takers, from Washington to Lincoln, FDR, even Mayor Daley. Is there any question these men took risks for the greater good? When one is elected to office by his fellow constituents, there is an enormous responsibility to steward to the best of your ability. I'm satisfied that Mr. Russ has done this.

The new CVS building shines on Ogden where old, empty, decrepit structures gave the passing visitor a vastly different view of Brookfield. Worth a $15,000 bridge loan? I think so. Were the I's dotted and T's crossed? That remains to be seen. Is Mr.Russ responsible? Most definitely.

In order to make a decision there has to be two sides of an issue. Making a decision invariably makes one side feel slighted. Not making a decision is unproductive at best and harmful at worst. What I've seen in Mr. Russ is decisive leadership in a village on the cusp of great prosperity.

Yes, property values have risen throughout the area. Have Broadview, Berkeley, Hillside, Lyons or Stickney residents had the good fortune of watching their homes' value skyrocket as much as 80 percent? That says something to the desirability of Brookfield.

People want to build and develop here. Bill Russ saw that as an asset not a liability. This is a young and vibrant working community. Change and growth are all part of that. I suppose Mr. Ketchmark would like us to look like Mackinaw island or Colonial Williamsburg, but is that really what we're about? I don't think so.

We now have a master plan for the future of this great village?"proof positive that, no matter how divisive it has been, there are bipartisan decisions made for us in council. A glimmer of hope that the bigger picture will be looked at from time to time.

It is with that thought that I bid a fond farewell and a hearty pat on the back for Mr. Bill Russ. Don't let it be said your long history of civil service was made in vain. Thank you for a job very well done. You made a difference.

As for Mr. Garvey, Congratulations! You're now at reins of a potentially limitless community. We trust you'll make decisions that you, a leader, can make.

Don't let the stagnant quagmire of muddled partisan quorums diminish your visions and aspirations for the greater good. It's in every resident's best interest to support and encourage you to be the best you can be. Good luck and thank you for your service.

Ronald A. Cecconi,
Brookfield

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