Hello Mr. Trudeau,
I was out of town the week your letter appeared and only just read it a few days ago. In my estimation, you have hit quite a few nails right on the head.
Except for a 5-year period (1996-2001), I have lived and worked in Elmhurst since 1976. I, too, have noticed the changes, most particularly since returning in mid-2001, and have steadily felt more and more uncomfortable - and sometimes downright angry - about them. I enjoyed your assessment of the "graying" population and wonder if "Hizzoner" has looked in the mirror lately. He's a very affable and persuasive person, but I also find him arrogant and a bit too self-confident of his position.
You mention that you are 47. I will be 70 in December. I am retired, live on a "limited" or "fixed" income and in a 65-year-old bungalow with a 55-year-old addition. If the trend continues, in all likelihood, it will also be a teardown when/if I decide to ever sell and relocate. In the meantime, the real estate taxes on this property have risen over $1,500 in five years because of the "monstrosities" being built, left and right, around my neighborhood (Third Street west of York Road). I'm getting the distinct feeling - and have heard it voiced by friends and acquantances - that people my age are being squeezed out of their homes by this "rising tide".
I used to enjoy being able to do family shopping in downtown Elmhurst (Ruby's Department store and other ladies' and men's shops) and walking to them if I wanted. Now all we have is wall-to-wall eateries and it takes driving to the "mega mall" at St. Charles and Route 83 to find anything. To a person my age, downtown Elmhurst is a disappointment. We can't even keep a Hallmark card shop anymore! Although it wasn't specifically stated, I got the feeling that the owner was driven out by high rent.
This being said, I long ago came to the conclusion that there's not much that CAN be done, as "money talks" and that's what our city administration is after. I've seen it time after time, in my lifetime, and those who don't conform get "plowed under". However, I wish you luck in your endeavors. I know (and you probably do, too) that the Pezzas really "rode herd" on the city officials with regard to the construction of Crescent Court Condos on South York as, if I recall correctly, they would have been higher and more dense. They may be of some help to you.
Mrs. Mary Anne Boehm