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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Serving as your Village President has been the greatest honor of my life. I have lived in Oak Brook for nearly 40 years and care very deeply for the community. 17 years ago I decided to get involved, and began my service to the Village of Oak Brook as a Plan Commissioner. Several years later I was elected as your Village President. It has been extremely rewarding to be a part of the positive changes that have occurred in the 12 years that I have held that office. I am humbled by the opportunity I have had to serve you.
When I announced my first campaign for Village President in 2010 I didn’t like the direction our community was going in and saw a need for change. I wanted to be a vital component of that change, and ran on the campaign slogan “Time For Leadership”. I pledged to my friends and neighbors that if elected I would focus on providing:
I have done my best to anchor myself in excellence, be of service to the community and have kept all of my promises.
By the end of my first term, we had won and resolved, on favorable terms, all of the lawsuits we inherited, and, by every measure, Village finances had improved. I have always maintained an open door policy, and we have been transparent in every aspect of our operations. We created a Commercial Revitalization and Streetscape Committee and began plans for attracting new businesses and beautifying public spaces. The reputation of the Village was elevated and we attracted distinguished businesses, such as, HUB Group, Duchossois Industries and dozens of others. Oakbrook Center embarked on a $50 million improvement project, further enticing prominent retailers to relocate to our community. All of this was accomplished while keeping my promise to not impose new taxes on our residents. I am grateful for the advances we have made for Oak Brook.
Because of this success, I earned your trust to lead for a second term. We continued to operate the Village with great efficiency and financial restraint. We took on the challenge of rising pension debt and infrastructure improvements. We focused on updating the master plan for the Village and revised our outdated Zoning Codes. None of this would have been possible without the hard work of our Village Staff, Trustees, Committee Members and Volunteers.
Building on the successful transformation of Oak Brook, I ran on the same platform of accountability, integrity and efficiency in 2019. As I come to the end of my 3rd Presidential Term, I am most appreciative of the confidence you have in me, by allowing me the opportunity to serve this Community.
Since the commencement of my third term, more specifically, in the past year and a half, we have made significant strides in securing the long term financial stability of the Village. We have undertaken a review of the tax collections process to more efficiently manage Village tax revenues. We have revamped our 5-year plan, and significantly reduced current and future expenses.
The safety of our residents has always been my primary concern. As a physician, I am extremely sensitive and aware of the response time of our first responders. I am happy to report that their response times have significantly improved. I am grateful for the way we responded to the threats of COVID. I am grateful for our Village Staff, including our Police, Fire and Public Works and appreciate their sacrifices and commitments to keep us all safe. As you drive around our beautiful Village, and witness the new restaurants, health care facilities, businesses and homes please recognize that this did not happen by accident. It is the actualization of the time, thought, care commitment and energy from a lot of hard working people.
I am proud of the progress we have achieved during my 3 terms as your Village President. I have loved every minute of serving in this role. I feel now is the time to pass the torch on to the next generation of leadership.
I want to thank my wife Neetu for her patience and support over the last 46 years, but especially over the last 12 years. I would like to thank our current Trustees and all of the past Trustees that I have had the pleasure of collaborating with. I am grateful to our exceptional staff. I am excited, that as I plan to leave office in May, the many new faces that have already made great strides in improving the Village operations will continue that pursuit. I am grateful for the volunteers who staff our committees, commissions and work groups. Their contributions are evident in the sterling reputation we have for excellence in community service.
Finally, I want to thank the residents who have watched the Village grow, progress and prosper. Your support allowed me to work to improve the quality of life in our Village. My hope is that you all feel that I will be leaving the office next year in better shape than it was when I took office in 2011. For me it has been a labor of love. I invite everyone to participate in the democratic process by being engaged in the upcoming election and encourage you to vote for the person who embodies a spirit of service, integrity, ethics, excellence and leadership.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Gopal G. Lalmalani M.D., MBA