Tuesday, Nov. 2


Municipal officials ask governor for
better rail service
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[NOV. 2, 2004]  CHICAGO -- "We want better passenger rail." That's the message more than 230 municipal officials from 150 Illinois communities sent in an open letter to Gov. Blagojevich. In the letter, the mayors and other elected officials said:

"We believe that dependable train service is an essential component of the state's transportation system. Linking communities with fast, frequent and dependable trains will strengthen our economy by making Illinois a more attractive place to live and do business."

Because much work already has been done to improve the Chicago-Springfield-St. Louis corridor, the officials agreed that completing this corridor is "the first step in improving passenger rail service for the entire state." The officials specifically ask the governor to take the following actions:

  • Push to implement the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program. This $1.5 billion set of projects already has the support of the privately owned railroads, the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.
  • Aggressively pursue federal funding to complete the Chicago-Springfield-St. Louis rail corridor. Once improvements are made, travel time between Chicago and St. Louis will be approximately 3 hours, more than two hours faster than by car.
  • Provide sufficient funding in the state's coming budget to add two more Amtrak round trips daily on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor.

Officials signing on to the letter represented the geographic and political breadth of Illinois. They range from small-town Republican mayors to Democratic Chicago City Council members. A complete list of the officials is below.

"This letter demonstrates the breadth of support throughout Illinois for better passenger rail," observed Kevin Brubaker at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. "We look forward to working with Governor Blagojevich to develop this essential travel and economic development resource in our state."

"Amtrak ridership has reached record levels and is continuing to grow, without any major service improvements. Now it is time to invest in better service by operating more trains on faster schedules," said Rick Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High-Speed Rail Coalition.

Community, official, title

Addison, Harry Theodore, trustee

Addison, Larry Hartwig, mayor

Addison, Tom Hundley, trustee

Addison, William Lynch, trustee

Alsip, James T. Quinn, trustee

Alton, Donald Sandidge, mayor

Argenta, Brad Hunter, mayor

Arlington Heights, Virginia Z. Kucera, trustee

Assumption, Marilyn D. Ashinhurst, clerk

Bartonville, Jane McGinn, trustee

Bartonville, Jim Flud, trustee

Bartonville, Leon Ricca, trustee

Beach Park, Jane Ochoa, trustee

Beardstown, Leslie A. Harris, trustee

Bethany, Becky Marshall, trustee

Bethany, Greg McClain, trustee

Bethany, John Felter, village president

Bloomington, Judy Markowitz, mayor

Bolingbrook, Carol S. Penning, village clerk

Bourbonnais, Scott Byrne, trustee

Bradley, Bruce Adams, trustee

Braidwood, Wayne Saltzman, mayor

Bridgeview, Harold Robish, trustee

Bridgeview, James Cecott, trustee

Bridgeview, Mary Sutton, trustee

Bridgeview, Norma Pinion, trustee

Broadview, Henry Vicenik, mayor

Brookfield, Bill Russ, village president

Brookfield, John Dolasinski, trustee

Brookfield, Will Brennan, trustee

Byron, Kathryn A. Hamas, mayor

Byron, Scott Nason, trustee

Calumet Park, Buster B. Porch, mayor

Calumet Park, Geraldine R. Galvin, village clerk

Capron, Judy Benson, trustee

Centerville, Larry Wynn, alderman

Centralia, John Stuehmeier, mayor

Champaign, Jerry Schweighart, mayor

Channahon, Joe Cook, village president

Charleston, Dan Cougill, mayor

Chicago, Anthony Beale, alderman

Chicago, Burt Natarus, alderman

Chicago Ridge, Daniel Badon, trustee

Chillicothe, Sharon A. Crabel, city clerk

Clay City, Trevor E. Bissey, village president

Coal Valley, Michael D. Bealer, trustee

Columbia, Lester Schneider, mayor

Cortland, Town of, Ben Suppeland, mayor

Coulterville, William C. Jarrett, mayor

Crest Hill, Scott Dyke, alderman

Davis Junction, Brenda Ognibene, trustee

Davis Junction, Dennis Schumacher, trustee

Davis Junction, Sheryl Hawley, village clerk

Decatur, Paul Osborne, mayor

DeKalb, Steve Kapitan, alderman

Delevan, Charles Denman, mayor

Delevan, Penny L. Bright, clerk

Dixon, Roy Bridgeman, commissioner

East Dundee, Roger Ahrens, mayor and trustee

East Peoria, Charles F. Dobbelaire, mayor

Edwardsville, Janet Haroian, alderman

Effingham, Robert F. Utz, mayor

Eureka, Laura Siscoe, mayor

Eureka, Lynn Hinnen, city treasurer

Eureka, Matt Hinnen, alderman

Evergreen Park, Jerry Bosch, trustee

Fairbury, Robert P. Walter Jr., mayor

Flora, Charles A. Crowder, mayor

Flora, Norman Henderson, commissioner

Ford Heights, Steve Simpson, trustee

Fox Lake, Nancy E. Koske, mayor

Fox Lake, Terri Zawada, trustee

Freeport, James L. Gitz, mayor

Granite City, Bill Davis, alderman

Granite City, Donald Thompson, alderman

Granite City, Michael Skoklo, alderman

Hainsville, Kelly Hensley, treasurer

Hainsville, Mark A. Gottsacker, trustee

Hanover Park, Rodney Craig, trustee

Hanover Park, Wesley E. Eby, trustee

Harwood Heights, Mark S. Dobrzycki, trustee

Hickory Hills, Michael Howley, mayor

Hillsboro, Terry L. Richmond, commissioner

Hoffman Estates, Edwin L. Frank, trustee

Hometown, Brian Barnhouse, alderman

Hometown, Michael A. Madden, city treasurer

Hometown, Spencer Touchie, alderman

Homewood, Richard Hofeld, village president

Jacksonville, Robert Northrop, alderman

Joliet, Arthur Shultz, mayor

Kankakee, Carl Brown, alderman

Kankakee, Donald Green, mayor

Kankakee, Jess Gathing, alderman

Kankakee, Steven J. Hunter, alderman

Kewanee, James P. Burns, mayor

Lemont, Steve Rosendahl, trustee

Lewiston, Carla Beyers, treasurer

Lisle, Ann Duker, trustee

Litchfield, David Schwab, trustee

Litchfield, Greg L. Beiermann, trustee

Loves Park, Clint W. Little, alderman

Lynwood, Roel Valle, trustee

Lyons, Gary Benedik, trustee


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Machesney Park, Diana M. Johnson, trustee

Machesney Park, Paul J. Stralow, trustee

Macomb, Mick Wisslead, mayor

Madison, Alexis Rozycke-Lux, city clerk

Madison, Tyrone Treadway Jr., alderman

Manhattan, James Doyle, village president

Manhattan, Michael R. Naughton, trustee

Marion, Robert L. Butler, mayor

Maryville, Larry Gulledge, mayor

Maryville, Rod Schmidt, trustee

Maryville, Todd Bell, trustee

Mascoutah, Jerry Daugtherty, mayor

Mascoutah, John "Jack" Weyan, councilman

Mascoutah, Kari D. Speir, city clerk

Matteson, Allan Johnson, trustee

Minooka, Dick Ellis, mayor

Minooka, Pat Brennan, trustee

Moline, Stan Leach, mayor

Monee, David Stockton, trustee

Monee, Kathleen M. Buchmeier, clerk

Monee, Kelly Jensen, trustee

Monmouth, Dan Burgland, trustee

Monmouth, Dave Smith, trustee

Morrisonville, Jim Kelmel, trustee

Mount Auburn, Jerry Seymour, mayor

Mount Vernon, Milton R. Sees, mayor

Mundelein, Ed Sullivan, trustee

Neoga, Diana Foor, treasurer

North Utica, Angela Brown, clerk

North Utica, Patrick Flynn, trustee

Oak Lawn, Ronald M. Stancik, acting village president and trustee

Oblong, Jan Miller, trustee

Oblong, Keith Waldrop, mayor

O'Fallon, Dave Waters, alderman

O'Fallon, Jerry Mouser, alderman

O'Fallon, Ned Drolet, alderman

O'Fallon, Rick Reckamp, alderman

Oreana, David Ward, trustee

Oregon, Mike Bowers, commissioner

Oregon, Thomas Stone, mayor

Orland Hills, Calvin S. Million, trustee

Orland Park, Edward G. Schussler, III, trustee

Palos Hills, Andrew J. Cisarik, alderman

Palos Hills, Frank Williams, alderman

Paris, Margaret Thomason, commissioner

Park City, Steve Pannell, mayor

Paxton, Rick Wolfe, alderman

Peoria, David Ransburg, mayor

Peoria Heights, Andrea K. Pendleton, trustee

Peru, Joe Mikyska, trustee

Peru, John O'Beirne, alderman

Peru, Judy Heuser, clerk

Plainfield, Stephen Thomson, trustee

Plano, Bill Roberts, mayor

Plano, David C. Limon, alderman

Plano, Dee LeCuyer, alderman

Plano, Janet Goehst, treasurer

Plano, Mark C., alderman

Plano, Scott E., alderman

Pontiac, Betty Jane Pouliot, alderman

Pontiac, Donovan Gardner, alderman

Pontiac, G. Michael Ingles, mayor

Pontiac, John McGlassen, alderman

Princeton, mayor

Quincy, Charles W. Scholz, mayor

Quincy, Paul Havermale, alderman

Richton Park, Valerie Babka, trustee

Riverdale, Joyce E. Forbes, village clerk

Riverdale, Zenovia G. Evans, mayor

Robbins, Jesse Shears, commissioner

Robbins, Lillian Dunn Barker, commissioner

Robbins, Lynnie Johnson, trustee

Robbins, Pamela James, clerk

Rock Island, David A. Conroy, alderman

Rock Island, Mark Schwiebert, mayor

Rockdale, Robert Scheidt, trustee

Rockdale, Samuel Wyke, trustee

Rockford, Doug Scott, mayor

Rockton, Dale Adams, village president

Round Lake Beach, Gina M. Miosi, trustee

Round Lake Beach, Larry T. Mount, trustee

Round Lake Park, Ila M. Bauer, mayor

Roxana, Brenda Cermak, trustee

Roxana, Samuel R. Herudon, trustee

Salem, Harold L. Blank, councilman

Savoy, Robert C. McCleary, village president

Schaumburg, Al Larson, village president

Schram City, Janet K. Stewart, clerk

Schram City, Kevin Stewart, trustee

Schram City, Lois Gunn, trustee

Schram City, Sam Whitlow, trustee

Smithtown, Brian L. Vielweber, police chief

Smithtown, Virgil J. Becker, mayor

South Chicago Heights, Michael Tilton, trustee

South Holland, Cindy Doorn, trustee

South Holland, Don A. DeGraff, village president

South Holland, James H. Veld, trustee

Spring Valley, Joseph A. Taliano, mayor

Springfield, Timothy Davlin, mayor

St. Charles, Art Lemke, alderman

St. Joseph, B.J. Hackler, mayor

Staunton, Marilyn A. Herbeck, clerk

Steger, Louis Sherman, village president

Sterling, Barry L. Cox, alderman

Sterling, Ted Aggen, mayor

Sterling, Wally Adell, alderman

Sugar Grove, Joseph Wolf, trustee

Summit, Joe Strzelckyk, mayor

Swansea, Skip Kernan, trustee

Taylorville, Bruce Jones, alderman

Taylorville, Earl Walters, alderman

Thornton, Cheryl B. Lehmwald, clerk

Thornton, Jack C. Swan, village president

Thornton, Max E. Salmon, chair of P&D Commission

University Park, James Ellis, treasurer

Urbana, Tod Satterthwaite, mayor

Vandalia, Marjorie Blythe, treasurer

Venice, Celestine Williams, alderman

Villa Park, Rae Rupp, village president

Warrenville, Christopher Stull, alderman

Warrenville, Vivian M. Lund, mayor

Washington Park, Sherman Sorrell, mayor

Waterloo, Terry Kipping, mayor

Wauconda, Patrick Murphy, trustee

Waukegan, Samuel D. Cunningham Jr., alderman

Westmont, Nancy J. Martens, trustee

Westmont, Susann K. Senicka, trustee

Westmont, Virginia Szymski, clerk

Winnebago, Steve Butler, trustee

Wood River, Cheryl Maguire, councilwoman

Wood River, David Ayers, mayor

Woodbridge, Mary Ann Frank, trustee

Yorkville, Joe Besco, alderman

Yorkville, Paul James, alderman

Yorkville, Rose Spears, alderman

Yorkville, Valerie Burd, alderman

[News release from the Environmental Law & Policy Center]

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