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Barrett Pedersen

Candidate for Mayor

Village of Franklin Park

Barrett Pedersen still believes that taxpayers deserve strong, professional financial management and extraordinary accountability. He put that vision into action when he first set about repairing the Village’s financial position.

After being elected Village President in 2009, Mayor Barrett Pedersen’s first priority was to put the Village’s financial house in order. Coming into office in the midst of the nation’s worst recession in generations, Pedersen discovered that the prior administration had left the Village in a poor, unstable and dangerous financial condition.

Out of respect for the taxpayer, Mayor Pedersen immediately demanded a disciplined approach to spending and insisted on balancing the budget. He ordered a comprehensive audit and set about to repair the balance sheets and institute accepted accounting and financial reporting practices. Repairing the poor financial position he inherited has reaped many benefits, including being recognized for excellence by the Government Finance Officers Association.

Standard and Poor’s awarded the Village an investment grade bond rating for the first time in its history and it now stands at an A+ Bond Rating. The Village has turned the General Fund balance into a positive after having a negative $5.4 million cash balance in 2009. Under Mayor Pedersen’s leadership, cost saving measures and increased efficiencies are evident in every department.

Creating jobs and attracting and retaining business underlies Mayor Pedersen’s vision for a vital community. Knowing that increased business activity lowers the tax burden on homeowners, Pedersen has aggressively pursued polices that attract new business and investment for Franklin Park, the 6th largest industrial employer in Illinois. The Village presently has 1.8 million square feet of industrial property under redevelopment with a value of over $400 million.

His insistence on a “business friendly” attitude at Village Hall has simplified the permit process. Most employees have undergone two seminars of customer service training to ensure you are treated politely, respectfully, and as quickly as possible. He established the Franklin Park Partnership and works closely with these business leaders to develop policies that will help them prosper.

These efforts have given Franklin Park a lower than average property tax rate, lower than even our neighbors, Rosemont and Elmwood Park.

Prior to being elected Village President, Barrett served as Trustee on the Franklin Park Public Library Board, as a Commissioner of Franklin Park’s Cable Television Commission, later as a Trustee on the Village Board and finally as Village Prosecutor for 13 years.

Barrett was one of seven children born and raised in Franklin Park. As Village President, he has worked to maintain our Village as a family-focused community.

While many communities have had to cut back on festivals and events, Mayor Pedersen sought assistance from the business community to sponsor the cost of Railroad Daze and other festivals in order to make them revenue neutral events. A high quality of life, good schools and varied cultural and recreational offerings attract families into Franklin Park and encourage our families to stay and raise their families here.

Barrett has developed and nurtured critical regional partnerships to secure the completion of the Elgin O’Hare Western Access and to continue to foster regional cooperation to accomplish our mutual goals. He was appointed by former Governor Quinn to the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Advisory Council, a group that is guiding the construction and funding of this nationally significant project that will create over 65,000 jobs permanent new jobs and 35,000 construction jobs. His financial abilities were honored by being appointed to the Illinois Finance Authority Board.

Prior to being elected Village President, Barrett served as Trustee on the Franklin Park Public Library Board, as a Commissioner of Franklin Park’s Cable Television Commission, later as a Trustee on the Village Board and finally as Village Prosecutor for 13 years.

Barrett enlisted in the United States Air Force upon graduating from Holy Cross High School. He received a degree in Urban Studies from Elmhurst College with Honors and graduated from Chicago Kent College of Law with a Juris Doctorate Degree.

Mayor Pedersen is active in community service projects including the Leyden Family Services Food Pantry and Relay for Life while also working with PADS when it was still active in Franklin Park to serve meals to families in need. Barrett has been involved in community service since he was a young Boy Scout. His Eagle Scout project was to organize a walk-a-thon to raise over $5,000.00 in goods for the Reed Mental Health Center. He was a volunteer each year for the annual Paul G. Ruch Memorial Food Drive until it was discontinued. Barrett assisted with sandbagging in September 2008, 2010 and 2011 when Franklin Park residents experienced severe flooding.

Now a full time Mayor, Pedersen was also an attorney specializing in real estate and estate planning. His passion for the preservation and improvement of sustainable practices has made him a respected advocate for economic and environmental sustainability as he works promoting smart technology, plug-in vehicles, increased recycling, energy-efficient-lighting and chemical free landscaping. He is an active member of the Chamber by O’Hare.