by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels last week announced his intention to run for re-election in 2013.
The decision marks the next step in Michels’ 13-year-long stint as village president—a stay that has lasted through three U.S. presidents, a Millenium and 16 Chicago Bears starting quarterbacks.
“(When I was elected) in 1999, my goal was to try and plan for the future with all the of the growth that was coming Sugar Grove’s way, and make sure we had (everything) dialed into place … with the infrastructure,” he said. “Now, it’s more to work on attracting businesses (to the village).”
Michels said Sugar Grove in the late 1990s was more of a commuter community—a place where people lived while working somewhere else.
“We’ve worked hard to bring businesses into Sugar Grove and make this more of a place where people live, work and dine,” he said, citing Waubonsee Corporate Center and Jewel-Osco as two examples of bringing business into the village.
Michels last week issued a press release praising the village’s effort to bring in business to diversify its tax base, and mentioned Hampstead Court Assisted Living Facility’s announcement that it will construct a 100,000-square-foot, 150-bed facility on the northwest side of the village.
The release also states that Rush-Copley recently announced it will lease over 3,000 square feet of space for an urgent care facility in the Landings Commercial Center.
“We still have room to grow, but we have brought in a lot of business to help people out,” Michels said.
Michels attributes the longevity of his stay in office to the quality of village boards that have served over the last 13 years.
“We’ve been able to work together and have a good staff,” he said. “I think it really falls back to the concept that we planned for growth; we had plans that we could review and evaluate, and we listened to other people, as well. And maybe ours wasn’t perfect and theirs wasn’t perfect, but a combination of the two (plans) worked out pretty well. It was proactive, as opposed to reactive.”
Michels’ press release states that he first became active with the village in 1991 by serving on various village committees. He was appointed as a trustee to complete the term of a vacated seat on the board in 1995, and was elected to the Village Board two years later.
Michels holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and economics from Illinois State University, and earned a Masters in Business Administration from Aurora University. He credits his family’s involvement in the community as what inspired him to run for village president in
“I truly felt I could make a difference by being the mayor, and do a good job of listening to all sides and making the tough decisions,” he said. “I am confident in my decision-making process.”
Since taking over the role of village president, Michels has been re-elected three times: in 2001, 2005 and 2009.
His press release cites the village’s financial rating of A+ by Standard and Poors, the repaving of a significant amount of roads local roads, and the village’s move to reduce expenses early in the recession, as highlights from his current term.
Should Michels be re-elected next spring, his main goal will be to complete the Route 47/I-88 interchange while continuing to bring businesses into the village.
“We’re still working hard to get (the Route 47/I-88 interchange) funded, and I’d like to have (its) engineering completed, and hopefully construction going on for that interchange, within the next four years,” he said.