CAMPTON HILLS – The new Campton Hills village president said he is pleased with the village’s financial health and will work to make sure it stays financially healthy.
“We want to continue to ensure that the village’s both short- and long-term financial health is in good shape,” Mike Tyrrell said. “Financially, we’re in a good place. We continue to have a healthy surplus that protects us in the long run. We’re able to meet all our obligations, including being one of the few communities in the state that has a fully funded police pension program.”
Tyrrell, who recently was sworn in as village president, has served on the Campton Hills Village Board since 2015. He initially was appointed to the board to fill a vacancy for a short period of time and then was elected to the seat.
In April, he ran unopposed for village president.
He is proud that Safewise, an organization that researches home security solutions, recently named Campton Hills the safest municipality in Illinois, with no reported incidents of violent crime and only 1.59 property crimes per 1,000 residents.
“We’re blessed with an excellent police department,” Tyrrell said. “We recently established a canine patrol. I applaud Police Chief Steven Millar and his team for coming up with the idea. It was well-accepted by the board. The interesting part is that it came up late in our fiscal year and the chief and his team acknowledged that they would establish the canine patrol solely on donations and that it would not come out of the village’s budget.”
Tyrrell said the roughly $35,000 to pay for a dog and training along with retrofitting a police vehicle was raised entirely through fundraising.
“It is an outstanding accomplishment,” he said.
Prior to Tyrrell being sworn in as the new Campton Hills village president, the Campton Hills Village Board voted 4-3 in favor of trying video gambling for two years even as the majority of residents voting in the April 2 election said they didn’t think video gambling should be allowed.
Outgoing Village President Harry Blecker cast the deciding vote after trustees deadlocked on the issue. Voting “yes” were Trustees Mike Millette, Wendy White Eagle and Nick Girka. Voting “no” were Trustees Tyrrell, Susan George and Michael O’Dwyer.
Tyrrell said the village will be watching to see if any problems arise as a result of video gambling.
“We’re going to continue to watch that over the next two years and see how that pans out,” he said.
Another Tyrrell goal is to have the village work “collaboratively” with Campton Township officials.
“There are strengths that both bring to the equation,” Tyrrell said. “I’d like to see greater dialogue and cooperation with both Campton and Plato townships.”
Campton Hills became a village in 2007 after a majority of residents voted in favor of incorporation. Tyrrell is generally pleased at the progress that has taken place since the incorporation vote.
“Looking back at it, we’ve fulfilled many of the commitments and promises,” he said. “In talking to many of the residents, they’re very, very pleased with Campton Hills being named as the safest city in Illinois. That’s in no small part to the amount of coverage we have from an outstanding police department.”
He also noted the efforts of Campton Township in acquiring open space, which in turn is helping the village keep its semi-rural feeling.
“Open space is very, very important to this community,” Tyrrell said. “They’ve acquired it, but we recognize that as development in neighboring communities continues to expand, it would potentially impact that semi-rural feeling. The village has created its boundaries and now controls the space within it, lending itself to the semi-rural environment. That’s something that we can continue to strive to support and protect within this community.”
Tyrrell said he hopes the village can continue to build on its successes.
“Campton Hills is a great community,” he said. “It’s only 12 years old and like any start-up, it’s not without its trials and tribulations and successes. It’s a matter of building on that foundation to set the environment for a village that many years from now will continue to be proud of those achievements.”