Greg Lochow Executive Director Blue I...
Challenge Each Other

Maywood, IL

#21 Feb 23, 2014
Blue Island's Chamber Agenda:
1.) Set Goals.
2.) Promote the Opening of the Division St. Bridge, so customers can come and shop.
3.) Insist Pot Holes are filled, streets and sidewalks are repaired to attract vehicular and foot traffic to businesses.
4.) Get information around Brownfield issues where anticipated businesses will be located.
5.) Deliver Honest information to business owners..
6.) Set a Time Table to Accomplish All Goals. Review and adjust goals no less than quarterly.
7.) Develop a sense of leadership and end the unnecessary backslapping.
8.) Demand better, explore more, be concerned with protecting your Blue Island business and customers.
Open Jewel Now

Blue Island, IL

#22 Feb 23, 2014
BI stakeholder wrote:
<quoted text>
100% on target. We all have a vested interest and should be working together rather than politically assassinating Greg. We have enough of this with the Democratic Party !
It is time for Mr. Lochow to be replaced. He has done nothing.
Ya right

Blue Island, IL

#23 Feb 23, 2014
We believe wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't be so harsh! They did create cute little scarves with the Blue Island logo on it. As well as, fun little power point presentations. They were also the group that scared away a Water Dept. Supervisor, and terminated a Superintendent of Public Works and Building Commissioner who ALL knew what they were doing. The streets are a mess and call the Bldg dept for advice because all you will get is misinformation. Yes, they have attended every single Blue Island fundraiser or Event. They love to be seen and heard, to spread their BS propaganda. This is one busy little group.
$30 for a scarf? I don't have the multiple pensions to afford that.
Just Foolish

Melrose Park, IL

#24 Feb 23, 2014
Bunch of sillies wrote:
Promote Frank Berrini. He has what it takes and he cares.
Really, maybe if he knew how to run a dept. of 20 or so.
john wayne

Blue Island, IL

#25 Feb 23, 2014
Elliott wrote:
Thinking further about this if YOU were Chamber Director what would You do differently? Frank May be a skilled and great guy but simply changing hats ... For real or political reasons won't address the core issues affecting OUR town and its business district. So we all have ideas ... Let's share them to better our town. They should be actionable, short term and long term. Not political.
what do other chamber directors in other towns do? specifically? and what are your ideas?
Cross Roads

Maywood, IL

#26 Feb 23, 2014
Challenge Each Other wrote:
Blue Island's Chamber Agenda:
1.) Set Goals.
2.) Promote the Opening of the Division St. Bridge, so customers can come and shop.
3.) Insist Pot Holes are filled, streets and sidewalks are repaired to attract vehicular and foot traffic to businesses.
4.) Get information around Brownfield issues where anticipated businesses will be located.
5.) Deliver Honest information to business owners.
6.) Set a Time Table to Accomplish All Goals. Review and adjust goals no less than quarterly.
7.) Develop a sense of leadership and end the unnecessary backslapping.
8.) Demand better, explore more, be concerned with protecting your Blue Island business and customers.
You can't be successful today without doing the research and processing the information.
whatever

Blue Island, IL

#27 Feb 24, 2014
Elliott wrote:
Thinking further about this if YOU were Chamber Director what would You do differently? Frank May be a skilled and great guy but simply changing hats ... For real or political reasons won't address the core issues affecting OUR town and its business district. So we all have ideas ... Let's share them to better our town. They should be actionable, short term and long term. Not political.
That ain't gonna happen...did i hear the words, "spotted owl"? have a go at it
The Current Chamber

Maywood, IL

#28 Feb 24, 2014
Cross Roads wrote:
<quoted text>
You can't be successful today without doing the research and processing the information.
Currently the Blue Island Chamber hosts backslapping events they are unable to gather or process information to promote the businesses in BI.
BI stakeholder

Toledo, OH

#29 Feb 26, 2014
john wayne wrote:
<quoted text>
what do other chamber directors in other towns do? specifically? and what are your ideas?
Fair question - I don't know what other chamber presidents do or what the Blue Island chamber president is supposed to do - since they are elected by other chamber members . What did past presidents do? I never thought the chamber president held all the cards for being responsible for BI's business growth rather working with city officials on plans for the business community. What would I do? For starters ..... First would be to develop needed relationships at the local county and state level to get access to $$$$$ for development grants. Then I would have an across the board assessment at where we are and where we need to be - understanding lots of $$ has been spent on past studies and approved by city council - what is the right mix of business types and how do we attract business investors - what stopped these plans from moving forward? What's the short term and long term vision?Tactically I would look at specific properties ... Like Jewel ... Like many of the shuttered businesses or buildings ... And determine what is need to spur development or acquire - to include courting key anchor businesses. I would require our marketing department and city finance officials to work with the investment community / city officials / state officials to develop an attractive financing incentive and with chamber on an aggressive marketing plan. Once we start attracting established businesses And start showing viable revenue improvement others will be attracted. The jewel property is a prime example ... Think about an anchor store that we all know ... Sam's club ? Target? Kohl's? Walmart? Mariano's ? Envision that store attracting shoppers from around the area ... Now the investment community takes notice .... These are just some ideas but they all require a concerted commitment by our city officials to move forward ... Not something that I would expect the chamber president to accomplish solo ! Are any of these initiatives underway ?????? And I haven't touched on the industrial aspects ... Certainly the state plays a critical role in developing an attractive business investment community and they have failed miserably ....
Sammy

Midlothian, IL

#30 Feb 27, 2014
Big box retailers do not belong in Blue Island.
Only

Maywood, IL

#31 Feb 27, 2014
Sammy wrote:
Big box retailers do not belong in Blue Island.
A major grocer would reduce the tax burden on taxpayers.
duh

Blue Island, IL

#32 Mar 2, 2014
Sammy wrote:
Big box retailers do not belong in Blue Island.
we can only pray that "big box retailers" would come here. unless you live in a bubble, where do you shop now for all your family's needs? you're out of touch to suggest that we can make it on small retailers. the business environment of the 1950's and 60's does not exist, neither does consumer needs. you can't go back.
New resident

Toledo, OH

#33 Mar 2, 2014
So can someone on this post help me understand the role of the chamber vs the role of the city in rebuilding the BI business district? Seems everyone is tangled up in the politics ... I get that ... Does anyone really know?
john wayne

Blue Island, IL

#34 Mar 2, 2014
BI stakeholder wrote:
<quoted text> Fair question - I don't know what other chamber presidents do or what the Blue Island chamber president is supposed to do - since they are elected by other chamber members . What did past presidents do? I never thought the chamber president held all the cards for being responsible for BI's business growth rather working with city officials on plans for the business community. What would I do? For starters ..... First would be to develop needed relationships at the local county and state level to get access to $$$$$ for development grants. Then I would have an across the board assessment at where we are and where we need to be - understanding lots of $$ has been spent on past studies and approved by city council - what is the right mix of business types and how do we attract business investors - what stopped these plans from moving forward? What's the short term and long term vision?Tactically I would look at specific properties ... Like Jewel ... Like many of the shuttered businesses or buildings ... And determine what is need to spur development or acquire - to include courting key anchor businesses. I would require our marketing department and city finance officials to work with the investment community / city officials / state officials to develop an attractive financing incentive and with chamber on an aggressive marketing plan. Once we start attracting established businesses And start showing viable revenue improvement others will be attracted. The jewel property is a prime example ... Think about an anchor store that we all know ... Sam's club ? Target? Kohl's? Walmart? Mariano's ? Envision that store attracting shoppers from around the area ... Now the investment community takes notice .... These are just some ideas but they all require a concerted commitment by our city officials to move forward ... Not something that I would expect the chamber president to accomplish solo ! Are any of these initiatives underway ?????? And I haven't touched on the industrial aspects ... Certainly the state plays a critical role in developing an attractive business investment community and they have failed miserably ....
well, we do have an Aldi's, and we don't see other major investors. why not? who are our marketing people? mary poulson? jason berry? finance? the City Clerk Randy Heuser?
Any big box is going to need parking. naperville has big box in their downtown stores, but we don't have the income or demographics to support a Gap on Western. mom and pops are barely hanging on. What the voters see is mayor vargas, mayor pro temp/councillor hawley, and the city planners making deals with State Rep Rita. in exchange for money, western being changed back to two way, and bridge repair, he gets jobs. but when do the citizens benefit? its pretty obvious. none of this has happened. we understand that the chamber is not fully responsible, but all you get from them is nice parties, nice little feel good events; as you do from most of the other players in the City. Its not enough. Greg Lochow has managed to keep his job through two opposing administrations by not being political or assertive. we agree, he can only do what his Board tells him to do. No one likes the tax structure, but we don't see that changing on any level. we think we need to attract industrial for a strong tax base and for local jobs. why did it work in the 1950's, 60's 70's? In the 80's things started to decline. what changed?
john wayne

Blue Island, IL

#35 Mar 2, 2014
Elliott wrote:
Why is everyone placing the blame for Blue Island's degradation at Greg's feet? This didn't happen over night ... Our political leadership , past and present, must take accountability. Lack of foresight ... Lack of planning ... Lack of political will ... Lack of funding ... And lack of follow through. The city marketing Director has a seminal role in promoting and marketing our town. Like it or not the business properly owners are accountable for having reasonable rents and keeping up the quality of the properties. County officials that support anti business tax levies are accountable. Yes, other communities are well ahead of our city because they had the vision, political support, access to money and a positive business climate that attracts investors. Until that changes within our city ... Nothing will change ...
As head of the chamber Greg does bear some responsibility ... So does every member of the chamber.
Now that we have "change you can believe in " in DC and now in blue island little will improve. That ain't Greg's fault. Look in the mirror ... We all share some level of accountability.
what is a positive business environment? the county tax structure ain't changing any time soon; despite foreclosures, delinquencies and empty storefronts or even a change in washington, d.c. impossible for property owners to charge "reasonable" rents and maintain properties with lower rents. why is orland making it? why is frankfort? mokena? or should we be looking at older suburbs like us? where would that be? berwyn? i don't think they're making it either. ideas?
are we mokena bound

Blue Island, IL

#36 Mar 3, 2014
New resident wrote:
So can someone on this post help me understand the role of the chamber vs the role of the city in rebuilding the BI business district? Seems everyone is tangled up in the politics ... I get that ... Does anyone really know?
i don't think either sector knows their roles. that's one of the problems. has anyone sat down together and decided, "these are our roles and tasks"? i think, the city use to give money to the chamber for operating expenses/salaries. i think that's stopped. its now just businesses supporting Greg Lochow's salary? the chamber uses the east annex for an office, i think. the lines seem to be blurred. what's difficult is when you keep hearing people tout how great blue island is, and how we're coming back, when it is so obviously...NOT. you feel angry and swindled. car shows are great, parties are great, a walking 4th of July parade is great, dog parades are great, art shows and artists are great, but none of this is sustainable. its just a feel good temporary fix. we need the hard cash tax income from industrial/commercial. property tax can't carry it. maybe people do want more from the chamber. they want someone to take a lead since no one in city hall is doing so. so disappointing when we'd hoped for good change by voting for them. they have the political alliances, so why isn't it happening? is there anyone else out there we can vote for? you're new in town, why don't you run for office? test the reality...
Blue Islanders are Angry

Maywood, IL

#37 Mar 3, 2014
The connected made promises a plenty. All were elected and haven't actually "fixed" a single thing unless you consider all of the personal fixes and gains.
Straight Talk

Blue Island, IL

#38 Mar 3, 2014
Without organization there is chaos. With chaos comes corruption. Understand?
McEvoy

Chicago, IL

#39 Mar 4, 2014
Sammy wrote:
Big box retailers do not belong in Blue Island.
we need to attract shoppers ... Traffic ... That will set the stage for investor interest ... Nail shops ... Phone stores ... Dollar stores just don't cut it ....
McEvoy

Chicago, IL

#40 Mar 4, 2014
john wayne wrote:
<quoted text>
well, we do have an Aldi's, and we don't see other major investors. why not? who are our marketing people? mary poulson? jason berry? finance? the City Clerk Randy Heuser?
Any big box is going to need parking. naperville has big box in their downtown stores, but we don't have the income or demographics to support a Gap on Western. mom and pops are barely hanging on. What the voters see is mayor vargas, mayor pro temp/councillor hawley, and the city planners making deals with State Rep Rita. in exchange for money, western being changed back to two way, and bridge repair, he gets jobs. but when do the citizens benefit? its pretty obvious. none of this has happened. we understand that the chamber is not fully responsible, but all you get from them is nice parties, nice little feel good events; as you do from most of the other players in the City. Its not enough. Greg Lochow has managed to keep his job through two opposing administrations by not being political or assertive. we agree, he can only do what his Board tells him to do. No one likes the tax structure, but we don't see that changing on any level. we think we need to attract industrial for a strong tax base and for local jobs. why did it work in the 1950's, 60's 70's? In the 80's things started to decline. what changed?
good points to be sure . Many things have changed over the years and blue island is reeling from years of neglect and poor planning ... The state legislator has not helped ... Bob Rita has shown he is only looking for political patronage ... Our city council is in lock step w Rita ... Our mayor who has been on city council for many years doesn't have the vision or spine to stand up to the Democrat power structure. It ain't pretty. But changes can take place ... Lots of vacant land ... Time to demolish some of the stores onWestern ... Not much "history" left ...

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